Combining Philosophers

Ideas for Speussipus, M.R. Ayers and Jaegwon Kim

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5 ideas

9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / a. Individuation
To express borderline cases of objects, you need the concept of an 'object' [Ayers]
     Full Idea: The only explanation of the power to produce borderline examples like 'Is this hazelnut one object or two?' is the possession of the concept of an object.
     From: M.R. Ayers (Individuals without Sortals [1974], 'Counting')
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / e. Individuation by kind
Speakers need the very general category of a thing, if they are to think about it [Ayers]
     Full Idea: If a speaker indicates something, then in order for others to catch his reference they must know, at some level of generality, what kind of thing is indicated. They must categorise it as event, object, or quality. Thinking about something needs that much.
     From: M.R. Ayers (Individuals without Sortals [1974], Intro)
     A reaction: Ayers defends the view that such general categories are required, but not the much narrower sortal terms defended by Geach and Wiggins. I'm with Ayers all the way. 'What the hell is that?'
We use sortals to classify physical objects by the nature and origin of their unity [Ayers]
     Full Idea: Sortals are the terms by which we intend to classify physical objects according to the nature and origin of their unity.
     From: M.R. Ayers (Individuals without Sortals [1974], 'Concl')
     A reaction: This is as opposed to using sortals for the initial individuation. I take the perception of the unity to come first, so resemblance must be mentioned, though it can be an underlying (essentialist) resemblance.
Seeing caterpillar and moth as the same needs continuity, not identity of sortal concepts [Ayers]
     Full Idea: It is unnecessary to call moths 'caterpillars' or caterpillars 'moths' to see that they can be the same individual. It may be that our sortal concepts reflect our beliefs about continuity, but our beliefs about continuity need not reflect our sortals.
     From: M.R. Ayers (Individuals without Sortals [1974], 'Realist' vi)
     A reaction: Something that metamorphosed through 15 different stages could hardly required 15 different sortals before we recognised the fact. Ayers is right.
Recognising continuity is separate from sortals, and must precede their use [Ayers]
     Full Idea: The recognition of the fact of continuity is logically independent of the possession of sortal concepts, whereas the formation of sortal concepts is at least psychologically dependent upon the recognition of continuity.
     From: M.R. Ayers (Individuals without Sortals [1974], Intro)
     A reaction: I take this to be entirely correct. I might add that unity must also be recognised.