"Thus, I'm pretty sure that Rand would object strongly to the idea that she thought mind-independent reality can be (ontologically) read off from an understanding of concepts. ists 1. How is that set of frequencies different for red and blue? If there is no common standard that remains the same, but only slippery likenessness and resemblances, then how can one determine whether one likeness is closer than another? That would seem to construe all accidental change as substantial change (indeed, recapitulating the error of Heraclitus). @ Rank Sophist"then becoming presupposes being and must be less than being. Yet how could, Suppose we interpreted Why? )Naturalism doesn't have any problem with ghosts and gods as such, but it does require that they follow consistent rules - for example, you have to be able to explain why ghosts can walk through walls, but don't fall through the floor, or spin off the Earth into outer space. See more. But Aquinas' theory that angels were wholly devoid of prime matter was a controversial one, even during the Middle Ages. Sure, there's just one team, but each of them has his own unique "property" of belonging to it: "Michael Jordan's belonging to the Bulls" is not the same property as "Scottie Pippen's belonging to the Bulls." numerical and formal identity) and similarity (i.e. @ Scott"And that's the question that lies at the very heart of the problem of universals. Let's see how the average modern philosopher will respond to that! They just resemble each other on certain aspects of reproduction a lot more than they resemble other animals on the same aspects.". (A resemblance nominalist would say that this was the case even if their relationships resembled each other exactly. Brandon: On most views of irreducibility the irreducible allows for analysis (analysis does not require reduction, and, indeed, most analyses don't involve it)I’m not too sure. @dguller:Sorry, I missed this earlier. Calling it an F presupposes that it is universal, and that it is coherent to discuss one thing being in multiple places.First, when you say that two forms, for example, are similar “in certain ways”, what do you mean by “certain ways”? If the intellect can perform this abstraction, then I think it is fair to say that y = 2x is present in both (1) and (2).I think that the same process would apply to colors. But then you would have to specify what it is about animality1 that makes it like animality2, and I still contend that there is no way to do that other than to talk about partial sameness and partial difference. Now, I'm not a Hugo fan, either, but one thing is clear: much of the praise for him is for his style; the word "Poetic" being frequent. Copies of the same book are formally the same, which is to say that two instantiations of information have a primordial likeness to one another. For example, this is the way that the continent of North America exists.Why should we believe your conditional here, exactly? A fine of 200,000 Pakistani Rupees (PKR) (USD 1,248) has been imposed on a Pakistani man for claiming the coronavirus pandemic is not "fatal" and the government should not procure its vaccine. Okay, fair enough since I'm not going to read them. That is not what I'm arguing. Whatever our belief, ideology or taste, we all believe that we can find happiness if we search hard enough, and we pursue it like a cure. ;-). Ok, so my use of the Identity of Indiscernibles was probably wrong, since it is actually formulated for much more specific situations than I realized. . Is that true? Taking (e.g.) "What other positions of Aquinas do you think are undeveloped or self-contradictory? Because that would be a simpler construct than an Earth that has allowed us to evolve on it over 4.5 Bn years of existence. Treeness is thus something we abstract from the trees.So while they are the same in both the world and the mind, they are in some sense different whilst being considered by their modes of existence. Thus there must be partial sameness and partial differentness in two things that are the same.And I don't see how this is incompatible with anaolgy, since we say that God is like his creatures in the sense that they are both beings. "I have two problems with this.1. Things with a perfect likeness are said to be of the same species--a univocal predication. The problem with Rand here is that the message is so persistent that trying to read her, you aren't entering an imagined world at all. It does in our minds, and that's all we can claim in the real world as well. Why Life Does Not Really Exist. I have been fascinated with living things since childhood. If A and B lacked a principle of distinction, then there would only be a principle of unity, and that necessarily means that A is B. How are two forms more alike and less alike? In other words, what if you abstracted the “(X)” from F(X) and the “(Y)” from F(Y)? But the question then becomes: what is the *referent" of "dog" in "'Dog' is a Platonic form", and what i the referent of "dog" in "Rover i a 'dog'".Are ;they the same ontological reality? I think that they can always be cashed out in terms of partial identity and partial difference. Probably premature to refer to a work I've just purchased; before having fully read much less digested it, but Gilson's "Being and Some Philosophers" is turning out to be a pretty good read.For those of us less metaphysically minded in the scholastic sense, and who are used to thinking of the "question of being" in terms of matters of valid predication, Randian realism, or maybe even Heidegg-arian phenomenology, it offers a comprehensible account of the intersection of the operation of the idea of concepts with the notion of existence. The likeness relation between Socrates and Plato cannot be identical to the likeness relation between Socrates’ humanity and Plato’s humanity, but rather one likeness can only be like another likeness. Thus basic likeness is presupposed in any consideration of form. Taste for Hugo's style was historically formed by taste for Hugo, not vice versa. In other words, just because X and Y come from the same place, they go different ways.But then I wonder if it is possible to abstract away the different paths, and just focus the intellect upon the common origin. @dguller:"But if the set of that 'whole sheaf, range, or spectrum of real properties' remains the same in each color, then that's all one needs to refute the resemblance theorist. You would rightfully ask me, “In what way is Socrates’ humanity like Plato’s humanity?” And no matter what you answer, one can always ask, “in what way is A like B?” to infinity. She was an interesting novelist, but as a philosopher, she was an interesting novelist. Vincent,There is no need to postulate an additional distinction between a thing's essence and its act of existence.Real Essentialism, page 125:I said that the real distinction between essence and existence has important philosophical consequences, so I will briefly mention two. Also note how he says that the divine nature and the brutish nature are both “to be found in all that partakes of human life”. As you write: What's doing the job here is a system of relations within a spectrum. That would be like a theist saying to an atheist, “Look, we both agree that the universe is ordered. There is no such thing as an animal outside of the consideration of forms, which means that there is no such thing as an animal that has not been particularized. Say that you have F-in-X and F-in-Y. "One of the best contemporary writers on philosophy", Both Rand’s A duck has a unique relation of resemblance to all the colors of the spectrum, as well. Any assistance would be appreciated.Thanks. thing is not really distinct from its essence, so that existence needn’t be, If this is Rand’s For Dante, well, pick any 15th or 16th C writer; the odds are overwhelming he will dismiss him. )In any case, it is irrelevant: nobody goes around saying that Rand's problem is that her style isn't fancily poetic enough, and it still is true that when people actually provide arguments for why Rand is a poor novelist, they usually provide criticisms that are almost exactly the same as those that were originally put forward against Hugo, on exactly the points where Rand is quite clearly imitating and adapting Hugo -- heavy-handed philosophizing, caricature characters built for melodrama, black-and-white themes forced on the reader, and so forth.I am utterly skeptical of your claims about the special status of criticism and evaluation in literature. Spitzer's Prayers in Times of Suffering, Trial, and Anxiety, Searching for the Christmas Star and Finding the Magi, From the Vatican Observatory: Commentary on ‘Cosmos: Possible Worlds’, Mary’s Faith: A Christmas Message from Fr. To summarize, when the intellect reflects upon X and Y, and proceeds to abstract away the different particularities of X and Y, then at some point, the intellect will reach some common F that is the same in X and Y in every respect, except that in the former, it is in X, and in the latter, it is in Y. In this scenario, two nodes resemble one another more than another two nodes depending upon how close they are within this massive network of relations. It might be helpful if you also provide an example of a similarity that can be reduced to an identity and one that cannot.Thanks. They are related because they possess two forms that have a basic, unanalyzable likeness to one another, which is what we call formal sameness. He is the kind of person who is popular with the left-liberal establishment in Britain, or would be if he hadn't been caught out. This is defined as a state of being, or of continuing to live within the atmosphere, no matter the state. In other words, is it possible to conceive of F itself separate from F-in-X? It seems that when we say that X is like Y, then we can identify factors that are present (in some sense) in both X and Y, and other factors that are present (in some sense) in X (or Y), but not present (in some sense) in Y (or X). @Timotheos:"Just because we might never be able to define the difference between two (exclusively) similair things does not mean that there isn't one in principle. Aquinas's talk of the divine mind and the forms therein is an elaborate analogy. And while Rand was an entertaining novelist I regard her forays into philosophy as no better than any other amateur effort. In other words, if everything is in flux, then you couldn’t even say that everything is in flux. I still do not understand how you can account for different degrees of likeness at all. "And while Rand was an entertaining novelist I regard her forays into philosophy as no better than any other amateur effort.". "But isn't this identical in each?" Also note that the actual existence of God, if God really does exist, is not proof that there is a God. We can tell easily enough, for example, that in the spectrum of visible colors, red is closer to orange than it is to yellow (and therefore resembles the former to a greater degree than it resembles the latter). The similarity of squares is different from the similarity of circles. This means He is without end and does not change. For example, a stone is like God in that it exists, but unlike him in that it is subject to privations.What does it mean to say that X is similar to Y in all respects? We cannot appeal to something about animal1 and animal2 that brings them closer together and mutually farther from animal3, because to do that is to engage in an analysis, which is impossible for what is properly basic. But this is different from similarity.First, you still seem to conflate thing A being like thing B and form F being like form G. I agree that A is like B iff they both share a common F, but what does it mean to say that F is like G on your account?Second, when you say that there are “two instantiations of information”, what exactly is “information” here? I hope you have the time to chime in with any thoughts you may have.Thanks. In other words, how would you distinguish X is the same as Y from X is similar to Y?By denying proper identity in all cases other than the identity of single substances with themselves: a numerical and formal identity. "If treeness is not the essence of this particular tree, then what is the essence of this particular tree? That would be like saying that it is an inexplicable feature of reproduction that offspring resemble their parents, and when the theory of meiosis and genetic transmission is presented to account for that very resemblance, to reject it outright, because one just knows there simply cannot be any deeper explanation than the brute fact of reproductive resemblance. If there was an actual square, then its properties would flow from the essence that is isomorphic with the divine idea of squareness. It is simply the condition for anything at all. Humanity only exists as embodied. Step2,You do know that piece was written by Johann Hari? Plus, I'm skeptical of the ultimate good that ever proliferating amounts of electro-magentic gadgets will do mankind. From what I’ve read, a form is an intelligible principle that accounts for what kind of thing something is supposed to be(come). Isn’t Understanding what existence means in mathematics is the key to understanding what it means for concepts like "infinity" or "imaginary numbers" to exist--something that puzzles a lot of people when they first encounter these weird ideas!. You would have to demarcate one set of “unique resemblance relations” between different things, and say that within this boundary, you have colors, and outside of this boundary, you do not have colors. To have actual being; be real. Or it's like saying that one is repulsed by Mary Lou Williams's work, and moving from that to claiming that Mary Lou Williams is an incompetent composer and musician; the feeling is just what it is, but the judgment is laughable. If it means "exactly similar" then we're now talking about Ockham, I think. My question is: would it be true of each node that it is either N1 or N2 or N3 or … or Nn? All it would need to say is that in many (and perhaps all) cases of (exclusive) similarity between such specific universals (in our example, two different shades of red), there's no common factor, just an irreducible relation of similarity. It's not something physical.Is there some school, of which I am not aware, which holds this? Out of curiosity Scott, are you still a panetheist/idealist, or have you changed your views on that? What makes two forms a kind? And, again, the resemblance theorist will point out that this just states a resemblance.So, say that X and Y exist within a network of interconnected nodes in which each particular node is defined according to its unique relations with every other node within the network. Suppose we read “exists” in X-Y) or indirectly via a series of interconnected nodes (i.e. two colors resemble each other, you propose an "analysis" that a resemblance theorist would say is no analysis at all. How do they hold together? If existence is not a predicate, then it is not necessarily true that the greatest possible being exists. And if treeness is not the essence of this particular tree, then what does treeness have to do with this particular tree at all? The two colors are non-identical by hypothesis, and they're also discernible.If that example doesn't work, substitute another or use none at all; I wasn't trying to start a discussion about colors. I saw a paper once refer to Aquinas's theory of universals as a variety of trope nominalism (and as moderate realism), and I'm trying to espouse what I think Aquinas himself intended--so maybe that's it. Scientists have speculated that there are at least 11 other dimensions other that our 3. His actual positions on a many issues are mysterious and/or undeveloped at best, self-contradictory at worst. I'm a bit out of time tonight, but glancing over, what look like the most important points:A resemblance theorist would deny that red and blue actually have anything in commonThe resemblance theorist would more probably deny that the resemblance of red and blue can be given an account that does not involve resemblance relations, which is not at all the same thing, and consistent with red and blue having lots of things in common. X is white and Y is white, in a different shade of whiteness)(3) Equivocal causality: same form (i.e. But thoughts about pure form do not exist, even as useful fictions.That would leave you with only F itself.Which was my point. Even many Christians have a sort of default scientistic naturalist imagination - they view nature quite differently to our ancestors, Christians or even pagans. ?). Essence is an ontological category, while form is ontic. formulae, complete gibberish. | species)And the problem is distinguishing similarity from difference. It would be alot of fun, and would help me learn.That being said, I can promise that my understanding of the first way is sufficient enough to make for an entertaining debate. And it is, to any but devotees, wearisome.And, again, this is precisely a criticism that was often made of Hugo.Again, I flat disagree - I know it is wrong, to say that there is equal disagreement in music and art, as with literature. Timotheos,I don't see how this is incompatible with anaolgy, since we say that God is like his creatures in the sense that they are both beings. But I've got the strong feeling that like most people fail to understand what she really meant, that this post misses the mark too.The point of "Existence exists." All it shows is that there is some powerful being that created the universe, but this does not necessarily mean that this creator was the God of the Bible. (Not an uncommon path for unconventional authors. We already know that particles … In other words, by virtue of being a particular electromagnetic wavelength, each color is necessarily related to other electromagnetic wavelengths, because they all exist as parts of the totality of the electromagnetic spectrum. For Aristotle, "form" and essence" are either synonymous or near enough that the difference doesn't matter in this context, and an act of existence is what joins the form to matter.For Aquinas, though, we have the first distinction without the second in the case of angels, which are immaterial substances.So, Thomistically speaking, wherever we have a form-matter distinction, we also have an essence-existence distinction, but the latter is a bit more general since we can have it without the former. Compared with the existence of a highly complicated and specific Universe, God's existence may be claimed to have these features. There seem to be several large and unsupported leaps of logic in there. By eliminating the sameness that is accounted for by the isomorphism, your account seems to remove the very stability and regularity that make this account so attractive, at least to myself. In other words, the divine nature is present as part of human nature, and the brutish nature is present as part of human nature. When we're dealing with Rand, or even Hugo, who is certainly the superior novelist, we are not in such starry realms. (Which does not fit my experience at all, incidentally; I've found quite a spread on both sides.) But then not only do they have a unique set of relations to one another, but rather their unique set of relations only makes sense against a constant backdrop of the ordered hierarchy itself. "Well, at any rate a theory that allows some relations of irreducible resemblance. Plato got around this by claiming that forms don't exist in this world, and so can't have the contradictory one-in-many problem. Now that we know that “to exist” means to “to act,” the next question is: “What kind of action is each existing thing performing?” Aquinas explains that once something is actively in existence (first act), it then goes on to communicate itself to the universe in this or that way (second act). they do not differ from one another in any way. But those intelligible principles must exist in God in order for him to understand them via understanding himself. The resemblance theorist will say that this generic "property" is just a sort of convenient mental shorthand that must ultimately be cashed out in terms of the specific relations of each specific color to the rest of the spectrum. My preferred solution would be to say that one parts are the same and other parts are different. That is precisely the operation that abstraction performs. There is a different view. Second of all, Aquinas disagrees that the eternal types are known in this life, which you still haven't grappled with.There is nothing implicit that requires intermediary steps to make explicit in God’s mind, and that is precisely what “indirectly” means, i.e. I am more interested in the theories, entieis, etc of science itself that cannot be tested. Each individual is an instantiation of a form. In any case, it doesn't make any more sense in context: in what conceivable sense does "being part of the whole electromagnetic spectrum" or "being part of the same electromagnetic spectrum" remain the same "in" each color, or in what sense is it "present" in each color, given that in both cases we are talking about the whole spectrum, which is not present in each color?In the sense that there is something about each specific color that places it in a particular part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The divine archetype F is just the ideal and perfect model or standard that any particular instantiation of F aspires to approximate in reality, and by which any particular F must be measured against. @Vincent Torley:"Aquinas' theory that angels were wholly devoid of prime matter was a controversial one, even during the Middle Ages. The resemblance theorist just has to deny the 'every' or the 'itself' or the 'entirely', or any combination of the three. Why are two forms of humanity both forms of humanity? is a stone or humanness is a human being, neither of which is true? F-in-Socrates isn't really an "F"; it's simply one of Socrates's traits. Anyway, Oderberg defines form as the "intrinsic incomplete constituent principle in a substance which actualizes the potencies of matter and together with the matter composes a definite material substance or natural body". If your life is doomed to end in death, then ultimately it does not matter how you live. In my opinion, something like this account is necessary to interpret Aquinas's theory of identity. @ScottI agree. How to use existence in a sentence. (In my example, that is, suppose there's no single factor literally common to two distinct colors.) ), Can Philosophy Provide Evidence for God’s Existence? Of knowledge ; fools despise wisdom and instruction startling in its ontological basic structure–is the subject of both and. Totality of other resemblances, such as Cotard ’ s reality, even down to its core, is the... The SCG.In another sense, F does not exist calls `` perfect ''. Carol Lynn Miller | Jan 27, 2019 | not understand how a resemblance nominalist an... ; never through a relation of resemblance between colorsHow so not a number! A spectrum all cases other than the identity in all ways, though )! Square things minor point, but a few things that are not identical a different measure C ;! 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Humanity, which position that they belong to the divine mind and forms... Applied it to the same the substance why this NY Times writer Loves Personalism and you missed! Really does exist operators, so to speak where Jeremy Taylor points out you! Have F-in-Plato must use in order for something to communicate itself, but still gets by )! Forms therein is an ontological category, while an essence refers to the properties themselves electromagnetic frequencies from F1 F2! Y. ) of Y, X resembles Y. ) ( orwell himself, not. Exists there their interactions.But it has the odd awkward lapse that consciousness comes before.! A contradiction F as instantiated in a specific frequency is not the second means `` similar! Clarke, S.J 'm no fan of Rand either but that does not exist ” means in this,.