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Individuality, Concreteness, and the Gift of Bonds

Phenomenology and Analytic Metaphysics


Zurück zum Heft: Phänomenologische Forschungen 2020-1
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Post-Quinean Nominalism is widely regarded as a metaphysics of concreteness, suggesting (in line with scientific naturalism) that ordinary language and common sense might be in the grip of “ordinary hallucinations” (Varzi 2010), or untutored belief in abstract entities. Drawing on both medieval and contemporary sources, this paper argues that, far from encouraging our minds to stick to concreteness and individuals, an untutored usage of Ockham’s Razor prompts the elision of concreteness and the everyday world from contemporary metaphysics. A theory of individuality based on Husserl’s concept of Unitary Foundation is outlined, and
partially traced back to the metaphysicians of essential individuality, or haecceity: Boethius, Scotus, Leibniz – the champions of the “Unitarian Tradition.”