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  • General Considerations
    in the form of certain restrictions which must be satisfied like for example the conservation of mass and energy in chemical reactions or they are in the form of dynamical laws that relate input to output in a general way Metaphysics as presented here tries to provide the most general scheme of Reality by stating fundamental and general relations that are valid for EVERY being in sofar as it is a being In this way in a sense Metaphysics tries to establish the most remote causes or FIRST causes The results of Natural Science should figure as specifications of a general metaphysical theory or system In cases where such results of Natural Science are beyond doubt we demand that a metaphysical scheme must be able to accomodate these results as specifications This does not imply that those results obtained by Natural Science could have been deduced from the general metaphysical theory A metaphysical theory admits of a whole spectrum of possible specifications and observation must finally decide which specification must figure as such Also it is not possible to deduce a metaphysics from Natural Science alone because Natural Science begins and ends with observational data only Metaphysics on the other hand is concerned with the intrinsic constitution of things and processes these latter from the viewpoint of things as defined above i e it is looking for those factors responsible for something to be a THING a uniform being without those factors themselves being things and consequently without their being observable It discriminates between the Thing and an Aggregate between a Thing and its Essence See the Essay on Being and Essence between Substance and Accident See the Essay on Substance and Accident between the Individual and the Universal See respectively the Essays on The Principle of Individuation and the Essay on the Universal between the per se and the per accidens between Matter and Form See the Essays on Substance and Accident and on The Principle of Individuation and so on Besides but connected with the characteristics of metaphysics just mentioned another important one must be brought forward Natural Science must proceed from one or more unproven suppositions presuppositions about the world it investigates Most of them are implicit in her methods It is one of the tasks of Metaphysics to make those presuppositions explicit In so doing they will as such become part of that Metaphysics One example of such a presupposition will be found at the beginning of the Essay on The Principle of Individuation The viewpoint of the metaphysics here presented and continually under construction hopefully also becoming inspired by e mail reactions and objections is the metaphysics of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas But our concern is not the full preservation of this ancient metaphysics We demand that such an inspired metaphysics must accord with modern standards This implies that we are seeking to develop a REVISED Aristotelically and Thomistically inspired metaphysics of Being thereby only concerning the above mentioned types of objects How do we

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  • INTRODUCTION
    metaphysical sense are crystals However the investigation will not exclude atoms and molecules which belong to the transition region between true quantum entities and true macroscopic real things Stars and the like but not planets and satellites are certainly true Substances but we will not deal with them by reason of keeping our investigation between limits The present investigation will moreover attempt to assess the status of Accidents and Propria i e genuine properties and of course their relations to Substance in organisms including man and crystals In doing so we will perhaps be able to locate the Essence of those beings So our investigation is first of all about the beingness of crystals and organisms and to a lesser extend about the beingness of atoms and molecules and starts from one of the best treatments of Substance and Accidents ever written namely the one by St Thomas Aquinas We will confront it with the nominalistic critique and test it by thinking it through still further taking into account our present empirical knowledge about the constitution of the different kinds of things This knowledge is provided by Natural Science A revision of the Substance Accident Metaphysics will be the result leaving however the discussion open in all directions An interesting and important aspect of such a revision I already touched upon Totalities Substances consist of a harmonious aggregation a cooperative interaction of parts resulting in a macroscopic or submacroscopic identity i e a new Whole with its own identity its own whatness In Classical Metaphysics however this identity is reduced to the substantial form as intrinsic cause Unity Identity and Being is enjoyed by such a form in an unqualified way and moreover in the strongest degree and it communicates them first of all to the Matter Form composite and then to the Substance Accident composite i e the really existing thing The substantial form is that something in a thing in virtue of which that thing is a thing with identity X and this namely X it itself the substantial form is i e exists according to Classical Metaphysics in the strongest degree The Identity of Socrates just insofar as determining Socrates to be a human being thus not insofar as it itself exists is called HUMANITY in Classical Metaphysics So HUMANITY determines it is true Socrates to be a human being but only in the sense that without it he is not a human being But a substantial form so taken i e as a cause turns out not to be found in things We find it as effect indeed as an effect of cooperative interactions at a low structural level This lower level is in most cases still macroscopic or submacroscopical Even a scholastic author like P HOENEN already speaks about totality resultants The only remnant of the causal nature of the substantial form is the ordering of the parts and their interactions towards the Whole the thing Totality concerned Hence this Whole is in a sense determining the cooperative interactions of the parts The Whole is in a sense presupposed by its parts And this is the reason why in this investigation so much thought is devoted to the way of being of the elements in the mixtum to the totality view and to structural levels Although the scope of the present investigation is large it cannot claim any completeness in fact precisely because of this large scope The investigation here presented into the ontological status of macroscopic in the sense defined things including process structures enjoying intrinsic unity and as such then interpreted as Substances needs to cover the entire domain of Reality Naturally this is impossible in the course of a single actually performed investigation the domain being much too vast So we are forced to exclude a number of items Among these are the domains of the psychological the social and the speculative theological some relevant philosophical investigations performed earlier like the one by Nicolai HARTMANN and the one by WHITEHEAD but also a treatment of important fundamental scientific theories like Quantum Mechanics and its several interpretations a modest attention to Quantum Mechanics is given in the Essay on Quantum Mechanics and Relativity Theory and also the Theory of Organic Evolution and indeed the Theory of the Origin of the Universe itself Big Bang Theory Relevant postmedieval philosophical texts are left out too in virtue of the limitations imposed by myself Incompleteness is unavoidable Why this Investigation In the history of Natural Science we see since the end of the Middle Ages from which onwards the individual the sublunar the immanent and the natural was getting more and more attention also in Art an increasing improvement sophistication and extension of the experimental equipment as well as of the conceptual apparatus All this has enlarged drastically the amount of empirical material Most older scientific works consequently possess only historical value The modern scientist must proceed to master Natural Science by using recent books and periodicals and must learn to use the ever more improved or new methods of experiment and observation Also his concepts must continually be updated in the light of new theories Not so in Philosophy Philosophy especially the Metaphysics of Being does not just like that become obsolete What does become obsolete in it often turns out not in fact to belong to it It often concerns formulations of problems which are not philosophical in nature but formulations of problems properly belonging to Natural Science They unmask themselves by becoming obsolete A pure i e strict philosophical theory of Being is accordingly not very sensitive to becoming obsolete This probably is so because it is more of a contemplation than of a systematical investigation Its proposed solutions are each for themselves partners in an ongoing dialogue with other proposed solutions In this way a dynamics unfolds which in contradistinction to that of Natural Science does not finally settle down to a more or less definite outcome or direction of search Therefore ancient philosophical ideas should be conserved but open to further improvement to keep this dynamics going A second reason that philosophical ideas especially in the theory of Being do not become obsolete so easily is the fact that some of them belong to the necessary but implicit and necessarily implicit presuppositions of among others Natural Science These presuppositions can hardly be questioned at least not within Natural Science itself Seen in this way not every philosophical system of earlier times is obsolete beforehand And this is especially true of a certain variety of a metaphysics of Being namely the Classical Substance Accident Metaphysics developed by Aristotle and St Thomas Aquinas The assumption that this Metaphysics could still enjoy actuality in our times of course not without corrections and extensions on the basis of recent insights will be investigated on this website However to revive this brand of Metaphysics also for those not inspired by Christian Theology is not the only reason to perform the investigation The motivation to do so also comes from outside Classical Metaphysics Indeed there are modern actual and interesting problems which do seem to demand a general updated metaphysics For example the problem of the ontological status of Mathematics i e of the mathematical structures objects and patterns and the type of knowledge of these stuctures In some circles these mathematical structures and knowledge are interpreted more or less in a kantian way in other circles platonically and again in other circles Mathematics is seen as just a tool invented by us in order to be able to study and describe the concrete physical world or in order to design technical equipment like computers In the 20th century this status was intensively discussed Names like BROUWER HILBERT GöDEL PENROSE affirm this sufficiently This discussion is far from concluded A general theory of Being could certainly contribute to a solution because it studies Being insofar as Being and can possibly discriminate between real Being and say ideal Being Also the ontological status of natural laws and natural constants is not clear SHELDRAKE 1985 1988 Whether the World is or is not holistic and if it is in what way and to what extent is also not clear And the same applies to the long standing question about the status and place of Man in the Universe Further it is asked whether the World is of its nature continuous or discrete and whether it is totally dynamic BOHM 1988 or just partly so And still much more questions arise Does Reality ultimately consists of things or exclusively of processes or just of relations Is Reality inherently creative or is everything already potentially present Is only the submicroscopical domain fundamental and real Does something like spirit freedom and self being exist The status of computer simulations relating to the simulation of life and intelligence is an example of recent debate EMMECHE 1994 HOFSTADTER 1979 Likewise the ontological status of cases such as virtual reality is unclear WOOLLEY 1993 I am convinced that an updated Classical Substance Accident Metaphysics which indeed is a theory of Being as such can contribute in answering these interesting questions or expressed differently that this Metaphysics is still relevant This will be investigated on this website but without attempting to anwer exhaustively every such question But also a revised metaphysics as is attempted here will not end up with final solutions for such problems but it can give some more content to the relevant discussions My experience namely tells me that many scientists who take the trouble to reflect about their science philosophically i e reflect about its results have little knowledge of the true problems concerning Being for which they are however not to blame they are after all scientists For Natural Science as such to be good science it does not require that it steps outside its domain from time to time in order to consider it from without in contradistinction to Philosophy which should do so The only thing I wish to achieve by doing my research is to provide a broader philosophical basis for answering the mentioned and related questions and thereby making use of philosophical ideas about Being which stem from a time in which much thought was devoted to it At first sight however many modern results which are of a fundamental nature seem to oppose a metaphysics of Being as developed by Aristotle and St Thomas Everywhere in my investigation I will point to them and assess whether indeed such a metaphysics is just a historical curiosity or that it contains some eternal truths or results which could be further developed With respect to this problem nothing can be proved I just make an attempt to demonstrate that Classical Substance Accident Metaphysics has an interesting and still relevant theme for everybody who wants to know more about the ultimate foundations of the World The status of this Metaphysics could on the basis of my investigations be summarized as follows The metaphysics of Being the Substance Accident Metaphysics is in a certain sense Anfangsgrund point of departure of Natural Science and even of Logic and in another sense an ontological interpretation of the results of Natural Science insofar as they are all encompassing in which it is not dependent on the specific content of those results Such a metaphysics of Being should however be able to include those results into itself as specifications specifying its general considerations or in other words it should be compatible with and as it were inclined towards such specifications A Substance Accident Structure is already presupposed not demonstrated In those texts for example In VII Met lectio 3 nr 1310 1314 where the determination of the Essence i e which entities do and which do not have a true Essence and thus which entities are true Substances is obtained from dialectical considerations definitions of things as predicates of per se IS propositions the ontological distinction between Substance and Accident is already presupposed The distinction between proper and non proper definitions is in those texts based on that ontological distinction Hence this distinction is indeed already stipulated and the present investigation is among other things meant to test this stipulation The ontological distinction between Substance and Accident is it is true taken i e concluded from the accidental change but also here it is in fact already presupposed Socrates is tanned by the sun Here it is stipulated that Socrates as being a human has remained the same But it could be imagined that something quite different but not externally apparent has originated in and by such a change i e the tanning which however externally is so similar to the previous situation that we are persuaded to indicate it with the same term Hence it is not demonstrated that the change was only an accidental one The self consciousness of whatever human being is however a strong hint to something remaining the same in such a change So for Man the Substance Accident scheme seems to be more or less demonstrated and perhaps also with regard to the remaining organisms but not with regard to the inorganic beings although one attributes this scheme also to them This also was one of the reasons for having performed the present investigation What is the Method of the Investigation Distinction between Metaphysical Inquiry and Scientific Inquiry A metaphysics as proposed here looks for the fundamentals of the material world as defined in the first main section But Natural Science pursues the same goal What is the difference Natural Science attempts to relate the observable phenomena with each other within a theory which encompasses and explains all these phenomena The most fundamental theories proposed by it are Quantum Mechanics and Relativity Theory These two theories should be harmoniously combined This effort is still going on A definitive result is however not yet obtained A scientific theory not only should explain certain observed phenomena for the treatment of which it is designed it should also be able to make predictions regarding other observable and experimental phenomena As long as it satisfies such empirical tests it can remain to be accepted otherwise it should be amended or rejected The results of such theories are often mathematically expressed models All the different models modelling different phenomena should finally comprise the whole of observable reality including the indirectly via instruments observable phenomena hence in the broadest sense of observable thus also the life phenomena and the phenomena of consciousness In such scientific investigations dynamical processes are central In it one tries to reduce all observed processes in the form of a theory to last i e ultimate process elements like quantum particles and fields The natural restrictions constraints which prevail in the interactions between these basic units and with it also between the complex entities formed from such units are detected and indicated as fundamental natural laws in which among others a small number of natural constants play a role entering the mathematical expression of those natural laws In Metaphysics and this investigation is concerned with the Substance Accident Metaphysics Man in the form of the experience of being a human being is in a sense the point of departure without thereby ending up into an anthropological consideration The phenomenon of being a human being a person is indeed the source of inspiration for a more general consideration dealing with to be an individual to be an intrinsic Totality self being existence and also for a general consideration about the essential and the accidental about having an identity a whatness and so on So it is desired to extend the consideration concerning those phenomena as experienced by humans with regard to their Being mutatis mutandis to ALL real versus ideal beings Or in other words one wants to see whether and if so in what way these phenomena also occur in other real beings thus whether they also have an identity individuality an intrinsic whatness and intrinsic unity and what it means for them having accidents and so on In all of this a what is it question can also be asked with regard to every existing entity thus not just about the entity man but also the entity horse stonefly red paternity 1 50 meter long cutting being cut etc If one starting with any such entity keeps on asking i e transforming the questioning into a recursive process by applying the same what is it question to each answer in turn then one ends up with final highest genera In Logic such genera are interpreted as the most general concepts here first intentions In Metaphysics they are interpreted as the most fundamental ways of Being within the sphere of real beings When specified these ways of being together form in each separate case a complete set of determination types making up the phenotypical appearance of an individually existing being Such a subsisting individual being for instance Socrates but also say the dog Dena or an individual quartz crystal pointed to with the finger a Methane molecule etc will always be at the center of consideration within the Substance Accident Metaphysics and consequently at the center of the present investigation This Metaphysics detects the constitutive and modal ontological principles of individual beings insofar as individual beings These individual beings are it is true also investigated in Natural Science however not insofar as individual beings In scientific considerations they figure as simple or complex elements in processes In the Substance Accident Metaphysics the individual beings as such are the subject of the investigation in the course of which one as it were descends into the core of such an individual being in order to detect intrinsic causes which themselves are not individual beings anymore So the point of orientation always is the heart of each thing i e the thing looked at from within Despite this difference as compared with Natural Science in approaching Reality this Metaphysics must incorporate a number of

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  • STATUS QUAESTIONIS
    MELSEN p 167 9 we read that HOLLAK asserts that the discontinuous transitions inorganic organic spirit must always be accomplished by a subject which itself already is such a higher entity This apparently on the basis of the thesis nihil reducitur de potentia ad actum nisi per ens actu nothing can be led from potency to act unless by being in act What is implicitly assumed here is that complexity is something like a conserved quantity in virtue of which it cannot increase The study of dynamical systems however leads to a different conclusion Complexity can be generated from simplicity and also degraded again taking place within the phenotypical domain of dynamical systems As I will explain in the course of the investigation the dynamical law of a dynamical system represent its genotypical domain while the generated states represent the phenotypical domain of that dynamical system In the days of works like the one of HOLLAK 1963 See Van MELSEN p 168 note 1 complexity generating dynamical systems did not yet enjoy such a popularity as they do today They were however known like the works of TURING and of Von NEUMANN demonstrate Hence the status quaestionis relating to the study of the generation of intrinsic Totalities in the ontogenetic also in an inorganic sense as well as in the phylogenetic dimension of those days evaluated in terms of the Substance Accident Metaphysics misses this study the study of complexity generating dynamical systems In my investigation they will be dealt with extensively models as well as real systems like the presently intensively studied dissipative systems These systems have in virtue of the versatile nature of their chemistry in the sense of for example the superastronomical number of possible combinations accompanied by the inclination to self organization of physical matter an enormous potential which can develop in different directions everywhere in the Universe resulting in a formidable diversity of designs Which on Earth is already demonstrated in the Cambrian Explosion NOTE 1 with its many experimental organic designs making it improbable that Man would represent something like a culmination of development Being shackled on our planet somewhere in a corner of the Galaxy one out of the billions brings with it a provincialism which however we should try albeit speculatively i e with an open mind to transcend and put into perspective The possibilities of often disdainfully considered physical matter are enormous That is convincingly demonstrated by the study of dynamical systems and of organisms The present studies of dynamical systems aimed at features of Man like for instance artificial neural networks follow within the framework of Natural Science a bottom up approach which among other things means that no functions are explicitly preprogrammed But this does not imply that concerning Man the specific human features are neglected The investigation into Artificial Intelligence and also say paleontological research concerning Man prove also in 1964 the contrary to which the different sciences of Man can contribute a lot if only to provisionally specify the object Man to be investigated suggesting a direction to take in the bottom up research This bottom up research should study mechanisms s l that generate high level phenomena established and expressed by the sciences of Man i e letting them pop up from the bottom lower level without them having explicitly preprogrammed If we as supposed investigators within the framework of the sciences of Man insofar as they are aimed at an insight in Man as such and not exclusively concerned with the solving of special social and psychological problematic situations hold on to the view that Man is existing freely self present and free then we cannot in fact speak of a genuine investigation in the sense just given going on in these sciences NOTE 2 because precisely those intuitive notions should be investigated and analysed So it is to be investigated not only in what way a term like existing freely is de facto used but also whether it can be de jure used which boils down to an inquiry what existing freely really and primarily means and should mean With it one should indicate in what the meaning of this term differs from that of the term not existing freely All this should be done in an ontological context In such an inquiry the possibility of these notions having an illusory nature in the mentioned context must be taken into account Such illusions are of course important for living our daily lives in fact for our daily survival efforts and thus having in such a context not an illusory nature The sciences of Man refer to high level phenomena and should according to me insofar as they are theorizing things try to integrate themselves with the bottom up investigations conducted by Natural Science Only from such an unrestrained integration a suitable concept of Man will emerge and for the benefit of the Substance Accident Metaphysics a suitable concept of a human individual as intrinsic Totality dynamically connected with its intraspecific and extraspecific environment In all this the specifically human features will surely not be neglected One will find out what kind of Substance in the metaphysical sense a human being really is and in what way it differs from the other kinds of Substance as a result of which the development of a wholly unrestricted universal Substance Accident Metaphysics is nevertheless possible Also Van MELSEN thinks that such an integration or at least a cooperation between the sciences of Man on the one hand and Natural Science on the other must take place He even says p 194 All in all we would therefore not want to conclude that a breakthrough in the sciences of Man is not of the greatest significance nor that the method of the sciences of Man will not show essential differences with those of Natural Science but we would want to conclude that the breakthrough in the sciences of Man will necessarily have to wait for that of Natural Science But later he adds We should afterall always be mindful that an understanding of the material and vital functions of our mental life presupposes the knowledge of this mental life especially insofar as its empirical aspects are taken into account So far so good as long as the knowledge of this mental life present in the sciences of Man is not assessed as knowledge of principles After having considered a number of general items with respect to the present STATUS QUAESTIONIS in which the explicit involvement of Man in the investigation about Substance and Accident was discussed namely what Man is as real being within the total of real beings and in which a fundamental shortcoming is signalled we will now focus our attention to work on Substance and Accident as it is laid down in investigations in which data of Natural Science are constitutively involved It concerns works in which unfortunately Man because of his alleged special status is almost entirely left out of consideration which is already expressed by the titles of those works Natuurfilosofie Van MELSEN 1955 and Philosophie der Anorganische Natuur HOENEN 1947 In the latter work also all other organisms are not considered presumably also because of their special status I will briefly expound some results of these works concerning Substance followed by an account of some of their findings about Accidents It is certainly not meant as an extensive review of these works but a consideration of just some important points in order to indicate from about where my own investigation got started Natuurfilosofie Van MELSEN Species Individuum Structure of beings At the basis of this book lies the Species Individuum Structure found by Van MELSEN According to Van MELSEN Natural Science presupposes that every real being always behaves and because of that is what it is in accordance with its intrinsic nature allowing for the method of Induction in Natural Science The behavior should be exactly repeatable under the same conditions i e repeatable from one individual case to another resulting in the possibility of a generalization of say a conclusion from a certain experiment If this were not the case then to do Natural Science would be impossible In accordance with this material beings must each for themselves consist of two fundamental entities parts A individuum part and a species part These are not parts in the usual sense but something like principles making up a thing i e causing something to be a thing at all Van MELSEN does not consider the at least logical possibility that such a repetition could be in all cases less exact in reality but nevertheless remaining wholly within the margins of uncertainty of the scientific observation methods resulting first of all in the fact that such deviations of exact repetitions would not be detected and secondly that to do Natural Science would still be possible because induction itself is still possible This Species Individuum Structure in virtue of which every real being can exactly repeat itself specifically in many individual cases is by Van MELSEN directly related to the Form Matter Structure of the Aristotelian metaphysics In my investigation I will often refer to this Species Individuum Structure of every real being Substance A Substance is according to Van MELSEN an ontologically subsistent intrinsic unity However he points to the fact pp 150 that Nature i e Reality shows gradual transitions between a true aggregate and a true individual unity or expressed differently between an accidental unity of for instance a heap of stones and the much more essential unity of a single crystal The distance between both aforementioned cases of unities can gradually be bridged by things like a lump of earth a piece of cement a brick and several crystals melted together It is difficult to see where the accidental unity illustrated by a heap of stones ends and where something like a substantial unity illustrated by a crystal begins Also the distinction between the chemical bond and physical adhesion presently as he says turns out not to be a sharp distinction because firstly there are intermediate forms between these two and which is even more important because recent Natural Science reduces the forces of chemical bonding finally to physical forces So there is no essential difference anymore Van MELSEN discusses all this in the context of the opposition between Mechanicism and Hylemorphism the aristotelian holistic conception of real beings in terms of his Matter Form Structure of things According to Mechanicism there are things like ultimate particles which differ little from each other particles which each for themselves are already complete material things These particles are permanent Larger wholes just consist of all kinds of configurations of those particles This mechanicistic atomism can indeed account for random aggregates but not for the clear presence in Nature of tendencies to form constant patterns To be able to account for this too little qualitative properties are attributed to these particles and moreover they are unchangeable For true versatile pattern formation to be possible the particles the elements of a system should possess assimilation properties by which they changed in the process can enter the larger newly generated whole the new pattern Immediately connected with the generation of constant patterns is the formation of true individuals Van MELSEN discusses them from p 166 An individual should have the following property A natural cohesion continuity in time and space Van MELSEN concludes that this being an individual in accordance with being a substantial subsistent is gradual in its nature p 167 The fact that an increasing uncertainty appears when descending along the line from higher animals to non living things can also be an indication that the concept of individual is losing little by little its meaning It is perfectly imaginable that nature itself attributes to the formula natural cohesion in time and space a gradually decreasing meaning Not without reason is natural derived from nature Further he writes At the level of being a human and also still at that of the higher animals nature shows such natural cohesions that to be an individual at these levels indeed means something The natural coherence of the parts is caused by a nature human or animal species which is totally directed to give the individually existing being a clear individuality an individuality with a clearly expressed pattern of organization characterizing the individual concerned as an individual of a definite species We encounter something like self sustenance of the whole to which all parts are subordinated In lower animals and plants we can still find something of this marked individuality but indeed in a much more low level way In non living material we still find to be sure natural cohesion in time and space but it seems as if nature is no longer interested anymore in keeping a certain organizational pattern pure nor in mutually separating individuals This theme is worked out further in my investigation The problems of the phenomenon of being a Totality thus of being intrinsically one possessing one Essence and the problem of that Essence being individuated can come closer to a solution if we assess them in the context of Totality generating dynamical systems They are however not explicitly dealt with by Van MELSEN Having briefly reviewed the phenomenon of being a Substance according to Van MELSEN we will now turn to his view about some Accidents namely Quantity and Quality On page 181 he writes The concept of quantity is one of our very first and most fundamental concepts therefore it is impossible to give a strict definition of it Within it we can distinguish between discrete and continuous Quantity Quantity is described by Van MELSEN as number as space as motion and as time Such a general inquiry concerning Quantity I did not undertake because in my investigation the individual Totality the intrinsically determined thing is central In it Quantity is one of the determinations of such a Totality Such quantitative determinations are of course closely related to first of all space i e the spatial With respect to Quality he discusses pp 247 the problem of the possible complete reduction of Quality to Quantity Although we must undoubtedly speak of a certain reduction of the qualitative to the quantitative taking place in Natural Science it would be incorrect to immediately decide that it concerns a complete reduction So differences in color are indeed expressed in Natural Science by means of differences in the value of certain physical magnitudes like wavelength and amplitude but this does not imply that it concerns purely quantitative magnitudes After all the magnitudes which figure in the formulas by which the colors and their properties are represented are not purely mathematical entities They refer explicitly to certain material dispositions These dispositions relate to observation Van MELSEN writes on page 249 If we use the term quantitative in a strict sense then it is immediately clear that in an exclusively quantitative material world not any observation or measurement is possible Observation and measurement thus require qualitative differences because they at least require a difference in intensity of a certain quality and also this is a qualitative difference It follows that Natural Science as being an empirical science presupposes that material entities are more than pure quantity An empirical science presupposes in material entities a factor which makes the quantitative relations observable and it is this factor which we call the qualitative Van MELSEN then proceeds with the relation which exists between Quantity and Quality Among other things he concludes the follwing p 253 The Accident is nothing else than a further determination of Substance Therefore the duality in the domain of the substantial must also be extended into the domain of the accidental In this latter domain the duality becomes knowable as the distintion between quantity and quality The distinction is real but it does not mean a separation just as little as the distinction between matter and form means a separation Quantity and quality thus are united as intimately as possible The philosophy as presented here by Van MELSEN concerning the material world is a theory of Being It deals with the way of being of things and events of space time quantity quality etc They are studied here insofar as they are contained in the presuppositions of Natural Science These presuppositions tell us something about the fundamental ontological principles of observable reality In the next work to be reviewed briefly namely Philosophie der Anorganische Natuur by HOENEN 1947 the ways of being of things and of their determinations dealt with by Classical Metaphysics are considered too but this time in the context of the results in contrast with presuppositions of Natural Science It is attempted to consider these scientific results as specifications of the Aristotelian Thomistic Metaphysics or in other words it is attemted to demonstrate that the Aristotelian Thomistic Substance Accident Metaphysics is still valid in the light of modern 1947 data from Natural Science The consideration limits itself however to inorganic beings For our purposes most important is his exposition of intrinsic Totalities as or recognizable by totality resultants of certain mixta for example chemical compounds in contradistinction to aggregation resultants of other mixta yet again Very significant is the way of being of the elements in those mixta The discussion in HOENEN boils down to what we nowadays would call a reductionism holism discussion If there exist true macroscopic Substances in the sense of intrinsic Totalities then according to Classical Metaphysics it follows that they each for themselves always possess only one substantial form This implies that the elements composing such a Totality cannot be present actually because then there would be more than one differing specifically substantial form So a crystal of common salt for example which is composed of the chemical elements Sodium and Chlorine would at least possess two substantial forms HOENEN attempts to solve this problem by demonstrating that the elements in such a mixtum perfectum

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  • THING per se, thing per accidens
    metamorphic rocks are shown These are formed by recrystallisation of basic volcanic rocks We can clearly see that such rocks are aggregates of crystals After Williams Turner and Gilbert 1954 PETROGRAPHY An introduction to the study of rocks in thin sections Figure 3 Miscellaneous Sandstones The rock slices shown are of sedimentary rocks A sediment is an aggregate of rock grains grains which could have come from anywhere So this is an aggregate in a much stronger sense than the above rock type Fig 2 that originated in one locality After Williams et al See figure 2 An Astroid named Eros encountered by a NASA spacecraft Eros is consisting of the minerals Pyroxene and Olivine both common in and on the Earth Eros is a space boulder 21 by 8 by 8 miles in size that orbits the sun It currently is about 160 million miles from Earth It is a typical Aggregate but it does not seem to be just a rubble pile like Mathilde the large astroid NEAR Near Earth Astroid Rendezvous mission passed and photographed in 1997 From NASA published on the Internet February 2000 Who wants to know more about Eros click here Figure 4 Graphic granite Hybla Ontario Quartz dark Microcline light Here we also see an aggregate but the constituents are inclined to form something like a pattern So such a rock is a little further away from being a pure aggregate and tends to be an intrinsic unity After Hurlbut Klein 1977 Manual of Mineralogy Figure 5 Scanning electron micrograph of an OPAL with chalky appearance showing hexagonal packing of silica spheres diameter of spheres approximately 3000 Angstrom 1 Angstrom 0 00000001 cm Because of the weak bonding between the spheres they are completely intact Here we have an example of an aggregate

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  • Theory of Knowledge
    This corresponds with the modern ideal of Science The setting up of an abstract formal often written in mathematical language system that is a model for a piece of reality the model imitates a piece of reality With the aid of such an abstract but now interpreted i e supplied with some meaning system one can make predictions which can be verified or falsified by observations or experiments This nominalistic view about the nature of knowledge a view that continues to be held even in our days contains according to me a number of weak points Mathematical patterns must according to me enjoy some sort of objective existence Nowadays one indeed investigates many mathematical structures in an empirical manner with the aid of a computer One then finds details which were not predictable from the underlying algorithm a set of rules to compute something One has to await the unfolding calculations and see what happens The workings of such mathematical algorithms rests on the nature of numbers and this in turn rests on counting and this latter is not an artificial mental construction Mathematical patterns thus seem to be independent of our thinking i e their content and quality is independent of the content and quality of our thinking and in this sense they are extramental but they are NOT individual We cannot for instance distinguish between several individual Mandelbrot sets corresponding to the same formula The Mandelbrot set is a specific complicated set of points generated by a simple mathematical formula Thus there are indeed non individual and consequently abstract patterns features which exist outside the mind Cognitive contact with such structures is accomplished by mentally re constructing those structures Nominalism holds that Science is about propositions and terms i e that propositions and terms are the things known Science then is about extramental things only in the sense insofar as these propositions and terms stand for extramental things In what way this standing for is accomplished remains a mystery for Nominalism See NOTE 2 What is certain is that with this view objective knowledge of extramental things is NOT in any way founded Knowledge in this view must focus itself on its logical instruments the mental equivalents of propositions and terms and this is supposed to be the type of knowledge that Science produces But how do we proceed from the knowledge of the instruments of knowledge to knowledge of things To say that the former stand for the latter is far from a satisfying answer Nominalism shifts that what is known FROM the extramental things where it should belong TO the mental logical instruments of knowledge and this leads inevitably to either an idealistic view of knowledge like we see well elaborated in the works of KANT or a positivistic view of knowledge in this latter view it is held that Science consists solely of a set of empirically verifiable propositions without thereby imposing as done by KANT a priori structures onto Reality Within Positivism we accordingly see much emphasis on logical analysis But IF we can legitimately assume the PRESENCE of mathematical structures which we can interpret as extramentally existing as well as the presence of possible other abstract features IN the extramental world as such residing in concrete things THEN Science is able with the aid of its general conceps now in the form and function of first intentions to directly reach intend the extramental world and consequently know That the assumption of the presence in the extramental material world BOTH of potentially abstract i e general features which consequently can be abstracted from a multitude of individual things AND the presence of concrete things in that same world is a legitimate assumption can be illustrated by a consideration of the interdependence of MOTIF and BACKGROUND in whatever world Let me expound this in NOTE 3 So the motif presence of abstract able entities demands its background the presence of concrete entities And because of this direct cognitive contact by means of concepts with the things to be known is possible But one could while admitting the presence of both mentioned types of entities assert or assume that each type resides in a separate domain Our cognitive mental instruments the manipulation of concepts and propositions and the results of these manipulations knowledge could then exclusively reside in one domain while the things to be known reside in the other domain Seen in this way we arrive at a nominalistic view of knowledge despite the application of the Principle of the Coexistence of Motif and Background This however is only seemingly so If we apply the just mentioned Principle then we must admit that we are talking about one and the same world after all because presence of both Motif and Background implies one world in which they are present This means that the extramental world is not ontologically different from the mental world We only distinguish between the two when knowledge is involved in the sense that we can say that we have knowledge of things other than ourselves Analysis of the Realistic View of Knowledge A Realistic View of Knowledge can be summarized in two statements Extramental things do indeed happen to EXIST They exist independently with respect of being thought about and independently of being known This we can conclude from the way we experience things We experience effects coming in from outside effects on our senses These actions from outside DO something with our senses they AFFECT our sensory organs These actions can even be such that they are threatening our individual existence Direct sunlight for example will destroy our eyes Because of these phenomena we are convinced of the existence of an objective outside world independent of us In principle we are able to KNOW these objective things AS THEY ARE IN THEMSELVES be it difficult sometimes and accompanied with errors But the very possibility of making errors and the ability to restore them is a strong indication of the existence

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  • Substance and Accident
    a scheme of basic predicates and every predicate signifies something in the real world about the first substance the individual thing which we can denote here as the Subject Letting this internal structure come out let s look at a more detailed version of this scheme of basic predicates THE PREDICATE SIGNIFIES in the most general fashion The Essence of the Subject This Essence is the SECOND SUBSTANCE Not the Essence of the Subject but something else Such predicates are Accidents Something in the subject In an absolute sense Delimitation of Matter Matter is one of the two principles of the Essence the other one is Form This delimitation is in fact a fenotypical manifestation of Matter and can be denoted as QUANTITY Fenotypical manifestation of the Form Form manifests itself as a configuration and such a configuration can be denoted as QUALITY In a relative sense co involving something else Such a predicate can be denoted as RELATION Points to something else lying outside the Subject But only partially so Whereby the Subject is the starting term Such a predicate can be denoted by ACTION Of which action the Subject is the end term Such a predicate can be denoted by PASSION Pointing to something else totally so But in such a way that that something else contains in it the Subject The subject is situated in that something else This something else is an extrinsic measure of the subject As far as the Subject is liable to spatial change Intrinsic according to the ordered dispersion of integral parts of the Subject and thus its variable interior orientation The corresponding predicate can be denoted as ORIENTATION Extrinsic That means in relation with surrounding objects Location The corresponding predicate can be denoted as PLACE The place of a thing is the totality of its immediate surroundings As far as the Subject is liable to change according to time The corresponding predicate can be denoted as THE POINT IN TIME No measure whatsoever of the Subject but an outfit of the subject The corresponding predicate can be denoted as HABIT The given characterizations of these fundamental predicates categories remember that they cannot be defined only cicumscribed are of course in need of further explication and moreover cannot count as once and for all settled We shall elaborate om them further Second Substance and its relation with First Substance has already been treated in the Essay on Being and Essence back to contents Quantity Quantity is first and foremost extension i e contiguous or continuous quantity See for a treatment of the contiguum and continuum Reductionism versus Holism We can also call it dimensive quantity i e quantity having dimensions Continuous quantity can be devided and will then give rise to discrete quantity the product of such a division is a contiguum The division gives rise to parts and those parts can be numbered and counted So we might be tempted to state the following Every uniform thing extends itself in space and time and is spatially divided from other such things because they occupy different positions in space itself a continuous quantity But this is not quite correct because it gives the impression that Space is somehow given and even first given But space is a derived concept The idea of space is derived from our observation that things are spatial things are themselves extended So space is not some sort of pre existing recipient which gives room for things to be placed in So our basic notion of continuous quantity is not space but extension of a thing Extension cannot exist by it self but always is extension of something When we abstract from that something then we have pure extension which is the subject of geometry or more generally of mathematics Limiting ourselves to the study of the material world we always have to do with an ens extensum i e an extended being The latin word ens means a being and the latin word extensum means spatial extended In fact the concept of spatial is to narrow because a thing can also be temporally extended We must not say extended in time so extended renders extensum best But here we are most concerned with spatial extension Can we define the ens extensum Let s give it a try Something that has parts lying outside each other That sounds nice But extension extended extensum is already presupposed in the notion of lying outside so we try to define ens extensum with something that is extended extensum and that is obviously not a very informative definition It is better called a circumscription stating the meaning of the word ens extensum We can try other definitions but we will find out that we cannot discover a more basic concept Extension of things is something primarily given Quantity penetrates all material things even in their qualitative aspects For example a color which we can interpret as being a certain quality is not only a color of a thing with extension because of which the color also has be it in an accidental way extension a color also has intensity Intensity has a special quantitative aspect different from pure extension Every uniform thing is quantified but the actual quantitative determinations are different among different things Such a determination can belong either inseparably to the thing in question in that case we say that it belongs per se to the thing or it does not belong inseparably to the thing in question in that case we say that it belongs to the thing per accidens Let me give an example The values of the angles and thus a quantity between the faces of a crystal of a certain sort do not change they are constant i e they form a constant pattern among the individuals of the sort in question On the other hand we can see that the magnitude of a crystal which we could express in terms of its volume and which

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  • Determinations of a Substance 1
    an Essence can be repeated over several instances which means that a same Essence can be copied i e the dynamical law can start to operate also at other definite localities and this is possible because of the matter In the Real World the matter always has terminated i e determined dimensions The Essence is already real when matter considered just as quantified i e extended thus not considering any determination of that extendedness is present The Essence moreover becomes individual when we consider the matter as signified i e standing under terminated dimensions But those terminations must be allowed to vary within certain limits and in this way guaranteeing the numerical unity of an individual during its time of existence The Totality and its determinations When we inspect a generated uniform thing a Totality we see PARTS and DETERMINATIONS For example when we look at an organism we see all kinds of anatomical parts like organs and limbs but we also see determinations like magnitude figure and color In the same way when we look at a crystal we can with the use of sophisticated instruments infer that they consist of parts and without such instruments we can also observe certain determinations such as luster color hardness magnitude and figure Everything we see in and on such a thing we can interpret either as a part of that thing or as a determination of that thing We don t see the Essence This is of course because the Essence forma totius is abiding in the genotypical domain not in the phenotypical domain And if we interpret the parts of the thing also as determinations of the thing then we can say that when we look at the thing we ONLY see determinations of the thing We also understand that a determination cannot exist by itself but only by virtue of that something of which it is a determination In Philosophy it is expressed as follows An accident in the metaphysical sense cannot exist by itself but only when it is received in a subject One identifies this subject as the individualized essence of the thing And this subject because it is not a determination should have just an implicit existence and when it is indeed seen as the Essence of the given Totality and thus its cause we obtain a second reason for it to have just an implicit existence because all what is explicitly and actually present in the Totality is caused by the corresponding dynamical system or in other words all what is present in the Totality is an effect of the concrete dynamical law the forma totius and so is caused by the Essence In fact also Classical Substance Accident Metaphysics did ascribe a causal nature to the Substantial Form and with it to the forma totius And the Substantial Form is often identified with the Essence The Essence especially the Substantial Form is the formal principle while matter is the material principle of the thing and so the forma totius is also the principle the Essence of the thing The forma totius is the formal principle of a material thing that s why matter taken in itself is the material principle And a principle has an abstract existence and is not as such observable This is also the case as we saw earlier with our dynamical law of the dynamical system that generated the thing in question and indeed it is the Essence of the thing But because the only features we actually see or can make in some way sensible are determinations when we interpret the parts also as determinations of the thing and because we also know that a determination in itself i e on its own accord cannot exist we ought to conclude that we would not see anything at all when we look at the thing the Totality But because we DO see all kinds of features in and on the thing we must conclude that only a COMPLETE COLLECTION OF ALL THE TYPES OF DETERMINATIONS is able to exist by itself while a single determination or an incomplete collection cannot When this is correct we could interpret the collection of all the types of determination as the SUBJECT of whatever determination belonging to that collection and this collection is caused so although it is a subject it is not the Essence of the thing So that collection is the carrier or substrate of whatever single determination belonging to that collection This collection can exist by itself only when it is a collection of determinations representing EVERY TYPE of determination associated with and demanded by the Real World in contradistinction to the Ideal World See for these Worlds the Essay on The Universal This needs one further precision Because the Essence is immanent in the elements of the dynamical system that has generated the thing the Totality it is also immanent in the elements of the Totality and so immanent in the Totality itself and thus immanent in the subject So the very SUBJECT of every single determination of the Totality is The complete collection of these determinations the Essence the Essence being only implicitly present in that subject the prime matter See next Remark and one may add to the characterization of the subject minus that single determination of which we conceive its substrate And thus the subject so conceived is the carrier of that particular determination Remark The just mentioned prime matter is as a potentially existing ultimate substrate a principle of the possibility of radical change and a principle of individuation This however needs some further qualification Elsewhere in the present Series of Essays See the Essay on Mereotopology of Reality we discussed Substance within a more or less formal mereotopological approach based on an article by SMITH B 1997 There we spoke about the CARRIER ONLY which is supposed to be the SUBJECT of the determinations and we tried to assess that carrier only i e we attempted to determine the exact content of the concept CARRIER ONLY and obtained a somewhat different result different from that what is stated above about the SUBJECT The carrier only does not involve entities that are one sidedly specifically dependent on it Such entities Accidents are conceptually removed from a full fledged Mereo totality a Substance in the broadest sense including non scattered aggregates resulting in the carrier only But we found out that not all such entities can be removed without destroying the specific identity of the Mereo totality The only entities that can be so removed are the occurrent entities i e the replaceable determinations Accidents like being tanned by the summer sun In the present context these removable entities are the extrinsic determinations as well as the intrinsic per accidens determinations The determinations that should remain i e that should not be removed are completely specified individual determinations that are necessary for the content of the Mereo totality s specific identity but also every necessary sequence of determinations although the particular determinations composing such a necessary sequence are replaced by others successively belonging to such a sequence they cannot be removed because the sequence as a whole is ex hypothesi necessary in constituting the Mereo totality s phenotypical specific identity For the full fledged Mereo totality to actually be able to exist it must involve a complete set of types of determinations intrinsic and extrinsic After removal of the replaceable determinations but not of those that belong to a necessary sequence we are left with the CARRIER ONLY So this carrier only is still determined It is determined by the ESSENTIAL PARTS of the Mereo totality and moreover these parts represent the only determinations of that carrier only In the present discussion on the other hand we found out that the SUBJECT is subject with respect to one or several determinations for which it is the subject It is identical to the whole Mereo totality minus those particular determinations and thus still containing in addition to the non replaceable determinations some replaceable determinations But it is also possible to assess the SUBJECT the carrier only in an absolute way as we did in the mereotopological discussion When we consider all replaceable determinations Accidents simultaneously to be involved in a dynamics of replacement we finally will obtain the genuine CARRIER ONLY subject just like that i e in an absolute sense after we have removed those determinations And this genuine carrier only the genuine subject in an absolute sense is as we found out in the mereotopological discussion identical to the HISTORICAL individual The individual taken in its whole time span of existence contains in addition to its essential determinations other determinations that are not fully specified because they vary during the individual s existence and that is equivalent to their being removed What is left is indeed the carrier only The complete set of types of determinations mentioned earlier is as we found out in the mereotopological discussion not the carrier only or subject in an absolute sense but only in a relative sense namely with respect to one or another single determination or a few such determinations when viewed without these particular determinations It i e the mentioned set is just a general precondition for the Mereo totality to exist Determinations are always determinations of something else Parts of a subsistent being can also be interpreted as determinations Everything that ontologically comes after the prime matter of such a being can be seen as a determination including the essential parts They are determinations of the prime matter The latter is the ultimate substrate the ultimate subject But as such the substrate for any possible content Further down we will discuss how to interpret parts as determinations The Relation between the Determinations and the Essence Most determinations are generated by the dynamical law Some others are extrinsic they originate from outside the Totality especially from outside the dynamical system Because of this we can detect various relationships between determinations of the Totality on the one hand and the Essence the dynamical law of the Totality on the other So we can categorize the determinations as follows DETERMINATIONS Extrinsic Determinations Intrinsic Determinations Examples of extrinsic determinations Point in time Place Thermodynamic conditions Intrinsic Determinations show two types per se determinations property s str per accidens determinations A per se determination property is constant in time during the existence of the Totality Some examples a Angles of crystals See the Essay on Crystals b The chemical structure of the DNA c All intrinsic capacities powers abilities of an organism that are not stadium dependent Such a determination is in its entirety generated by the Essence i e by the dynamical law It is co existent with the Essence An intrinsic but in spite of that per accidens determination can alternate with the alterations of environmental factors external agents or can alternate with the alternation of the states stadia of the Totality or with both Such a determination is partly generated by the Essence partly by external agents Examples The outer form figure of a crystal is dependent on the environment in which the crystal grows as well as on the growing state stadium of development of the crystal and with it on the crystal s Essence The term outer form is in fact an abstract term i e it does not signify a concrete item In the present context we must always have in mind one or another of its concretizations for example tetrahedral The predication expressing this outer form then goes like this This crystal IS tetrahedrical is tetrahedrically formed The outer form figure shape of an organism generally is almost entirely dependent on the growing state stadium of development of that organism This is very clear in the case of those organisms which during their individual development undergo a metamorphosis as is the case for some Insects and the Amphibians Insofar as a determination is dependent on the growing state system state Totality state it is to be sure related to the point in time of observation which is per accidens but because the growing states succeed each other according to the dynamical law the per accidens status of such a determination is not absolute Each form figure in the developmental succession is as such dependent on the organism s Essence anyway But also in organisms like in crystals the form can undergo changes because of environmental factors like we see for example in Diatoms siliceous unicellular algae In fresh water species the form figure shape can undergo definite changes when the salinity of the water increases The nature of such changes is however often species specific Still stronger per accidens because less specific is a determination like tanned caused by the sun as a determination of say Socrates Here we have to do with a stadium independent but environmentally dependent intrinsic per accidens determination intrinsic because it is HIS i e Socrates reaction with sunlight per accidens because he is not tanned during all of his life and moreover because tanning is not specific for Socrates as representing a certain species of Substance Concerning because it is HIS reaction with sunlight the following remark could be useful Socrates body possesses certain chemical configurations which react with sunlight in a specific way These constant chemical configurations making the tanning of the skin possible are themselves per se determinations of Socrates although they are not unique for Socrates Extrinsic determinations like Point in time or Place always are with respect to the Essence of a Totality per accidens and moreover in an absolute sense Every determination which varies in time is a per accidens determination because such a determination is a function of time and varies with the point in time of observation or contemplation of the Totality by an observer And a point in time is itself a per accidens determination because it is an extrinsic determination All these types of determinations together form the Totality Each determination for itself i e on its own accord is not a complete being but taken together they ARE the Totality and this Totality has an Essence which is inherent and implicit in that Totality But this described composition is not to be understood as a physical construction but as an ontological state of affairs which means the establishment of the intrinsic principles of being which cause something to be a Totality and the establishment of extrinsic general preconditions for it to exist at all It is a metaphysical construction a metaphysical constitution Each determination for itself is accordingly a determination of the Totality The Totality and thus implying all its determinations can be interpreted as a phenotypical explicitation or manifestation of the Essence i e of the dynamical law which itself is only genotypical or implicit Physical and Metaphysical approach to the question regarding the Totality and regarding the Determinations of that Totality In the Essay on The Mixtum and its Elements we discussed the status of the constituents of a Totality Are those constituents actually existing in the Totality or only virtually so We shall try to answer this question in what follows In a physical approach the emphasis is on concrete parts and their interactions In such an approach the Totality i e the individual being does not claim a central position in the considerations In physical considerations the emphasis is on lawful processes at the macroscopic microscopic and submicroscopical levels between the elements parts of whatever Totality but also between those elements and external agents factors whereby one does not explicitly discriminate between internal interactions and interactions with the environment to be sure one does dicriminate between those interactions but the main reason for doing so is just to identify the interactions concerned The World is conceived as a historically evolved and continually evolving including inorganic or cosmic evolution as well as organic NETWORK OF INTERACTIONS interactions between matter and radiation transformations of one energy type into another chemical interactions between molecules and on a larger scale the processes governed by gravitational forces which only become significant with respect to large masses which lead to the formation of galaxies stars and planets In Biology one is it is true more explicitly concerned with Totalities but these are always understood in an evolutionary and ecological context in which all possible processes take place in organisms between organisms among themselves and between organisms and their abiotic environment In such a context the organism is inseparable from its evolutionary past and from its ecological entanglement and integration with biotic and abiotic factors And this in such a way that there is no sharp boundary between an organism and its environment because in the form of strong metabolic interactions energy and matter continuously flow in and out of the organism forcing the organism continuously to be a process state and so causing it sometimes to show more resemblance with an organ functioning in the ecosystem In a metaphysical approach an approach from a theory of Being individual Beings insofar as they are beings occupy a central position specifically real full fledged beings and thus individuals Such a real being is an individual intrinsic Totality of elements This in contradistinction to an Aggregate of elements An Aggregate is a collection of concrete actual existing elements elements which are put together mainly by extrinsic agents extrinsic with respect to that collection They do not form repeatable PATTERNS Aggregates are fragments of large r dynamical systems The collection of elements present in an Aggregate does not form a dynamical system but only a fragment of such a system and so does not imply an actual dynamical law Hence an Aggregate has no Essence NOTE 1 A real individual intrinsic complete being on the other hand that is the subject of metaphysics has an Essence and particularly it has ONE Essence and therefore it is ONE being This aspect of one ness is the focus of a metaphysical approach So in what way must DETERMINATIONS be interpreted in a physical context and in what way in a metaphysical context Determination as Interaction PHYSICAL CONTEXT Some determinations can be interpreted as an interaction of the Totality or parts of it with agents outside that Totality Other determinations can be interpreted as one or another interaction between the parts of the Totality among each other A color say RED is considered from the position of the observing human subject a quale generated by our visual neurological apparatus normally as a result of the action emanating from some object outside the mind Considered from the position of the Totality which is observed RED must be taken as a lawful i e regular interaction of the Totality or parts thereof with light We then observe that the Totality in question is red We can also say that RED considered from the position of the Totality is a reaction of the Totality when it is subjected to light that strikes that Totality Light is electromagnetic radiation comprising a certain range of wavelengths In this reaction this process absorption emission scattering and interference of light play a role The determination RED thus is an interaction attributed to the Totality an interaction with light With it as far as the Totality itself is concerned special concrete elements of structure belonging to the overall structure of the Totality play a role Thus in a physical context it is said with respect to the attribution of RED to the Totality that the Totality HAS those elements of structure i e HAS certain material configurations and that these enter into an interaction with light in a special way These structural elements configurations themselves are in many cases constantly present in the Totality and belong to the determinations as part which shall be treated of below The interactions of those structural elements with light can produce different results dependent on the pool of wavelengths actually present in that light A red colored Totality will not look red when the light that strikes that Totality does not contain red i e does not contain certain wavelengths And so the determination as interaction can vary and so is per accidens while the mentioned structural elements of the Totality when they are a constant possession of the Totality are per se determinations Generally taken the determinations as interaction together with their underlying structural elements of the Totality already foreshadow possible dynamical laws which could generate new Totalities in and by dynamical systems in which the Totality in question could figure as a system element together with other Totalities It is clear that during this interaction a concrete process is taking place The physical consideration with respect to the attribution of RED to a Totality or to a part thereof thus consists of the description of an interaction METAPHYSICAL CONTEXT But because an interaction taken all by itself i e as such is not a complete being it is not some ONE existing intrinsically patterned thing but an interaction OF more than one thing it is necessary that a metaphysical approach with respect to the attribution of a determination to a Totality say an attribution of RED expresses this fact Said differently in a metaphysical context it must be expressed in a metaphysically justifiable predication Such a predication attributing to the Totality T the determination RED accordingly must look like this This T IS red By this way of predication it becomes clear i e it is well expressed that that which is signified we shall call this the significatum of by the term RED is not a complete being Only the term T signifies a complete being namely the Totality T But because an interaction nevertheless is real a real event it is NOT just a not being it is only an incomplete being a weakend being The predication This T IS red precisely reflects the analogy of being the term signifying an incomplete being namely RED is predicated of the term signifying a complete being namely the Totality T Analogy of being means that say a property is in fact not a being it is a being in an analogical comparable sense only Also a potential being like the potential oak which is in the acorn is only a being in an analogical sense meaning it looks like a being because we know it can become such a being Every analogical series is such that its members always refer to a primary instance in which the being or feature in question is fully expressed Aristotle has given a very instructive example some sorts of food are called healthy some actions like taking a walk everyday are called healthy some regions for example up into the mountains are healthy But of course these things actions and regions are not themselves healthy i e they cannot be said to be in a state of health All these things are referring to the health of the human body and only such a body can really be in a state of health So the healthy body is the primary instance of health or healthy If only a certain part of the Totality is red then this part will for a while be considered as if it were a Totality We then obtain the following predication This part of the Totality IS red In the subsection PHYSICAL CONTEXT we identified certain structural elements that can be responsible for the Totality being red So this deternination RED can be traced back to certain parts of the Totality Determination as Part PHYSICAL CONTEXT Some determinations concern the attribution of a certain concrete part to a Totality they thus relate to a concrete part OF the Totality In a physical context such a determination is expressed with the having of that particular part For example in the predication Socrates HAS a nose Here the significatum of that which is signified by the term SOCRATES as well as the significatum of the term NOSE is considered as a thing a being Both terms signify something concrete And because in this physical context one is concerned with two things one cannot say Socrates IS a nose because in this predication only ONE thing is expressed This predication is false because a whole IS not its part METAPHYSICAL CONTEXT When we find ourselves in a metaphysical context then we know that the proposition Socrates HAS a nose nevertheless concerns ONE thing namely one Totality Socrates And this fact must be expressed by a proper proposition when such a proposition wants to be a predication of an incomplete being i e a determination OF a complete being as the subject of such a predication To achieve this we should predicate as follows Socrates IS nosed Remark We also can encounter predications having the same form as the predication Socrates is nosed for example This nose is curved in which NOSE functions as a term signifyng a complete being while in reality a nose is not a complete being The proposition pretends for a while that the term NOSE signifies a complete ontologically independent being Let me explain and analyse all this Here the significatum of the term NOSED is not a concrete part of Socrates but it is WHAT among others Socrates IS Besides nosed there are other predicates also signifying what Socrates is The way of expressing by means of such a predication shows that the proposition refers to only ONE complete being namely Socrates Besides this reference is made to just a dependent determination an incomplete being Socrates being nosed refers it is true to a concrete part of Socrates namely his nose but this part is AS nose i e insofar as it is a nose not ontologically independent because a nose is not an intrinsic Totality The nose is not a product of a special dynamical law and thus it has no Essence Therefore it is considered in itself i e considered apart from the organism only an aggregate an aggregate of molecules This is valid for every part of an organism meaning with part not a fragment but an anatomically distinct part A conceptual or concrete fragment of an organism is not a determination of an organism at all In the case of Crystals though matters are different See for their structure the Essay on Crystals An isolated macroscopic part of a crystal for instance a piece that is broken off or a region of the crystal considered as isolated part is nonetheless a pure complete being This is because every crystal has a periodic structure and that means that it consists of a repetition of a certain microscopical unit the so called unit cell This is a concrete microscopic region that is being repeated periodically along three spatial directions and in this way building up the crystal The unit cell is fully integrated into the framework of the crystal Such a unit cell contains at least one formula unit of the relevant chemical substance and has as such defined the same dimensionality as the crystal lattice itself Also when such a crystalline fragment does not show crystal faces either because of lack of sufficient space to grow in or because of the irregular surface of fragmentation resulting from conceptually or otherwise breaking the crystal into pieces i e resulting from isolating a part piece of the crystal or finally because of the fact that the flat surfaces we sometimes see on a crystal fragment are not genuine crystal faces but cleavage planes the specific and for the crystal species constant angles remain angles between the faces that we can observe in a complete crystal that has grown unimpededly Those angles remain because the possibility of generating faces being directed i e positioned among each other according to those determined angles is already given by and in the periodic structure of the crystal interior In any macroscopic fragment of a crystal the whole structural build up including the angles remains conserved i e is already present The conservation of those specific angles is a consequence of the conservation of the whole specific phenotypic identity of the crystal in any fragment separated from that crystal This identity is The Spacegroup Chemical Composition See the Essay on Crystals mentioned above Characteristic anatomically distinct parts often with diagnostic significance which we encounter in the case of Organisms do not occur in the case of single Crystals Only in crystal twins and the like do they generally occur Isolated macroscopic parts of a single crystal are as has been said complete beings of the same species as the crystal itself When those parts are not isolated they cannot be considered as parts they are fully integrated in the crystal NOTE 2 But conceptually or actually isolated parts of a concrete unit cell that are moreover microscopical parts fragments have each for themselves lost the specific nature of that crystal and are moreover not beings at all unless such a part consists of one individual atom or molecule or when it happened to be precisely one or another chemical formula unit of either the chemical substance represented by the crystal or of another chemical substance in which cases they are specifically other in a metaphysical sense beings namely single atoms or molecules different from the crystal They are except in the cases mentioned not beings because such a fragment of the unit cell has with respect to its own structure the structure of the fragment no relation with one or another special dynamical law which should have generated it Let me explain this A case in which such a part of the unit cell is not a genuine being at all could be the following The unit cell as the repetitional unit of the crystal having by definition the same dimensionality as the crystal lattice itself often comprises half atoms or even quarter atoms i e conceptual fragments of atoms which we can illustrate by the following diagram of a crystal lattice in which we confine ourselves for reasons of clarity to two dimensions only i e to a 2 dimensional crystal lattice and its 2 dimensional unit cell Part of a two dimensional crystal lattice with motifs as such belonging to the Plane Group a Plane Group is the 2 dimensional analogue of a Space Group C2mm The lattice is such that its points occupy the four corners and center of each repeated rectangle Each lattice point is provided with a chemical motif A possible unit cell is indicated yellow Each motif represents the point symmetry of the constituent atoms or atomic groups The unit cell consists of four quarter motifs and one whole motif together making up two whole motifs Such a quarter motif occurring only at the corners of the rectangles could easily contain in addition to some complete atoms a quarter atom i e only one quarter of a certain atom for instance in the case where the motif represents an atomic group with one of its atoms precisely in the center of that motif i e coinciding with a lattice point It is clear that one such a quarter motif taken as a fragment of the unit cell containing a quarter atom i e containing a fragment of an atom cannot be a genuine being See for crystals and crystal lattices the Essay The Structure of Crystals revisited Special Series and also the Essays on the Internal Structure of Crystals Also in the Special Series So what we see is the following Anatomical parts of an Organism like Socrates nose his left leg his right hand etc are not things in themselves but are just aggregates Organs on the other hand especially internal organs show more signs of being things in themselves but because of their strong integration into the whole meaning that they cannot exist outside the organism they can after all not just like that be interpreted as things In the case of single Crystals we saw that there are no anatomical parts Every macroscopical fragment of a crystal IS that same species of Totality but having smaller dimensions But when it comes to Atoms and Molecules then they seem in the case of their being constituents of organisms as well as constituents of crystals to be beings on their own whether they are isolated or not They are generated by dynamical laws of their own and so do not seem to have any ontological relation with the macroscopical Totality i e they do not seem to be ontologically integrated in the Totality So atoms and molecules also when they are not isolated from the Totality seem nonetheless each for themselves to be genuine beings and so Totalities This is why crystals and organisms do not seem to be genuine i e complete or absolute continua They are to be sure closely situated towards the continuum side of the dimension scale Continuum Aggregate but their smallest parts do not seem to be virtual do not seem to exist in a virtual versus actual way They would be virtual if crystals and organisms were absolute continua because an absolute continuum does not have actual parts only potential parts But we must enter a caveat here Discussion concerning the different status of the problem of the ontological assessment of atoms and molecules residing in a Totality compared with such an assessment of anatomical parts of a Totality Actual versus virtual existence of items witin a Totality This last statement about the ontological status of atoms and molecules as constituents of a Totality has the purpose of urging a discussion because our earlier metaphysical considerations point to a virtual way of existing of the parts of a Totality Those parts as parts of a Totality are in such a metaphysical context not a distribution of things in the Totality but a distribution of determinations in the Totality They are only determinations OF that or another Totality OF that or another uniform thing If they were not then the Totality would not be ONE but many and so not a Totality To resolve this problem in a preliminary way we could as indeed we did discriminate between a physical and a metaphysical approach each appropriate in its proper field of inquiry and here we are still concerned with the metaphysical approach And in this approach we must interpret the parts as determinations and so as virtual parts in order to conserve the presupposed unity In the case of Socrates nose it is clear that his nose is not a being a Totality in itself But in the case of atoms and molecules residing in crystals or in organisms this is less clear as has been stated above in spite of the fact that we are also in this case able to transform a proposition about having possessing such and such an atom as a part INTO a proposition that expresses this atom as a determination of that thing that happens to possess that atom Atoms in crystals except in crystals of inert elements like Helium Argon etc and atoms in molecules have it is true lost a part of their independence because they are physically integrated and thereby transformed in the crystal or molecule See for this integration the Essay on The Chemical Bond Molecules in crystals like in the case of ice crystals are not transformed they are just loosely connected to each other But molecules residing in organisms are often physically isolated and thus in a way independently existing as Totalities When we nevertheless ascribe to them a certain dependency a dependency on the organism then this is only a functional dependency like the dependency of individual human beings on certain cultural and political institutions or in other words a dependency on the society as a whole So with respect to atoms and molecules we see especially in the Organism different grades of integration

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  • Determinations of a Substance 2
    certain structures internal and external resulting in a succession of different forms or shapes during individual development These changes can be very radical in the case of animals undergoing a metamorphosis like certain Insects and Amphibians An extreme case is exhibited by the Slime Mold Recall that in this case the organism is represented by a multitude of individually existing amoebae feeding on the forest floor When food becomes scarce they spontaneously aggregate and form one unified body that can move to a new location and in which spores develop that will subsequently be strewn out over larger distances See next Figure All this gives rise to a host of stadium dependent determinations Life cycle of a Slime Mold After BRIGGS J PEAT F Turbulent Mirror 1990 But very prominent in all Organisms is the appearance of capacities i e capacities to perform certain organic functions These capacities appear during the development of the organism To develop a particular capacity the organism must go through a certain number of stages stadia and having done so it now possesses that particular capacity Some capacities disappear again and so are absent in subsequent stages for example the capacity to eat and digest leaves is fully developed when a caterpillar hatches from the egg but is lost again when the butterfly emerges from the chrysalis pupa In this adult stage other capacities have emerged for example the capacity of feeding on nectar from flowers by the butterfly So in this case the capacity of eating and digesting leaves and also the nectar feeding capacity is clearly a stadium dependent capacity and so a stadium dependent determination Many other capacities on the other hand are already developed very early on in the individual history and remain present during the rest of the individual s life But despite of this they are not present in ALL stadia because they weren t present in the very first stadia This is the case for example with the capacity to think with respect to human beings Because such capacities are stadium dependent they are to be sure per accidens with respect to the dynamical law which remains constant but not in an absolute sense because the succession of stages is itself dictated by the dynamical law But when on the other hand a caterpillar is actually eating leaves i e it is eating leaves at a certain moment or interval in time then this activity is per accidens in an absolute sense The caterpillar eats because some appropriate leaves happened to be present at that moment in time Also the act of thinking i e thinking at a certain moment or interval in time is per accidens in an absolute way in contradistinction to the capacity to think Naturally there are also certain capacities which must be present from the very beginning of the individual development of the organism and must moreover remain present during the entire lifetime of that organism because these capacities relate to crucial organic functions without which the organism cannot exist and so these capacities are per se because they are of necessity constantly present they do not just happen to be constantly present It must be realized however that it is generally very hard to determine the very beginning of the Totality i e to determine which system state corresponds with the first appearance of the Totality It is possible to reduce all capacities to certain specific material structures developed in the organism i e to certain parts of the organism So we are concerned with the assessment of the ontological status of these parts or structures and this we have already done in the section Determination as Part And the capacity to develop these structures in turn i e the capacity to develop these capacities IS the dynamical law itself So these parts are functional structures embodying capacities i e making the execution of certain functions such as behavioral patterns possible And the development of such structures is typical for organisms They are absent or at most only present in an analogical way in inorganic beings The Totality and its Determinations Revisited Substance in a stricter sense and thus the Essence receives determinations by way of The reaction of the Totality with external agents The qualities interweaved with quantities exclusively generated by the Essence dynamical law The space time position of the Totality By virtue of 1 2 and 3 the Totality is further determined it was already determined by the dynamical law but this is a determination only on the genotypical level Remark Within the context of the Totality in question the dynamical law is not generated This dynamical law genotypically representing the Totality is further determined by its products the determinations It is further determined because the dynamical law although it is inherent in the elements of the initial condition initial state does not imply a specific initial condition the dynamical law is inherent in a multitude of possible initial conditions And because often different initial conditions result in different dynamics for instance implying a trajectory leading to another attractor given the dynamical law the ensuing dynamics is not totally laid down not totally determined by that dynamical law So when the dynamical law starts to operate the outcome will be codependent on the initial condition actually present and thus the dynamical law will then be further determined Not until the Totality or the dynamical law for that matter i e the Essence is thus further determined it is able to exist in the Real World and not until then it IS a Totality The Essence taken all by itself and thus equivalent to a Totality without further determinations and consequently as such not a Totality after all cannot consequently exist in the Real World It can only have a real existence in the form of one or more concrete Totalities and every such Totality implies a complete set of all the types of determination Such Totalities are there i

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