A Companion to Metaphysics by Jaegwon Kim, Visit Amazon's Ernest Sosa Page, search

By Jaegwon Kim, Visit Amazon's Ernest Sosa Page, search results, Learn about Author Central, Ernest Sosa, , Gary S. Rosenkrantz

Totally prolonged and revised, A spouse to Metaphysics second Edition incorporates a part of exact assessment essays from well known metaphysicians, and the addition of greater than 30 new encyclopedic entries, taking the variety of entries to over three hundred.

  • Includes revisions to present encyclopedic entries
  • Features greater than 30 all-new "A to Z" entries
  • Offers a bit of in-depth, essays from popular metaphysicians
  • Provides the main whole and updated reference consultant for college kids and execs alike

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With this stage-setting in place, we can now at last introduce the term “individuation” itself. This term has two senses (Lowe, 2003). In one sense – which we may call the cognitive sense – individuation is a cognitive achievement, consisting in the singling out of an object in thought (compare Wiggins, 2001, pp. 6–7). In this sense, it is we, or thinkers quite generally, who individuate objects, whenever we single them out in thought. But in a quite different sense – which we may call the ontological sense – individuation has nothing to do with cognition or thinkers, but is simply a certain kind of metaphysical determination relation between entities.

Most arguments for the incompatibility of free will and determinism, like the 26 Consequence Argument, have appealed to the requirement of alternative possibilities or AP, or branching paths into the future. But a number of modern incompatibilists about free will, have argued that another requirement of free will, a requirement of ultimate responsibility or UR, is as important as AP, perhaps even more important, to debates about the incompatibility of free will and determinism. The basic idea of UR is this: To be ultimately responsible for an action, an agent must be responsible for anything that is a sufficient cause or motive for the action’s occurring.

A metaphysical principle of individuation tells us what determines the identity of an object, in the sense that it tells us what determines which object it is. A criterion of identity, by contrast, tells us what determines whether an object belonging to a given ontological category is or is not identical with another such object. In the latter case, we are concerned with identity conceived as a relation, whereas in the former case we are concerned with “identity” in the sense of individual ESSENCE (to use a traditional term).

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