Single Idea 16979

[catalogued under 9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 3. Individual Essences]

Full Idea

For no object is there a unique character or relation by which it must be identified if it is to be identified at all. This is why it makes no sense to ask, impersonally and in general, of some individual object what makes it the individual object it is.

Gist of Idea

It makes no sense to ask of some individual thing what it is that makes it that individual


Peter F. Strawson (Entity and Identity [1978], I)

A Reaction

He links this remark with the claim that there is no individual essence, but he seems to view an individual essence as indispensable to recognition or individuation of the object, which I don't see. Recognise it first, work out its essence later.