The Principle of Individuation: II
Anscombe (G.E.M.)
Source: Supplement to the Proceedings of The Aristotelian Society 27, 1953, 83-96. Symposium: The Principle of Individuation (Lukasiewicz, Anscombe & Popper)
Paper - Abstract

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  1. I wish to express grateful admiration for the extreme clarity with which Professor Lukasiewicz1 has written;
  2. The absurdity of the idea of matter;
  3. I am always uncertain what it means to call a concept "metaphysical". But the concept of matter which Aristotle works on is as least an everyday one;
  4. We can see now why this matter (eg. The stuff I have in this bottle) is not as such a given kind of stuff (ti): for the same stuff was wine and is vinegar;
  5. I feel doubtful about Professor Lukasiewicz's comments on "matter in itself";
  6. I do not think it reasonable to take exception to such statements as that matter is in itself indefinite and unknowable: it "has to be understood in what changes.";
  7. One may easily be puzzled by the expression "this matter, taken universally", which occurs for example in one of the passages quoted by Professor Lukasiewicz;
  8. On the analogy between bronze and its shape, and matter and form;
  9. "In a way, matter is obvious;
  10. "Matter is in a way obvious, but … (form) is frightfully difficult.";
  11. I have the impression that Professor Lukasiewicz equates "this matter, taken universally", and "intelligible matter". This seems to be a mistake.
  12. Luckily it is possible to understand what is meant by calling matter the principle of individuation2, without understanding about form;
  13. The statement that matter is the principle of individuation3 does not mean that the identity of an individual consists in the identity of its matter. Thus it is not an objection against it that the matter of a man's body changes in the course of his life.


Response to "Lukasiewicz (Jan) - The Principle of Individuation: I"; responded to by "Popper (Karl) - The Principle of Individuation: III".

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: See "Lukasiewicz (Jan) - The Principle of Individuation: I"

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  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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