What if Haecceity is not a Property?

Foundations of Science 21 (3):511-526 (2016)
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Abstract

In some sense, both ontological and epistemological problems related to individuation have been the focal issues in the philosophy of mathematics ever since Frege. However, such an interest becomes manifest in the rise of structuralism as one of the most promising positions in recent philosophy of mathematics. The most recent controversy between Keränen and Shapiro seems to be the culmination of this phenomenon. Rather than taking sides, in this paper, I propose to critically examine some common assumptions shared by both parties. In particular, I shall focus on their assumptions on haecceity as an individual essence, haecceity as a property, the classification of properties, and thereby the search for the principle of individuation in terms of properties. I shall argue that all these assumptions are mistaken and ungrounded from Scotus’ point of view. Further, I will fathom what consequences would follow, if we reject each of these assumptions.

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Woosuk Park
Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST)

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