Substance: Prolegomena to a Realist Theory of Identity
Ayers (Michael R.)
Source: Journal of Philosophy 1991, pp. 69-90
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

    Traditionally (to ignore heresies) substances are the ultimate subjects of predication, are real unities, are material, endure through time, are active principles of change, and fall into naturally bounded kinds. It is argued that these characterizations together mark logical differences from nonsubstances only explicable on the traditional assumption that substances are the real or natural individuals, given as such at the pretheoretical level of experience, while nonsubstances are abstractions sliced out of reality by the mind, or by language. This contrast implies the need for a realist theory of identity to replace orthodox conceptualism.
??? Abstract

Considers, modifies and supports the following list of candidate properties of the category SUBSTANCE:
  1. Substances are the ultimate subjects of predication, and therefore the only beings with independent existence.
  2. Substances are real unities (both natural and logical)
  3. Substances are material. Individual substances are distinguished from one another at any one time by their matter.
  4. Substances exist all at once, and exist through time, or endure. (Events, in contrast, take time or unfold.)
  5. Substances are active, the ultimate sources of change. Their underlying natures or essences are the ultimate principles of explanation.
  6. Only substances fall into true natural kinds1, and every truly individual substance is a member of a natural kind2.

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