Single Idea 13075

[catalogued under 9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / d. Individuation by haecceity]

Full Idea

In addition to the difference of time or of place there must always be an internal principle of distinction: although there can be many things of the same kind, it is still the case that none of them are ever exactly alike.

Gist of Idea

No two things are quite the same, so there must be an internal principle of distinction


Gottfried Leibniz (New Essays on Human Understanding [1704], 2.27)

Book Reference

Leibniz,Gottfried: 'New Essays on Human Understanding', ed/tr. Remnant/Bennett [CUP 1996], p.230

A Reaction

This rests on Leibniz's unusual view that all things (even electrons) are qualitatively distinct. Personally I disagree with that, but agree with the idea. Things have time and place because they have identity, not the other way around.