Review of Metaphysics 40 (3):574-575 (1987)

Tamar Rudavsky
Ohio State University
In this work the problem of individuation is examined both in its historical framework and in the context of contemporary discussion. In the first chapter, Gracia lays out the theoretic framework for subsequent examinations. He views the problem of individuation, or individuality, from a variety of perspectives: logical, metaphysical, epistemological, and linguistic. These he characterizes in terms of the following issues: the intention of individuality; the extension of individuality; the ontological status of individuality in the individual and its relation to the individual's nature; the cause of individuation; the discernibility of individuals; and the function of proper names and indexical terms. Gracia points out that traditionally only the fourth and fifth were regarded by scholars as "the problem of individuation" proper; Gracia's contention, however, is that all six issues were discussed by medievals and must be studied more thoroughly by scholars. In this context, Gracia correctly argues that individuation must not be confused with related issues of difference and common nature.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph198740318
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