Single Idea 16789

[catalogued under 7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / a. Nature of Being]

Full Idea

A being cannot naturally go out of existence. For even if a ship or a plank ceases to be a ship or a plank, it never naturally ceases to be a being. For a being, unless it is annihilated, does not cease to be a being. To annihilate is a supernatural task.

Gist of Idea

Only supernatural means could annihilate anything once it had being


Thomas Hobbes (De Mundo (On the World) [1642], 12.5)

Book Reference

Pasnau,Robert: 'Metaphysical Themes 1274-1671' [OUP 2011], p.679

A Reaction

This idea was becoming an orthodoxy in Hobbes's time, and leads to the various conservation laws in physics.