Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Substance, philosophy: in the philosophical discussion, the substance is the assumed, not-determined, equilibrium, which is the basis of the changing forms or accidents of the objects. See also ousia, accidents, substratum.

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Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

 
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I 109
Substance/Properties/Millikan: Thesis: "Substance" and "properties" are categories that are cut off relative to each other and relative to the operation of the negation. They do not mutually exclude one another.
Properties/Millikan: are varied elements of facts, receptive to negation.
Substances/Millikan: are also variable, but relative to other transformations.
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I 254
Substances/property/Millikan: substance and property are determined in relation to one another.
Definition Substance/Millikan: substance is what it is and the same as it is relative to a set of property domains from which it necessarily has a property, while other properties are excluded in the property domain.
E.g. substance category/Millikan: corresponds to a set of substances. The identities are relations to the same opposite-predicate domains. E.g. gold, like other elements of the category of chemical elements, has an atomic number, a valence, a melting point, a color. But it does not have size, shape, mother, birthday, gesture.
Definition property/Millikan: (corresponding to substance) is what it is and the same as it is relative to a domain of opposites and to a set of elements of substance categories whose elements necessarily have a property from this domain and all other properties are excluded.
Grasping/property/Millikan: to grasp a property is to distinguish it from others, or to grasp the opposite parts relative to which the property is the same as that which it is.
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I 255
Senseless/Millikan: thus we can recognize expressions as meaningless as e.g. "Gold is great".
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I 274
Property/Object/Predicate/Substance/Individual/Ontology/Millikan: Strawson's distinction between "monogamous" and "non-monogamous" entities is not absolute, but relative:
Object/thing: For example, if my ring is made of gold, it cannot be made of silver at the same time.
Polygamous: Gold is relative to my ring ((s) it could also have been silver - the gold could have belonged to another object.). Then gold is a property (unlike another) and my ring is a substance.
But relative to other substances, the identity of gold seems like the identity of an individual.
Ontology/MillikanVsFrege/MillikanVsRussell: we must drop the rigid distinction between concept and object or particular and property.
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I 275
Variant: not only predicates are variants in world states, but also substances or individuals (they can be replaced).
Substance: when we consider gold as a property, it does not prevent us from understanding it as a substance. As Aristotle said:
Individuals/Aristotle/Millikan: are merely primary substances, not the only substances which exist; that is, substances that are not properties of something else.
Substance/Millikan: a substance is actually an epistemic category.
Substance/Millikan: e.g. gold, e.g. domestic cat, e.g. 69s Plymouth Valiant 100.
Substance/Category/Millikan: substances fall into categories, defined by the exclusivity classes with regard to which they are intended.
E.g. Gold and silver fall into this category because they belong to the same exclusivity classes: having a melting point, atomic weight, etc.
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I 276
Imperfect Substances/Millikan: imperfect substances have only approximate properties. e.g. a domestic cat has a weight between 7 and 14 pounds.
Perfect substance/Millikan: a perfect substance can also have time-bound properties:
E.g. Johnny sits at t1, but not at t2
E.g. water has a melting point at 0 degrees, in an atmospheric pressure, but not at 10 atmospheres!
E.g. Johnny has then however once and for all the property, to sit to t1.
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I 277
Complete concept/Millikan: to have a complete concept, one needs time concepts.
Accessibility: complete concepts for durable objects are not as accessible as concepts for substances such as e.g. domestic cat or e.g. gold.
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I 281
Summary/Substance/Property/Identity/Self-identity/Millikan:
Perfect Secondary Substance: e.g. gold: has an identity that is formally the same as that of an individual in relation to its properties.
Imperfect secondary substance: e.g. 69s Plymouth (contradiction to above) e.g. domestic cat: have a kind of identity that is formally analogous to the identity of perfect substances. For example, in accordance with laws in situ, instead of under all natural conditions.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.

Millk I
R. G. Millikan
Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories: New Foundations for Realism Cambridge 1987


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-10-21