archive-nl.com » NL » M » METAFYSICA.NL

Total: 972

Choose link from "Titles, links and description words view":

Or switch to "Titles and links view".
  • Classical Metaphysical Theory III Part Two
    for the Philosopher states that things differ in genus if they do not have their matter in common and are not generated out of each other Therefore nothing can bring about diversity in number except diversity of acidents See for this Reply to 2 3 What is found in common in several things different in species is not the cause of diversity in number because the division of a genus into species precedes the division of the species into individuals But matter is found in common in things diverse in species because the same matter is the subject of contrary forms Otherwise things having contrary forms would not be changed into each other Therefore matter is not the principle of diversity in number and neither is form as has been proved So it follows that accidents are the cause of this diversity the same matter which is the bearer i e subject of contrary forms in the same not numerically but with respect to content because it always concerns here an already in formed subject unless we speak about a so called substantial change But also here the same matter does not mean numerically the same but both are pure potency Thus such matter can with respect to content i e just an initial in formation or with respect to being potential be common i e be shared by several things while it is at the same time not impossible that it is numerically many This being numerically many it does not possess by itself however but by virtue of something else and thus is matter no principle of numerical diversity 4 In the genus of substance we find nothing but genus and difference but the individuals of one species differ neither in genus nor by reason of substantial differences Therefore they differ only by reason of accidental differences See for this among others the end of the BODY of the Article and Reply to 2 REPLY Main Thesis 1 In order to clarify this question and those raised in the text of Boëthius we must see what causes the three kinds of diversity mentioned in the text There are only three items See NOTE 3 in a composite individual in the genus of substance matter form and the composite of the two It is from among these then that we must find the causes of each of these diversities We should know that diversity in genus is reducible to diversity of matter while diversity in species is reducible to diversity of form but diversity in number is reducible partly to diversity of matter and partly to diversity of accidents This is in fact St Thomas reply to the Question with respect to the numerical diversity and he is going to get into it in more detail First he expounds in what way i e by virtue of what a generic diversity comes into being next by which a specific diversity is generated After this he will distinguish between a logical and metaphysical view of genus species and difference and finally he will explain individuation more in detail by means of continuous quantity which is constituted by its having dimensions Now because a genus is the beginning of knowledge being the first part of a definition while matter in itself is unknown it follows that diversity in genus cannot be taken from matter as it is considered in itself but only in the way in which it is knowable Now it is in fact knowable in two ways In one way by analogy or proportion as the Physics says The Physics is a work of Aristotle on Natural Philosophy For example we may say that matter is that which has the same relation to natural things as wood has to a bed Accordingly this is the relationship of the potential in this case a substrate item to the actual in this case an in formational item In another way matter is known through form Thus in this case not through a substrate item but through an in formational item through which it has actual existence for everything is known inasmuch as it is actual and not inasmuch as it is potential as is said in the Metaphysics 2 Accordingly diversity in genus is derived from matter in two ways First because of a different relation to matter In this way the primary genera of things are distinguished with reference to matter What is in the genus of substance is related to matter as to one of its parts Matter here is an ontological part of substance And as such we get the supreme genus SUBSTANCE What is in the genus of quantity does not have matter as one of its components but it is related to matter as its measure And as such we get the supreme genus QUANTITY Quality in turn is related to it as its disposition And as such we get the supreme genus QUALITY Thus the genera of Substance and Quantity are characterized by their relation to matter and in this way we get generic diversity Quality however immediately follows upon form and in this way dispositions the matter while quantity immediately follows upon matter In In Met V lectio 9 nr 892 we read this as follows and this predicate either inheres in it i e in the subject per se and in an absolute way as following upon matter and as such it is quantity or it follows upon form and as such it is quality Through these two genera all the other genera receive different relationships to matter Matter itself is a part of substance and it gives to substance its nature as a subject because of which it bears a relation to accidents In this way we get all the other supreme genera In a second way diversity in genus is derived from matter inasmuch as matter is perfected through form Matter is pure potentiality and God is pure actuality and for matter to be brought into the actuality that is form is nothing but its sharing though imperfectly a likeness of the primary actuality Thus what is composed of matter and form is in between pure potentiality and pure actuality Here St Thomas is following a neoplatonic motiv of down flow and at the same time in flow of beingness from the First Act into matter But matter participates in God in the sense that it also is created by God by conferring being upon it 3 Matter however does not uniformly receive an equal resemblance to the primary actuality By some things it is received imperfectly by others more perfectly Some things share the divine likeness In fact possess a divine likeness in virtue of which they participate in God in this modest way only to the extent that they subsist from below by themselves upward as received namely by their participating in God some to the extent that they live some to the extent that they know and still others to the extent that they understand Now the likeness itself of the primary actuality existing in any matter is its form But a form of this kind causes only existence in some things in others existence and life and so with other forms each of which remains one and the same for a more perfect likeness possesses everything a less perfect likeness does and more besides There is something common accordingly in both likenesses which in one is the ground of imperfection and in another the ground of perfection as matter is the basis of both actuality and privation Thus matter along with this common factor still functions as matter with respect to the perfection and imperfection mentioned above I e it still has the character of a substrate despite its possessing already a certain degree of in formation In this context matter should possess already a certain degree of in formation otherwise it could not exist as a substrate for a privation In this way we get the sub genera within the supreme genus of substance like non living thing living thing non sensitive living thing sensitive living thing non rational sensitive living thing rational sensitive living thing and also all sub genera subsumed under them 4 A genus accordingly is derived from this material factor whereas differences are taken from the above mentioned perfection and imperfection For example we take the genus living body from the common material condition of possessing life while we derive the difference sentient from an added perfection and the difference insentient from an imperfection In this way the diversity of these material factors results in a diversity in genus for example the diversity between animal and plant A higher genus is contracted to a lower genus by a difference and this lower genus is again contracted by a difference until we arrive at the lowest genus and this will finally be contracted to a species again by a difference For this reason matter is called the principle of diversity in genus and for the same reason form is the principle of diversity in species for the differences that determine species are taken from the above mentioned formal principles which are related to the aforesaid material factors from which genera are derived as form to matter are taken here always means that the content of a concept derives from something in Reality Before I will proceed further with the text of St Thomas I will give a detailed explanation of Generic Diversity diversitas secundum genus GENERIC DIVERSITY Recall from the Section Difference between First Substance and Second Substance in the the Essay on the Criteria for something to be a Substance that First Substance refers to a subsistent being as opposed to Accidents All ten Predicaments Categories are about First Substance Second Substance is about what a given first Substance essentially is The nine other Predicaments are about what a given first Substance accidentally is And because a first Substance is not itself seated in any substrate it represents that substrate and that means it represents matter and ultimately prime matter because prime matter is the ultimate substrate and as such confers a substrate aspect to First Substance So the about First Substance of the Predicaments boils down to about prime matter A genus like ANIMAL is as genus a so called logical intention intentio logica De Ente et Essentia Prologus line 9 i e a mental item that functions as a sign In the Thomistic Image theory it even is a likeness of the thing signified The sign signifies something in the extramental world it intends a segment of this world But before that the sign was already generated by a causal interaction of that world with the knower It is caused by an active aspect of that world that has been via the senses passed onto the intellect in which it appears as an intention after abstraction i e subtraction of the here and now aspect It is the mentioned active aspect FROM WHICH St Thomas says the intention is taken But this intention refers in its function of signifying back to the extramental Reality right to this mentioned aspect However this reference does not relate exclusively to this aspect but includes implicitly a possible substrate and also a possible further in formation i e a reception of some form So a genus is an intention it is taken from a substrate aspect See NOTE 4 of an extramental thing and accordingly intends this substrate aspect however not exclusively so not cum praecisione but implicitly also refers to all possible in formations of this substrate aspect However this must be further specified i e restricted If the genus belongs to the supreme genus of SUBSTANCE i e if that genus is a subgenus of the supreme genus of Substance for example the genus ANIMAL then it is taken from that substrate aspect that can be identified with the determinable Essence i e an essence of a thing that could still be further specified and the genus in turn intends this determinable Essence in which all possible determinations of this Essence however are not excluded as this would be possible in the cognitive process they are just left out of consideration See De Ente et Essentia Cap 2 line 140 If on the other hand the genus is a subgenus of one of the supreme accidental genera for example the genus COLOR as a subgenus of the supreme genus of QUALITY then only a determinable essence in a qualified sense i e in a certain restricted sense is intended not the determinable Essence of the given thing In the present discussion however we restrict ourselves for the time being to the status of the subgenera of the supreme genus of SUBSTANCE Now because in this way certain differences are left out of consideration we find identical aspects or layers in Reality The unity of the genus is accomplished by an aspect of in determination See De Ente et Essentia Cap 2 line 225 Thus we can have for example the genus ANIMAL and leave out of consideration whether it is a rational animal or not So a possible generic diversity corresponds to the diversity of substrate aspects while a specific diversity corresponds to their respective possible in formation And this means different degrees of in formation actualization specification of those substrates because non informed substrates cannot differ Let me clarify this further The genus ANIMAL although in classical texts interpreted as the lowest organic genus is in fact a higher genus And as such we will employ it in the discussion to follow The genus PLANT is also such a high genus They both reside at the same level of generality Their different contents reflect and exemplify a generic diversity that extends horizontally through the organic world But these higher genera ANIMAL and PLANT are pointing to substrate aspects in the extramental world that can still be further in formed by still essential determinations Such determinations are called differences differentiae In this way substrate aspects appear that have a higher degree of in formation than did the original substrate aspects and now we have a diversity that extends vertically Such substrates with a higher degree of in formation are called lower genera By again adding differences differentiae to these lower genera still lower genera appear When we continue this process of adding differences we finally end up with a species And from now on only accidental determinations can be added leading to the specification of individuals of that species So indeed we see when going from higher genera to lower genera and finally to a species an intensification of in formation actualization of substrate aspects For example the genus VERTEBRATE i e vertebrate animal refers to a substrate aspect in extramental reality while the genus MAMMAL also refers to a substrate aspect but the latter is much more in formed than the former A mammal is a vertebrate that breastfeeds its young These in formation intensities determine a scale spanning between pure potency prime matter and pure act God or whatever equivalent to Him and so a certain position on this scale corresponds to a certain genus as a subgenus of the supreme genus of SUBSTANCE This means that the status of in formation its intensity or degree of the still further determinable Essence is that something from which the genus is taken and while taken from a part it as a sign refers back to the whole Determinable Essence Determination With respect to the Determination however the reference is implicit When we descend to a lower and lower intensity of substrate in formation we finally arrive at prime matter The genus that is taken from this prime matter is the genus of SUBSTANCE that in its function of intention refers back to this prime matter again but again not by exclusion but by making implicit reference to ALL possible cases of in formation of this prime matter So here we have let the degree of indeterminateness become maximal Prime matter that is as such without any content but only functioning as a substrate provides the explicit meaning of SUBSTANCE the ultimate subject i e something that stands under Something is intended with the genus of SUBSTANCE In the text it says Id enim quod est in genere substantia See NOTE 4a if matter is a n ontological part thereof namely the substrate If we totally generalize on this relation of substrate information the reception of some further form by the substrate then it becomes a potency actuality relation and then also the immaterial beings belong to the genus of SUBSTANCE because then potency is not necessarily matter We then can also have to do with the relation Form potency Existence act What we have done above is the derivation in a general sense of the subgenera like ANIMAL PLANT etc of the supreme genus of SUBSTANCE and with it the derivation of that supreme genus itself It concerned a relation to matter which here is a relation to the many possible substrate aspects that appear when they are elevated as it were by the addition of further forms resulting in still more in formed substrate aspects and that St Thomas calls the progressively perfecting of substrates by adding further forms that integrate fully with the original formal content But this is not the whole story concerning the generic diversity because besides the subgenera of the supreme genus of SUBSTANCE we still have other genera that contribute to generic diversity namely besides the supreme genus of SUBSTANCE the supreme accidental genera QUANTITY QUALITY RELATION etc This generic diversity thus is a diversity that obtains between the ten supreme genera SUBSTANCE QUANTITY QUALITY RELATION etc Also this diversity can be seen as relations to matter but in a different way as the one we discussed above St Thomas says in 2 of the body REPLY of the Article What is in the genus of substance is related to matter as to one of its parts What is in the genus of quantity does not have matter as one of its components but it is related to matter as its measure Quality in turn is related to it as its disposition Through these two genera quantity quality all the other genera receive different relationships to matter Matter itself is a part of substance and it gives to substance its nature as a subject because of which it bears a relation to accidents After this text St Thomas discusses the other way by which diversity in genus is derived from matter namely inasmuch as matter is perfected through form and this we have discussed above In what way should we consider an Accident as a subgenus of one of the supreme accidental genera so that it can indeed legitimately be placed under such an accidental supreme genus accidental category If we consider those aspects in Reality which do not enjoy ontologically independent existence towards the ontological bottom and if we moreover consider those aspects Accidents in an abstract way NOTE 4b then we intend those aspects by means of concepts which when we let in the process of intending the indefiniteness indeterminateness become maximal end up with one of the nine accidental categories i e the accidental supreme genera Expressed differently not until we consider an Accident in an abstract way it cannot be placed under a category at least this is what St Thomas posits in De Ente et Essentia Cap 6 line 123 127 So the abstract term primarily with respect to an Accident refers to the accidental form and secondarily to the substrate snubness is the curvature of the nose where nose is for a while considered as a Substance The different Accidents can be reduced to nine basic types and this means nine relations to matter analogiae ad materiam These nine genera categories plus the genus of Substance thus correspond to ten relations to matter Being is an analogical concept which means that it comes in several grades like for example potential being actual being Also the Predicaments Categories reflect a grading in Being especially in the distinction between Substance logically corresponding to the Subject and the Accidents that are in a logical context said accidentally of that subject i e are the accidental predicates The analogous nature of Being is often expressed by the term analogia entis which means the analogy of Being Now we will continue with the text of St Thomas 5 It should be borne in mind however that because the material factor which is the basis of the genus includes both matter and form It concerned after all matter which had already received a certain amound of in formation but which can still function as a substrate for further in formation perfection the logician considers the genus only on its formal side with the consequence that his definitions are called formal This probably relates to nominal definitions versus real definitions defining not names but things The natural philosopher on the other hand takes both aspects of the genus into consideration Thus it can happen that something is in a genus from the logician s point of view which is not in a genus from the perspective of the natural philosopher For it is possible that the resemblance to the primary actuality that something receives in matter of a particular kind something else might receive without matter and something else again might receive it in matter of an entirely different kind For example it is evident that stone comes to subsist in matter potential to existence The sun comes to subsist through matter potential to place and not to existence Because the matter of celestial bodies was considered as eternal The matter of the heavens does not have potential being it IS already and cannot NOT be And an angel subsists without any matter whatsoever So the logician finding in all of these the source from which he derived a genus places all of them in the same genus of substance The natural philosopher and metaphysician however who take into account all Thus not only ONE common aspect the principles of a thing assert that they are in different genera for they do not find them sharing the same matter This agrees with the statements of the Metaphysics that the perishable and the imperishable differ in genus and that things are in the same genus which have their matter in common and are generated out of ech other I will try to make clearer the difference between the logical view and the metaphysical view about which St Thomas here speaks without too much pretention and at the same time note that according to me it does not relate to a crucial text section in the present context certainly not if we limit the individuation problem for the time being first of all to material beings and as yet not consider celestial bodies in the medieval view and also not consider the separate substances with separate substances is meant substances without matter The contraries RATIONALE rational possessing reason and IRRATIONALE not possessing reason like the lower animals belong to one genus namely ANIMAL sensitive living being They as differences differentiae further determine this genus either to the species ANIMAL RATIONALE or to the species ANIMAL IRRATIONALE and because of that RATIONALE does not belong to the essence of ANIMAL St Thomas in In Met X lectio 12 nr 2142 expresses himself as follows does not belong to the substance of that genus ANIMAL is only in potency with respect to RATIONALE i e ANIMAL could become ANIMAL RATIONALE In the same way IRRATIONALE does not belong to the essence of ANIMAL That there are genera like ANIMAL which relate only potentially to RATIONALE and IRRATIONALE is caused by the fact that not every genus of things is either RATIONALE rational or IRRATIONALE irrational only the genus ANIMAL is relevant in this respect However we have a totally different case with CORRUPTIBLE and INCORRUPTIBLE for a genus is a genus of either corruptible things or of incorruptible things because either CORRUPTIBLITY or INCORRUPTIBILITY always belongs to the Essence of something and thus implying an essential difference and consequently a generic difference resulting in the fact that CORRUPTIBLE THINGS and INCORRUPTIBLE THINGS always belong to different genera CORRUPTIBLE and INCORRUPTIBLE never share matter of the same kind while the genus should be taken from matter But they could be similar to each other by virtue of one or another common aspect like having ontologically independent being being a being or they could feature a distinctio realis show a real distinction between Essence and Existence And based on this the logician can indeed subsume these items certain CORRUPTIBLE THINGS and INCORRUPTIBLE THINGS under one and the same genus In this case the genus only refers to the possibility of consideration under one and the same sense and consequently only refers to our way of knowing and considering and not to the considered extramental Reality Next St Thomas will treat of numerical difference and individuation 6 It is clear then how matter causes diversity in genus and form diversity in species Diversity in individuals of the same species should be understood as follows As the Philosopher says just as the parts of a genus and species are matter and form so the parts of an individual are this matter and this form It follows that just as diversity of matter or form taken absolutely causes diversity in genus and species so this form and this matter bring about diversity in number Now no form as such is individual of itself I say as such because of the rational soul which in a sense is of itself an individual substance but not insofar as it is a form For any form that can be received in something as in matter or in a subject can be predicated by the mind of many things which is opposed to the nature of an individual substance A this something i e an individual something cannot be instantiated anymore it is already totally determined NOTE 5 A form is in itself not this form and thus it is of itself not a this something With respect to the soul which is a form See S T Ia 75 1 this seems problematic because the soul also is a this something in a sense in itself The soul is however not a this something as a form i e in its function of form because a form can be attributed to more than one thing and this does not as he St Thomas says comply with a this something Being a this something of the rational soul is accomplished because it is the soul of this body When the soul disattaches itself from the body it remains individual implying that it is nonetheless in a certain sense in itself a this something With these matters we must realize that the human soul has a two fold character It is 1 the form of a body and 2 a subsisting form Consequently form is rendered individual through being received in matter But because matter in itself lacks all differentiation it can individuate the received form only insofar as it itself bears some distinguishable mark So form is individuated by being received in matter but only as it is received in this particular matter determined to this place and this time Matter however is divisible only through quantity Thus the Philosopher says that if quantity were taken away substance would remain indivisible Accordingly matter is made to be this and designated owing to the fact that it is subject to dimensions 7 Now dimensions In De Ente et Essentia St thomas speaks of three dimensions implying that the three dimensions of the spatial continuum are meant can be understood in two ways In one way inasmuch as they are determinate and by this I mean that they have a definite measurement and shape In this sense as complete beings they are located in the genus of quantity Now when dimensions are understood in this way they cannot be the principle of individuation because there is often a variation in such determination of dimensions in the same individual and thus it would follow that the individual would not always remain the same in number St Thomas departs from i e starts his considerations with the kind of individuality that we encounter in the case of human persons Such a type of individual is an individual which is not exclusively distinguishable by space time coordinates but also by other characteristics albeit that they are not fundamental for being an individual but only diagnostic for it See the end of the Body of the Article such an individual is the historical individual versus the here and now individual Thus St Thomas models his view of being an individual concerning all material substances after the paradigm of the human person and this implies that the kind of individuality visible in human persons must fit into a broader view of individuation in other words this general view of individuation must be able to include the accepted view of the individuality of a human person In another way dimensions can be taken as indeterminate simply as having the nature of dimensions though they can never exist without some determination any more than the nature of color can exist without being definitely black or white Taken in this way dimensions are located in the genus of quantity as something incomplete It is through these indeterminate dimensions that matter is made to be this designated matter haec materia signata thus rendering the form individual In this way matter causes diversity of number in the same species Comment by Maurer St Thomas took the notion of indeterminate dimensions from Averroes After the period of this commentary he spoke only of determinate dimensions or simply of dimensive quantity as the principle of individuation In other works St Thomas speaks about terminated dimensions instead of interminated dimensions which could be rationalized as follows The dimensions for example the size of a thing must necessarily be terminated i e determined because interminated dimensions for example an indetermined size of something cannot imply a spatial setting of that something while an individual must have such a setting But although these dimensions should be determined terminated it is not necessary that the limits the terminations should have constant values These limits may vary as long as there are limits delimitations at all And in this way we obtain the terminated dimensions dimensiones terminatae These generally determined dimensions are thus the terminated dimensions featuring in other works of St Thomas and are identical to the in terminated dimensions dimensiones interminatae in the present text So a human individual is indeed all the time quantitatively determined i e delimited and thus having a finite width length and thickness while his width length and thickness constanly change so the dimensions are not undetermined in an absolute way they are generally determined just as generally as an individual is when we are not looking specifically at Socrates but looking at the general individual Socrates or Plato or Peter etc Before proceeding further with the text of St Thomas it seems useful to me to ponder for a while about QUANTITY Quantity is a highest genus a supreme genus with respect to a certain way of being and consequently is NOT definable because the degree of in determination in the proces of signification is maximal There is not a still higher genus beyond Quantity under which quantity could be subsumed so we don t have a difference that together with this higher genus could constitute a definition of quantity We of course could define quantity by stating that it confers MEASURE but this is identical to QUANTITY It is just another word for it Addition of differences like discrete continuous to QUANTITY reveals definable species subgenera of Quantity Quantity is an accidental form for a body i e a corporal thing AS body it is a property proprium accidens because ALL bodies are quantified which confers measure onto matter By virtue of continuous quantity quantitas continua we get a coherent measure while this measure will not be coherent by virtue of discrete quantity quantitas discreta The continuum is constituted by dimensions the three dimensions from De Ente et Essentia Out of this continuum the discretum is generated by division and consequently a numerical diversity diversitas numero See Reply to 6 According to St Thomas matter the substrate aspect of a thing becomes divisible by virtue of quantity and that means first of all the continuous quantity constituted by dimensions because continuous quantity is the most fundamental subgenus of quantity See Reply to 6 This implies that because of that the form following the dimensional substrate is dispersed and can then be individuated by division into several individuals individual cases of that form Individuation does not occur until after a process of division has taken place and so not already by the interminated dimensions but by terminated divisions divisiones terminatae A more precise view concerning the dimensiones interminatae and terminatae could perhaps be as follows based on BOBIK J 1954 See the references after the end of the text All the time it concerns the problem about the difference between the individual nature and the specific nature This difference is caused by several items aspects in which both natures the individual and the specific differ Three aspects play a role in the individual nature and they together contribute to the phenomenon of being an individual Numerical unity Last i e ultimate subject Determination to the here and now 1 The individual nature has numerical unity undivided in itself first part of the definition of INDIVIDUAL individuum and because of that numerical identity and numerical distinction with respect to other individual natures of the same species This is first of all garanteed by dimensive quantity This is dimension in so far not terminated dimensiones interminatae These convert matter into dimensive matter treated of in the Commentary on Boëthius treatise on the Trinity The dimensiones interminatae take care of numerical unity 2 An individual is a last subject It is separated from other individuals second part of the definition of INDIVIDUAL individuum It cannot again be received into yet another subject anymore Said logically it cannot be predicated of another subject in a downward direction it is not further communicable anymore in contast with the specific nature like HUMAN BEING that CAN be predicated of a subject like Socrates subject is a HUMAN BEING predicate and so be communicable to say Socrates Prime matter renders substance into first substance i e into a last subject still containing content This subject is accordingly not instantiable anymore and thus unique and in this way prime matter takes care of this aspect of being an individual This is being discussed in De principio individuationis On the principle of individuation and in De natura materiae et dimensionibus interminatis On the nature of matter and the interminated dimensions See NOTE 6 Prime matter takes care for being a last subject 3 Quantitative and qualitative constantly changing in time determination of the individual to the here and now the Semaphoront This is garanteed by determined terminated dimensions Total determination in a quantitative sense materia sub quantitate determinata materia signata designated matter and also in a qualitative sense As such it concers the accidentia designantia hanc materiam individualem the accidents referring to this individual matter S T Ia q 3 a 3 c This hanc materiam i e materia sub quantitate determinata De principio individuationis is the materia signata of the De Ente et Essentia Quantitative and qualitative determinations take care of the being here and now 39 These

    Original URL path: http://www.metafysica.nl/individuum2.html (2016-02-01)
    Open archived version from archive


  • Classical Metaphysical Theory III Part Three
    potency is lead to its proper act I e the potency is actualized So it goes in the case of the imperfect living beings like plants and certain imperfect animals like articulate animals St Thomas tries to explain the difference between idem specie divisibility and idem specie indivisibility metaphysically i e by means of principles of being in chapter 9 of the mentioned treatise In the imperfect beings these are the lower substances like inorganic beings plants and lower animals is the form on which the quantity as of its origin depends and which is divisible per accidens THE SAME as the form which confers to them i e to the imperfect beings being just like that while in the case of perfect beings here higher animals and man one has to distinguish TWO types of substantial form The one substantial form which directly conveys being A form which is it is true present in the thing but which does not confer being a form without being just like that because otherwise when that second form would indeed confer being there would be TWO genuine substantial forms present in one substance implying that that one substance would be several substances at the same time This second form or forms becomes actual while the first disappears in the case of division of such a perfect organism because this second form is the form with repect to which the quantity comes next after matter while it exerts its influence on that form The lower beings imperfect beings are however idem specie divisible After all that form on which the quantity as of its origin depends is per accidens divisible De natura materiae et dimensionibus interminatis Chapter 9 However we as has been said now know that also the very small beings like freely existing molecules for example in a gas or liquid although lower beings are nevertheless not divisible idem specie A division of them always results in something specifically different In what way individuation of such small beings is accomplished is not directly completely clear but it seems to me that also concerning them the Thomistic theory of individuation applies Moreover in the case of molecules it happens to be that they are apart from their spatial situation i e their orientation in space their place location and more of such external factors insofar as we know identical to each other i e the individuals of the same molecular species are identical to each other while this is not the case with complex substances like higher organisms and man There each individual is unique in a high degree and this not only with respect to their space time situation but also with respect to content Socrates strongly differs from Plato despite the fact that they are individuals of the same species namely HUMAN BEING The reason for this is that being a human being and this also applies to all higher organisms is in one way or another eidetically i e with respect to intrinsic content more stable than the small molecules For these latter a small change has more impact than for the former Moreover individuals of higher organisms including man besides displaying an eidetical species specific stability display also a strong degree of individual stability Socrates remains what he is despite the many changes changes with respect to all kinds of features on him in the course of his individual existence The steady root remaining identical in Socrates is thus not only his being a human this is also in the same way present in Plato but also his being Socrates And this being Socrates is with respect to content different from being Plato With the in organic beings we encounter this in a much weaker way The development of faces of say a crystal of sodium chlorate can vary during growth because of a change in the growing environment i e a certain set of faces could start to grow faster than before always in a direction perpendicular to those faces ultimately resulting in their disappearance causing the crystal to obtain a totally different outer form than it had before The crystal remains thereby specifically the same but whether it also remains individually the same or that it changes individually comparable with the case in which Socrates changes into Plato is hard to assess when such a view of individuality applies at all to inorganic beings The phenomenon of personal individuality especially in the case of human beings implies that we not only can speak about Socrates Plato etc as individuations of HUMAN BEING but that also the here and now Socrates is an individuation of Socrates as historical individual i e the here OR there and once OR now OR then next Socrates The historical individual has a constanly changing but nevertheless complete total determination This changing takes place in Time for instance with respect to Socrates but it can also take place in Space for example when we first look to Socrates and then to Plato then we see a change in space of complete determination From the complete determination S of Socrates to the complete determination P of Plato where S is different from P S is a complete determination in one direction whereas P is a complete determination in another direction It seems evident that the dimensiones interminatae unterminated dimensions account for the possibility of these changes of complete determination in space and in time That however Socrates remains Socrates and Plato Plato while they remain different from each other in a characteristic way cannot be explained with those dimensions In the first ON THE CONTRARY of the 2nd Article of Question 4 in St Thomas Commentary on Boëthius treatise on the Trinity See Part Two St Thomas refers to Porphyry who says that every individual contains a unique collection of accidents which is moreover constitutive for such an individual At the end of the Body of the Article St Thomas says that some accidents namely those which directly relate to dimensions take part in individuation and that the remaining accidents are not related to the principle of individuation but principles of the possibility of perceiving and recognizing individuals Our ability to distinguish between human individuals is accordingly based on unique combinations of accidents we can also say on typical properties and these could be the individual propria propria are per se determinations genuine properties each one of them being already sufficient for recognizing These propria undoubtedly come from some fixed root and that is first substance In this way Socrates is a different substance from Plato and this not only numerically but also with respect to content This last mentioned phenomenon is not explained with the Thomistic principle of individuation but can also not be explained on an eidetical basis the basis of the specific nature because both Socrates and Plato are a HUMAN BEING i e both are specifically the same The aspect of numerical individuality can as has been said be explained albeit in a preliminary way by that Thomistic principle of individuation but not the personal Also the soul considered as substantial form does not explain this because it is the same for each human being The soul as substantial form even does not explain numerical diversity it explains as substantial form specific diversity only And if we interpret the soul as being moreover something else besides being a substantial form we ll according to me run into ontological problems and shift the problem of the personal to that of the in that case interpreted as a personal soul which doesn t yield anything So Socrates and Plato have nothing eidetically in common i e they are not only numerically different but also with respect to intrinsic content They just look like each other causing us to place them together with others in a certain class that we call HUMAN BEING without there being anything in them in which they match exactly In this way we end up with a nominalistic position or and this is perhaps a better position we should descend one level lower in all of this Socrates is an individual of a possible monovular twin or a monovular multiple and so is Plato resulting in the fact that Socrates and Plato are two substances differing in content and of course also numerically A monovular twin is the result of the development of two individuals from one and the same egg cell Their genetical make up is consequently the same I will elaborate on this below Dimensive Quantity Dimensive quantity is the intrinsic aspect of spatial extension of material substances It is a substrate category which not only can receive a form but also spread it out The received form consequentially obtains potential parts situated outside each other in other words the received form is idem specie divisible Thus something consisting of content can multiply by virtue of dimensive quantity making possible individuals of a same species i e possible at all not just by division of an already existing individual but by the possibility for the form of being spatially extended already before the presence of an individual of the relevant species But of course also the very possibility of idem specie division of an individual rests on that extendedness of the form in this case within the spatial extension of that one individual In flatworms this extension is such that idem specie division is possible if also some other conditions are satisfied The usual possibility of the existence of more than one individual of a certain species of flatworm is guaranteed by the extension of the relevant form and this extension is made possible by the extension of a more general matter the extension of which involves a much larger scale than the one involved in idem specie division of an individual Dimensive quantity is intrinsic extension But something must be extended It is the matter i e the ultimate substrate when it stands under i e is subjected to dimensions that is then extended Matter itself becomes extended by virtue of the dimensions to which it is subjected We cannot have matter that is extended all by itself Matter is only the ultimate substrate of among others that something that can concurrently be extended i e extended together with the matter NOTE 1a Within Aristotelian Thomistic thinking it is said that a form except dimensive quantity is not extended by and in itself NOTE 2 For example WHITENESS an accidental form is of itself not extended it only becomes concurrently extended when it is received into a substrate which is itself extended for instance matter under dimensions But what is WHITENESS What is the form WHITENESS i e what do we mean by the term whiteness WHITENESS as we say today is that something in a thing by which that thing 1 shows no preference for certain special wavelengths of incident light to be absorbed all wavelengths are returned by the object 2 scatters most of the reflected light The phenomenon of something to be white relates to an interaction between a certain kind of electro magnetic radiation light and physical matter It is a submicroscopical physical material and energetic configuration in the thing which is responsible for that thing to be white when it is struck by mixed light This configuration interacting with mixed light causes in us the perception WHITE as soon as the reflected light strikes the eye It causes the quale WHITE This submicroscopical structure and also the electro magnetic radiation themselves already presuppose extension NOTE 3 However they are not themselves extension They are considered in themselves one or another intelligible content that can be described mathematically without any physical space This mathematical description is a description of something abstract and in our daily life we simply call this mathematically described configuration whiteness and this is also abstract in contradistinction to white The abstract configuration must now be received by or isomorphically mapped onto physical space because WHITENESS itself is not white and this space is here dimensive quantity or better expressed the matter which has become extended by it for this dimensive quantity guarantees that an intrinsic component in the thing namely its matter receiving the substantial form becomes itself extended by which then concurrently its substantial form and the relevant accidental forms first of all become in a real sense possible at all NOTE 4 and thus in any case become extended and then they can become extended still further generating size and figure Let me recapitulate some of the above and explain all this a little further It concerns an attempt it is not more than an attempt to expound what WHITENESS as an example of Quality i e as a species of Quality is and what its ontological status is The relevant abstract configuration present in a thing which is the formal condition for that thing to be white must be received by physical space and only then there is something concrete that when struck by incident light causes in us the perception WHITE In Natural Science the configuration can be mathematically described and must as such be mapped in an isomorphic way onto the spatial where isomorphic means that all arbitrary elements in that description which originate from the choice of mathematical method do not go into the reception of that configuration by the spatial In my attempt to expound what in fact the being white of something is I thus try to isolate a relevant formal aspect from the overall submicroscopical constitution of the relevant physical object This formal aspect is itself not physically spatial and can because of this be mathematically described purely and exclusively by means of abstract equations and these are in themselves not yet physically spatial Even a line in the context of a mathematical description thus a mathematical line is abstract and because of that cannot be spatially extended for having parts outside parts is something concrete When we divide a mathematical line we always map it onto a physical space The extensum is an ens extensum i e the extended is an extended being The parts being only potentially only refers to their non fixed size with respect to the whole That s why all abstract contents in themselves are not extended Dimensive quantity however is in itself as accidental form also not extended but is the principle of extension it is that something by virtue of which something else is extended and by which something becomes concrete Dimensive quantity accordingly always is in fact directly dimensive matter And matter makes something into something concrete Every concrete thing is at the same time also extended If it were not extended then it would be a Platonic Idea a subsisting intelligible content Exactly the concrescere growing together aggregating of matter and form here matter and dimensive quantity through the substantial form makes something into a concrete something into something that is corporal i e with dimensions Dimensive quantity is in itself un determined dimensions dimensiones interminatae thus pure extension In fact pure extension not until it is communicated to matter Thus AS dimensive matter dimensive quantity is extended Any determination delimitation of those dimensions to for example FIGURE or SIZE does not belong to dimensive quantity itself FIGURE belongs to the Category of Quality Like we also saw in the case of WHITENESS that turned out to be a conFIGURation and SIZE follows upon FIGURE Thus sequentially Dimensive matter FIGURE configuration SIZE In general we can say that each as such existing content is a concrete configuration and as such a determination delimitation of dimensive quantity and this delimitation is again further determined to one or another SIZE This SIZE is just like FIGURE only possible perhaps we should say only real only concrete by and in dimensive quantity in its guise of matter made dimensive Only then we have the delimited dimensions dimensiones terminatae When the dimensiones interminatae are delimited qualitatively and with respect to size matter has become because of that designated matter the materia signata from De Ente et Essentia The materia signata is not flesh and bones with respect to say a human being but this flesh and these bones It means a determination in the here and now From place to place where the individual finds itself successively and from time to time these qualitative and quantitative determinations vary constantly In the case of the Slime Mold this varying is brought to an extreme The individual as ONE bodily substance is generated by congregation of individual amoeboid cells which each for themselves are separately living on the forest floor In case of food shortage they congregate into that ONE bodily substance and this substance generates spores that are disseminated all around See HERE for some additional information So there is a certain stadium of this Slime Mold in which the individual is numerically many Also in the case of the metamorphosis of holometabolic insects this variation is pushed very far A caterpillar is with respect to content quite different from the butterfly The materia signata is matter considered under the here and now while the materia non signata is the general sensible matter not determined to the here and now and can consequently not be pointed to with the finger However it remains debatable whether we indeed can abstract from the here and nows i e whether we can isolate them and then ignore them This to be possible is based on metaphysical assumptions relating to the assumed constancy of the person and of the Essence and thus their independence from those here and nows The Substance Accident Structure of real beings rests on this assumption What then when we are going to interpret all changes as substantial changes Or even as a constant creation of new material configurations all over again This creation could be accomplished by an underlying overall process that

    Original URL path: http://www.metafysica.nl/individuum3.html (2016-02-01)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Classical Metaphysical Theory IV
    will be composed both of this thing which we said was something over and above the elements and which we now claim to be an element and of fire and earth And since it has already been proved that in every composite which is one there must be something in addition to its elements the same question will then apply to this something else because if it is an element flesh will again be composed both of the other original element and of the elements and then of something else Hence in this way there will be an infinite regress But this is absurd nr 1677 Therefore if this something else when found is not an element but is composed of elements it is evident that it is not composed of one element only but of many Because if it were not composed of many but of only one it would follow that that element would be the same as the whole For what is composed of water only is truly water Hence if it is composed of many elements the same argument will again apply to this thing as applies to flesh and a syllable because it will contain something else besides the elements of which it is composed And the same question will again apply to this Thus once more there will be an infinite regress nr 1678 Now it would seem Then he solves the problem which he raised And in regard to this he does two things First he solves it with reference to the way in which it first appears Second he corrects this solution and gives the true one And since some He accordingly says first that the thing which is present in composites over and above their elements would seem at first glance not to be something composed of elements but to be an element and cause of the being of flesh and a syllable and similarly in other cases Moreover it would seem that it is the substance of each of them in the sense of their quiddity For substance in the sense of quiddity is the first cause of being nr 1679 And since certain things He now corrects the above solution in two ways first insofar as he had said that this something else which is present in composite things over and above their elements is the substance of each For this is true of things which are substances but not of things which are not substances since the form of a syllable is not a substance Second insofar as he had said that this very thing is an element and a cause of being For it cannot be called an element but a principle because elements pertain to the material cause of a thing nr 1680 Therefore he says that since some things are not substances as is clear especially of artificial things but just those are true substances that are according to nature with reference to being and are constituted such by nature with reference to becoming it will be made clear that this nature which we are investigating is substance in some cases i e in that of natural beings and not in all And it will also be made clear that this nature is not an element but a formal principle For that is called an element into which something is divided and which is intrinsic as matter For example the elements of the syllable ba are b and a Hence since the principle in question is not a material principle but a formal one it will not be an element And thus it is evident at the same time both what kind of principle substance is and that it is neither an element nor composed of elements The foregoing problem is solved in this way For an extensive treatment of essential and accidental unity and the first meaning of ONE see In V Met lectio 7 and 8 To be a Totality caused by the Form Important texts concerning the view of UNITY of substances are Aristotle Metaph VIII cap 6 1045a36 b7 See also SEIDL H Arist Metaph Band 2 p 456 458 and St Thomas in loco i e at the corresponding places in his Commentary nr 1762 4 The Form is the cause of Being and Unity of something and its Being and Unity is not caused anymore It causes the being and unity of a substance the Form itself is immediately Being and One This text of Aristotle is interpreted by St Thomas In VIII Met lectio 5 nr 1762 1764 in such a way that it so interpreted relates to Separate Forms But in ontological respect they behave just like substantial forms considered in themselves i e thought apart from matter and just like accidental forms considered in themselves And according to SEIDL Band 2 p 457 the Aristotelian text refers to these forms considered in themselves and not to the Separate Forms Because the form causes unity and being upon substance every such a substance is a Totality Because this form is itself a Totality it confers being a Totality to substance This assertion stems from a position of classical Metaphysics that says that being the cause of something else s being X is being X in a stronger degree in other words the effect is in a higher degree present in the cause than it is in the effected It would be interesing to investigate whether this is actually true For do we nowadays not say that the cause of being X is itself not a being X Totality and Definition Let us consider what we read in In VII Met lectio 12 unity of a defined thing and unity of its definition In nr 1541 St Thomas says occasioned by Aristotle s text that despite the fact that it does not seem to be so nr 1538 1540 it nonetheless must be the case that the definition See NOTE 2 always refers to ONE something i e to a totality an unum because a proper genuine definition can only refer to a substance not to a substance accident composite And because the substance of a thing is ONE whatness the definition refers to an unum The definition accordingly signifies one determined thing hoc aliquid but I would say one individual thing as representing the species thus not of Socrates insofar as Socrates but of Socrates for example In a genus its further determination is already in its generality in its yet undeterminateness presupposed thus the genus implies whatever relevant difference as its further determination Genus difference thus form an unum and this they are supposed to do because the definition genus difference must signify an unum St Thomas says this in among other places nr 1547 The concept of BODY i e signifying a material solid is a genus if it is taken as signifying a substance which is completed by a final form and this taken generally and which has of itself three dimensions If this form is thought of as a special form not taken generally then we have one of the species of that genus So also WHITE is implied by COLORED thing In contrast to this WHITE is not implied by HUMAN BEING WHITE just could coincide with HUMAN BEING i e a certain human being could happen to be white instead of black HUMAN BEING insofar as COLORED THING of course does imply WHITE but not however HUMAN BEING insofar as HUMAN BEING A WHITE HUMAN BEING is accordingly just an unum per accidens i e an accidental unity See for this also nr 1549 and 1550 In VII Met lectio 12 In nr 1563 St Thomas says that a certain ordering exists among the many differences that we must assess when we descend from the general for instance VERTEBRATE to the special for instance DOG But this we should still according to St Thomas not interpret as an ordering present in the substance of the thing in question as representing the species We cannot say that this part or aspect of the substance in the metaphysical sense is prior i e more fundamental and another part or aspect posterior i e less fundamental because the substance is a simultaneous totality tota simul and not a successive totality like motion and time St Thomas In VII Met lectio 12 nr 1563 The whole definition is implied in and by the last final difference St Thomas nr 1561 and as such it is one In nr 1564 he says that this also implies that a species has only one substantial form From which it is clear that the many parts of the definition do not mean many parts of the essence from which the essence would be constituted as from divers items But all parts of the definition signify that one item that is determined by the final difference Also is clear from this that there is only one substantial form of each species just as the lion having only one form by virtue of which it is a substance a body a living body an animal i e a sensitive living body and a lion If after all there were more forms they would according to all what has been said before all of them not be understood by one difference but by several differences nor would that one thing be constituted from them So according to St Thomas the definition of a species first of all and directly refers to the substance of each individual thing representing the species which here means to the Essence of such a thing So it does refer to one item only present in each relevant individual thing It neither does refer to a set of different regarding content Essences nor to accidental composites insofar as accidental composites such as something being accidentally determined a substance accident composite In all this it is presupposed that every Substance possesses only one substantial form I would like to comment on this in the following way The totality to which the definition refers is the totality of essential determinations of a thing together making up the Essence of the thing These determinations reside in the thing that represents the species but not as discrete and concrete parts corresponding to would be parts of the definition but as a tota simul As such this is a metaphysical approach The thing is seen as a unity that can be supplemented by occurrent entities but then forming an accidental whole To express this unity metaphysically we don t use the term parts but essential determinations If on the other hand we approach all this physically then we use the term essential parts i e this tota simul is represented by concrete parts in the thing together forming a stable definite and repeatable material i e physical pattern repeatable over the individuals of the relevant species This stable and repeatable material pattern of parts constitutes what we will call a Totality which is when we express ourselves physically as well as metaphysically a Totality of parts and determinations And it is such a Totality that is demanded by the Thomistic metaphysics for something to be a Substance The Totality viewed metaphysically For this thesis St Thomas gives an argument in among other places the Treatise Opusculum De natura materiae et dimensionibus interminatis A treatise that although probably not from the hands of St Thomas himself can nevertheless be seen as a Thomistic treatise In Chapter 6 an argument is given against the assumption of more than one substantial form in one and the same substance i e in one being Those who grant a multiplicity of such forms state that in that case there must be an ordering among them But further they went astray because it is impossible to assume a multitude of substantial forms fitting in among each other in matter because matter is in potency to the forms which are educted from it So if there were several substantial forms fitting in among each other present in matter i e received by that matter then the more complete form would be educted either from the bare potency of the matter or from the potency of the complete composite consisting of matter and that incomplete form But it is not educted from the potency of the complete composite consisting of matter and that form because as has been said the final term of the physical act namely the generation touches upon the bare essence of the matter So when the form which is the final term of the action only belongs to that subject which is touched upon in the generation as this is in itself it is impossible that this complete form is being educted from the potency of such a composite consisting of matter and the incomplete form Hence it follows that the assumption of many forms fitting in among each other destroys the generation as this is in itself and thus it is by implication necessary to assume that all forms except one namely the first are accidents But when a posterior form is educted from the bare potency of matter then the whole substantial form only informs that potency from which it is educted Thus the form called the posterior form will not be the perfection of such a composite but only of the bare matter and in this way there will accordingly be no order of substantial forms residing together in the same matter and this is also stated in the seventh book of the Metaphysics The text immediately following upon this fragment expounds that dimensions are accidental determinations which follow upon matter as in its ordering towards the form that is to say that form which must be assigned first to matter i e the first form that is received by matter That is the form CORPORALITY This form then is further formed over resulting in those items resulting not in time but in constitution which are further determinations of CORPORALITY for example living body sensitive living body etc The dimensions of the quantity follow upon this CORPORALITY i e are added to CORPORALITY resulting in the division of matter i e general matter first matter matter as such by virtue of which matter obtains diverse situations spatial orientations and in this way it can receive several substantial forms not from without by which the diverse things are constituted and that means diverse Totalities which each for themselves possesses one substantial form Definition of an individual With respect to the definition which strictly speaking is only possible for substances say for HUMAN BEING St Thomas adds the following in In VII Met lectio 15 nr 1626 An individual thing cannot be defined also not and that is nr 1626 s point by a unique collection of properties or forms because it is intrinsic to forms accidental as well as substantial forms that they can exist in many things A determined collection of such forms thus could be found in one thing only i e it admits of being so found but this is as such not compelling That collection could also be found in several individual cases and thus it cannot because it does not have a compelling character serve as a definition of that thing The collection is accidental If there is only one essential form substantial form for each substance the collection can only refer to accidental forms especially genuine properties Such a collection of properties can also turn out to be unique for a species and it is ultimately the species that has to be defined like HUMAN BEING species IS RATIONAL ANIMAL not an individual thing But also in this case the uniqueness of the collection of accidental forms collection of properties seen from the nature of forms is accidental and can it is true be useful as a diagnostic feature but not for a genuine definition because such a definition indicates what the individuals representing the species to be defined in themselves and necessarily are In terms of a revised Substance Accident Metaphysics as has been developed in the First Series of Essays on this Website we can express these Thomistic findings as follows The definition must refer to the genotypical domain not to the phenotypical domain Degrees gradations of being a Totality We still have to investigate in more detail what type of Totality is being demanded by St Thomas assumption that every substance possesses only one substantial form First of all let us define a term that will be used in our expositions With the term MIXTUM plural mixta we mean something that is composed of other concrete things its ELEMENTS Such a mixtum can be just an aggregate In this case we shall call it an IMPERFECT mixtum The elements of such a mixtum do not form some constant pattern i e such a mixtum depends for its generation to take place on external non specific factors It also depends on its elements of course but only in a non specific way This implies that such a mixtum could only be exactly repeated by a coincidence of external conditions In the English language we call such imperfect mixta mixtures An Example is A granite which is a mixture of three kinds of crystals Quartz Feldspar and Biotite See figure A Granite from Sinai Egypt These crystals do not demand that they should be present in the rock in a certain fixed proportion When the proportion happens to fall into a certain range then we call it a granite A second example is a mixture of Sulphur powder and Iron powder created by just putting these ingredients together at normal temperatures But a mixtum can also be of a second type a PERFECT mixtum In such a mixtum the elements form a constant pattern The cause of the

    Original URL path: http://www.metafysica.nl/total.html (2016-02-01)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Classical Metaphysical Theory V
    indicated be it only in an indeterminate way And from this the reason is clear in what way genus species and difference relate proportionally to the matter and the form and the composite among natural things although they are not identical with them because neither the genus is matter but taken from matter in order to signify the whole nor the difference the form but taken from the form in order to signify the whole De Ente et Essentia Chapter 2 line 195 200 The unity of the genus does not imply the presence of one Essence in the different species of that genus The unity of the genus is caused by its indeterminateness when the possible differences are added then that indeterminateness disappears and so that unity resulting in the different species of that genus About the same relation as with genus to species holds in the case of species to individual The species expresses the whole but in expressing so the individuation conditions are only implicitly contained Because of expressing the whole the species can be predicated of an individual Socrates is a HUMAN BEING But if the content of the species is expressed under a cut off of designated matter matter insofar as it is designated thus with a accompanying cut off of the individuation conditions then the content of the species is expressed as a part for example with the term HUMANITY human beingness humanitas And such a term cannot directly be predicated of an individual We cannot legitimately say Socrates is humanity What we can say is just this Socrates has humanity meaning Socrates having a human nature Matter as designated materia designata does not belong to those factors by virtue of which a HUMAN BEING is a HUMAN BEING according to St Thomas De Ente et Essentia Chapter 2 line 257 260 The species considered under the cut off of the designated matter is however still composed of matter and form But despite the fact that say HUMANITY the species considered under cut off of the designated matter is composed it is not the same as MAN HUMAN BEING homo because HUMAN BEING contains although implicitly the individuation conditions This HUMANITY consequently must be received by something and that something is matter insofar as designated That from which the content of the species is taken is the meaning of the term HUMANITY in which the designated matter is excluded from consideration In this way the content of the concept of HUMANITY refers to a formal part of the thing in this case of a human being And so HUMANITY is a kind of form and St Thomas calls this form the form of the whole forma totius i e a form consisting of matter and form The matter in this forma totius is the same matter as the matter in designated matter but now considered as not yet designated This forma totius St Thomas contrasts with an added form like the form of a

    Original URL path: http://www.metafysica.nl/wezen.html (2016-02-01)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Classical Metaphysical Theory VI
    expression According to St Thomas Essence can be considered in an absolute way i e wholly in itself and exclusively in itself With respect to Man he accordingly assumes that within Socrates for example there is something by virtue of which Socrates is a human being i e a rational animal animal rationale This also applies to Plato Peter etc To this Essence according to him a number of items could happen to be allotted without strictly belonging to it for example unity and multitude Multitude does not belong to Essence taken absolutely because that Essence for instance the Essence in Socrates is not many but one Unity does not belong to Essence taken absolutely because otherwise one Essence would belong to Socrates as well as Plato etc resulting in their all being one The Essence then could not be multiplied An Essence can reside in something either in this extramental individual thing or in that extramental individual thing or it can reside in the intellect and in this case either in this individual intellect or in that individual intellect This RESIDING IN does not pertain to the Essence taken absolutely but could happen to be allotted to the Essence The character of universality also does not pertain to the Essence taken absolutely because universality implies unity and communicability communitas and these do not pertain to the Essence taken absolutely Communitability does not pertain to the Essence taken absolutely because the Essence for instance HUMAN BEING among others resides in Socrates and there it is the Essence of Socrates and that is not communicable because this Essence is individuated in Socrates All this also applies to the genus and the species i e that they are not the Essence because we find the Essence in individuals for example in Socrates not as unity referring to many other cases which after all is demanded by the character of genus and species being universals Consequently the Essence insofar as it is in the extramental individuals cannot be genus or species Thus the species as species thus as a universal must come together with i e must be equivalent to the Essence insofar as this is in the intellect because the Essence insofar as residing in the intellect abstracts from all individuating conditions and because of that it can be one Thus is already one condition for being universal satisfied This Essence as residing in the intellect can therefore uniformly refer to all the relevant extramental individuals by way of a similitude with respect to those individuals A simulitude among things means that there are aspects that are different and also aspects that are precisely the same among them Schematically we can represent this as follows AK BK CK DK and EK The Essence K as residing in the intellect then can refer to AK BK CK and EK And now also the second condition for being universal is satisfied namely communicability The universality of the Essence residing in the intellect is not accomplished by this residing in the intellect alone thus not exclusively by the fact that the Essence in the cognitive act resides in the intellect but also by i e in combination with the fact that this Essence refers to the many relevant extramental individual things as a similitude of them The Essence as it is in the intellect intends these extramental things or perhaps better expressed intends something within those extramental things The Essence K is repeated over the individuals AK BK CK DK etc We speak here about the Essence as if it were one thing But the only reason that we do so here is the identity with respect to content of K in AK BK CK DK etc This Essence K is not numerically one it is directly many as an aspect that happens to be allotted to this Essence absolutely taken The Essence as residing in the intellect always in an individual intellect which finds itself in the act of knowing is one and because just this one something refers to many things i e represents those many things or perhaps better expressed represents something in those many things this essence as residing in the intellect is a universal It is one referring to many things It is important to note that according to Thomism there can be collections of things say the collection A in such a way that there is something let us call it K in those things of such a collection which is identical with respect to content for all those things belonging to that collection And this K is discovered by the intellect in cooperation with the senses And now the intellect can abstract K from those things and as it were absorb it into itself And now that something which it accordingly has absorbed and insofar as it is now in that intellect while referring to those things the intellect interprets as a species in the case of say HUMAN BEING or as a genus in the case of say ANIMAL or as difference in the case of say RATIONAL Whether this repetition of that something over individual things is exact with respect to content or not has not been investigated in Thomism A non exact repetition can be symbolized as follows It concerns in this symbolization the non exact repetition of a segment beginning with D and ending with T PQ DAAAAAAAAAAT SW UV DA E AAAAAAAAT FG HI DA B AAAAAAAAT LM SN DAAAAAA C AAAT OP RR DAAAAAAAA X AT IA JY DAAA EE AAAAAT ZB etc Here indeed something is repeated but not exactly We cannot beforehand rule out this possibility i e the possibility that the repetition is never exact Nevertheless it seems unlikely Things seem to possess a certain inherent and intrinsic nature causing them to behave always in certain well specifiable ways Let me dwell on this a little longer All say copper crystals possess an internal structure such that it is

    Original URL path: http://www.metafysica.nl/wezen_univ.html (2016-02-01)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Classical Metaphysical Theory VII
    existence in which the thing subsists the existence through which the thing is a being per se it causes rather a certain secondary existence without which the subsisting being can be understood to exist as what is first can be understood without what is second Hence from the accident and the subject there is made something that is one accidentally not essentially and so from the conjunction of these two there does not result an essence as there does from the conjunction of form and matter And so an accident has neither the aspect of a complete essence nor is it a part of an essence rather just as an accident is a being only in a certain sense so too does it have an essence only in a certain sense But since that which is greatest and truest in a genus is the cause of the lesser things in the genus as fire which is at the extreme of heat is the cause of heat in other hot things as the Philosopher says in II Metaphysicae cap 1 993b24 27 thus substance which is first in the genus of beings and which has essence in the truest and greatest way is the cause of accidents which participate in the notion of being only secondarily and in a certain sense But this happens in a variety of ways Since the parts of substance are matter and form certain accidents are principally a consequence of form and certain accidents are principally a consequence of matter Now while we find some forms like the intellectual soul whose existence does not depend on matter matter does not have existence except through form Hence among those accidents that are a consequence of form there are some that have no communication with matter such as understanding which does not take place through a corporeal organ as the Philosopher proves in III De Anima cap 1 429a18 b5 Other accidents that are a consequence of form do have communication with matter and among these is sensation But no accident a consequence of matter is without some communication with form Among the accidents that are consequences of matter there is found a certain diversity Some accidents follow from the order the matter has to a special form as the masculine and the feminine in animals the difference between which is reduced to the matter as the Philosopher says in X Metaphysicae cap 9 1058b21 23 Hence the form of the animal having been removed these accidents do not remain except in some equivocal sense This phenomenon of the masculine and the feminine with respect to individuals of animals with distinguished sexes and also plants with distinguished sexes can perhaps be compared with the phenomenon of enantiomorphy with respect to some species of crystals These are crystal species that come in two variaties that only differ from each other with respect to their handedness They are like two hands of a same person mirror images of each other MASCULINITY is a condition in which a certain substance can find itself For an individual substance this condition state masculine or feminine is permanent except certain snails Within the species masculine or feminine is not permanent but varies from individual to individual Because this character varies within the species we know 1 that this character cannot exclusively depend on the Form but on Matter as well albeit always through an aspect of the Form This because the causation of an accident can never be accomplished by matter alone and 2 we not only know that masculine or feminine is a predicamental accident but we know also that it is not a proprium accidens Other accidents follow from the order the matter has to a general form and so with these accidents if the special form is removed the accidents still remain in the thing as the blackness of the skin of an Ethiopian comes from the mixture of the elements and not from the notion of the soul and hence the blackness remains in the man after death Since everything is individuated by matter and is placed in its genus or species through its form the accidents that follow from the matter are accidents of the individual and by these accidents individuals of the same species differ one from another But the accidents that follow from the form are properly passions of the genus or species and so they are found in all things participating in the nature of the genus or species as risibility in man follows from the form for laughter comes from a certain kind of understanding in the soul of man Here St Thomas expounds the specific and generic propria These originate from the specific repectively generic form and therefore are constant within respectively the species and the genus And if they indeed originate per se from those forms then they cannot occur in the absence of those forms Thus not in other species respectively genera because if that would be the case then they would apparently originate from a more general form Of course we could imagine that a certain accident thus a certain phenomenon could have several causes and so could originate from a form A but also from a form B and to be sure not by virtue of something that is commonly possessed by these forms Nevertheless this does not appear to be very probable It appears evident that the effect must be somewhat different in both cases St Thomas also speaks about accidents that originate from matter always through the substantial form And because so he says matter is the principle of individuation these accidents belong to the individual as individual Because these accidents follow from the matter of the relevant individual they must be constant for that individual because in fact they originate from the individual substantial form because matter can only generate something through its form And so we have the individual propria These are characteristics that always accompany

    Original URL path: http://www.metafysica.nl/analogia.html (2016-02-01)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Classical Metaphysical Theory VIII
    to artificial things Afer all we see that by one and the same artisan is made from wood a box and also a bed according to the diverse forms of the craft which he possesses It is clear that the text is concerned with accidental in formation A certain material can by virtue of one or another efficient cause obtain several different forms This in so far as it is accidental in formation also applies however to many cases of natural in formation Thus it is possible that a same material say Calciumcarbonate is able to crystallize in diverse crystalforms it can crystallize in the Orthorhombic Crystal System to be sure in the crystal class 2 m 2 m 2 m of that system NOTE 1 and then it manifests itself as the mineral Aragonite But Calciumcarbonate can also crystallize in the Hexagonal Crystal System to be sure in the crystal class 3 2 m of that system NOTE 2 and then it manifests itself as the mineral Calcite So if we would interpret a chemical material as a Substance in the metaphysical sense and the crystal forms as conditions states accidents in which such substances would find themselves then we have the diverse accidental in formations mentioned earlier with respect to one and the same material But if however we interpret the crystals themselves as Substances and if we characterize such a Substance by Chemical Composition Space Group See the Essay on Crystals which I prefer then we can exemplify the things St Thomas has said also with natural things Sodiumchlorate normally forms cubic crystals when it crystallizes But under other circumstances crystals are formed with a tetrahedral form Thus the same substance namely crystalline Sodiumchlorate can assume different outer forms under constancy of the inner structure by virtue of external causes Despite the change in outer form the crystals keep belonging to the Tetartoidal Crystal class symbol 23 of the Cubic Crystal System Besides this Point Symmetry also the Translative Symmetry remains the same See the above link The total symmetry and also the chemical composition remains the same implying that the overall internal structure remains the same i e the inner structure of the crystal remains the same in all its possible different outer forms Said equivalently The Chemical Composition Space Group and thus by definition the Substance remains the same despite the different outer forms i e the different conditions of those Sodiumchlorate crystals NOTE 3 In a thematic context we can say that the Essence of a crystal causes its substance whereby this substance is characterized by Chemical Composition Space Group and whereby the Essence of that crystal is the dynamical law in this case a crystallization law that generated this crystal In the same way to return to the classical example the wood remained the same under changing forms conditions box bed when we interprete for convenience wood as a substance NOTE 4 We must qualify things further The cubical and tetrahedral outer forms are states conditions of Sodiumchlorate crystals Wood just like that is a Second Substance A Second Substance is that something that is predicated of a First Substance an individual real being when we ask what that particular first substance specifically is Only a determined piece of wood to which we can point with the finger is a First Substance when we consider it as an aggregate then we have a collection of first substances This piece of wood can occur in the form of a box or in the form of a bed or in some other form So these forms are states in which a piece of wood can happen to be in These states are it is true much more exterior than the above mentioned crystal forms but they are nevertheless comparable with them The examples given by St Thomas relate to states but perhaps are meant also to indicate that substances differing in content can in principle be generated from a same substrate A crystal example can relate to the two different subsances Aragonite and Calcite that originate from a same material namely Calciumcarbonate Accordingly different Substances do not necessarily always require different substrates and this could be an indication for the existence of a certain degree of medium independency The same species of Substance from different substrates We continue with the text of St Thomas nr 1735 Although prime matter is common to everything the proper specific matters of the diverse things are nevertheless divers So in order that somebody does not ascribe all diversity among the things only and exclusively to a moving cause efficient cause and if he would do so and not at all also to a material principle he Aristotle adds that in some things which are divers among each other there must necessarily be a diverse matter namely the proper specific matter After all not just anything can be generated from any matter Like a saw that cannot be made from wood Nor the craftsman can make it for we know that he never always uses one and the same material for every piece of work it is clear that he cannot make a saw from wood or wool which because of their softness are not suitable for the function of a saw which is sawing Again the examples are from the accidental sphere but the meaning is clear One or another specific thing say A cannot be generated from a randomly chosen material but only from appropriate material But nonetheless a choice from a small number of different materials is still possible A functional saw can be made from iron as well as from say nickel So in such cases no strict medium dependency is demanded The material only needs to satisfy certain general conditions like hardness workability etc How should we interprete all this when it concerns the substantial sphere In the case of crystals seen as substances another material directly implies another substance If we completely substitute within

    Original URL path: http://www.metafysica.nl/medium.html (2016-02-01)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Classical Metaphysical Theory IX
    present that s why the part is as residing in its whole in a potency that has maximally approached its act because it is impossible to assume a dual substantial being in the same thing as is said above and because one also should not assume such a dual substantial being as a consequence of one or another preceding change and because one also should not assume that a new form is induced unless through a change The new form of the part is not induced until by a change i e when the mixtum has been subjected to a change in such a way that it has been disintegrated into its parts which then have become actual This in fact is a description of a heterogeneous continuum In the text this is expounded mainly by those states of affairs which we find in living beings because in those days inorganic mixta were perhaps considered as homogeneous Nowadays however these for instance chemical compounds have turned out to be heterogeneous either This on the basis of chemical and X ray analysis of such compounds For instance it is certain that in crystals of chemical compounds the atomic nuclei are completely conserved including their properties for example any radioactivity Also the inner shells of the atoms of a crystal are in the case of more or less heavy chemical elements conserved and with them their properties for instance the X ray spectrum So if the initial elements that were to make up such a compound were different from the outset then at least some of these differences will be conserved in the crystal of the compound causing it to be heterogeneous It is perhaps possible to interpret all these findings in the following way The observed properties of the parts elements are in the mixtum now properties OF THE MIXTUM which how could it be otherwise are very similar to the properties of the elements before they were united into the mixtum perfectum Of course this must be investigated Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Continua Above we noticed that inorganic substances were considered as homogeneous continua in the days of St Thomas quite understandable when one beholds chemical compounds for example in the form of crystals At about the middle of Chapter 9 of the treatise De Natura Materiae et Dimensionibus Interminatis indeed homogeneous and heterogeneous continua are being treated of In the case of homogeneous continua a multitude of beings is generated by the process of division beings which are specifically the same and also specifically the same as the initial continuum before division This is said to be the case in inorganic substances and lower organisms If indeed such a continuum is constituted by a repetition of conspecific unities within one integral whole then it is clear that division will give rise to several beings which are conspecific with that continuum before division This is the case in crystals They consist of a periodic repetition in three directions of a unit cell Fission results in several beings idem specie while the species remains the same NOTE 1 Also in the case of some animals The treatise mentions articulated animals like Earthworms Annelida a repetition of units can be observed but in this case in one direction only they form a chain of identical metamers with a weakly pronounced differentiation of the front end These animals seem to be idem specie divisible There are however animals which can be divided idem specie because of their ability of regeneration for example Flatworms Flatworms do not consist of a succession of more or less identical metamers sequential segments placed behind each other But they do consist of two antimers counterparts These are parts lying next to each other and are in the case of Flatworms their right and left body halves When such a flatworm is divided through its median plane i e when the body halves antimers are separated from each other then each antimer develops into a whole animal again now again consisting of two antimers See next Figure Figure 1 The regeneration of a complete flatworm of the genus Planaria cut as indicated on the left Redrawn after SHELDRAKE R 1988 The Presence of the Past Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature Figure 5 3 p 77 Higher animals animalia perfecta in the treatise lack such a idem specie divisibility They are to be sure divisible but the several beings resulting from division are not conspecific with the initial form anymore In the mentioned treatise a metaphysical explanation is attemted in Chapter 9 the investigation of which I would like to postpone for the time being Important and interesting however is that such a divisibility which does not preserve specific identity does not relate to height in the sense of being a higher organism of the being in question as is asserted in the treatise because this phenomenon also occurs in the case of molecules existing on their own i e not in one or another repetitional frame but freely in gasses or in non ionizing solvents It appears inevitable to me that molecules which as such were not known in the Middle Ages at most in the form of the theoretical minima must be considered as Substances The impossibility of idem specie division seems to me to be related to the degree of unity of the thing in question This unity is strong in the case of a molecule weaker in the case of a crystal and strong again in the case of higher organisms The unity of a human being is actual and he does not possess a potential multitude idem specie within himself NOTE 2 while this is the case with crystals but absent again in the case of molecules If we divide the latter then we get specifically different products Strong unity as can be observed in the case of organisms returns in the submicroscopical domain Coherent with the Totality character of a Substance is the

    Original URL path: http://www.metafysica.nl/mixtum_rev.html (2016-02-01)
    Open archived version from archive



  •