By Jorge J. E. Gracia
The writer starts off by way of distinguishing six primary concerns at the metaphysics of individuality. He then proceeds to check the relation between those matters and to illustrate that lack of knowledge of the interrelationships has brought on confusion in philosophy. even with the intricacy of the subject material, the dialogue is often transparent, the arguments explicitly evaluated, and the recommendations unique. moreover, Gracia has assembled an array of ancient and modern info, from Plato to Strawson, that's unavailable somewhere else.
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Additional resources for Individuality: An Essay on the Foundations of Metaphysics
For example, if one were to accept that individuality is to be interpreted basically as some kind of difference or distinction among things, how does one then explain the sameness among them? If to be an individual is to be different, how is it that Leticia is like Clarisa in so many ways, even though both of them are individual? On the other hand, if one adopts the view that to be individual, one must have a determinate and unique set of characteristics, how can the philosopher explain the individual's capacity to endure through time and change?
In turn, the nature can be specific, generic, or accidental. " The specific difference in turn consists of the common features that are part of what distinguishes the thing from a larger group of actual or possible things and at the same time makes it part of a smaller group of things, the members of which can be distinguished only as individuals. One such specific feature frequently cited, for example, may be the capacity to reason in human beings. The features that all members of several species have in common and that make them part of a larger group, which is in turn distinct from other larger groups, constitute the genus or generic nature.
Finally, I would like to close by expressing my appreciation to those of my colleagues, students, and friends who encouraged me to take on this task and to many others who read drafts of the manuscript and made many valuable suggestions and corrections. To mention all of them would be a formidable task, but I must make special note of at least five of my colleagues who devoted considerable time to reading all or parts of the manuscript and who made numerous suggestions for improvements and brought to my attention many errors in historical judgments, weaknesses in the arguments, and infelicities of style.