Combining Philosophers

Ideas for Michael Burke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Epicurus

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2 ideas

8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 8. Properties as Modes
The perceived accidental properties of bodies cannot be conceived of as independent natures [Epicurus]
     Full Idea: The shapes, colours, sizes and weights which are predicated of body as accidents, ...and are known by sense-perception, must not be thought of as independent natures (for that is inconceivable).
     From: Epicurus (Letter to Herodotus [c.293 BCE], 68)
     A reaction: I take this to be an anti-platonist remark, though he is not denying that the accidental properties may have some universal character. I'm struck by how close the basic metaphysics of Epicurus is to that of Aristotle.
Accidental properties give a body its nature, but are not themselves bodies or parts of bodies [Epicurus]
     Full Idea: Accidental qualities are not non-existent, nor are they distinct corporeal entities inhering in the body, nor parts of it. We should think that the whole body throughout derives its permanent nature from these properties, though not as a compound of them.
     From: Epicurus (Letter to Herodotus [c.293 BCE], 69)
     A reaction: 'Permanent' nature sounds more like essential than accidental properties. This is uncomfortably negative in its attempt to pin down what accidental properties are. The last bit seems to deny the bundle view of objects. Would he like tropes?