God, nature, individual.

-I don’t know the history of the capitalization of “God” in English, but it obscures as much as it reveals. We lose sight of the word as speaking of a sort of thing.

-The complaint that “this doesn’t prove the Christian god” probably involves some confusion over arguing for a sort of thing, which theistic proofs can do, and proving something about a distinct individual, which is more a forensic argument than a philosophical one.

-The various problems of induction make it clear that we can’t just generate natures out of individuals, that is, we can’t see the individuals as known first and the nature as being pulled out of them. Individuals might flesh out a nature already or simultaneously known, or give existential content to a nature given as an innate idea, or serve as “reminders” in a Platonic sense, or serve as confirmations of abductively given natures, but to assume that they can just be generated from individuals is a dead end.

-Existence is not a predicate (i.e. belonging to the nature) only when nature and individual are distinct. If I can’t just read a definition of tachyons in a dictionary and know if there are any individual ones this is only because they’re the sort of thing where nature and individual are divided (This is tautological). The difference between Anselm and Kant is that Anselm thinks this is a feature of the objects one is speaking of whereas Kant thinks it’s a feature of human cognitive power. Anselm thinks he can just say “Sure, you can’t look at this nature and know if there is one – but look at that one and things are different” Kant, however, thinks that you look at either nature with a cognitive power that is incapable of deriving existential information from predicates.

-For Berkeley, Hume and Goodman, individual and nature are divided as being from non-being. Nominalism is not the claim that universals exist only in the mind, but that they do not even exist in the mind.

-If we identify a way in which a logical or formal inference could have been otherwise, the inference is fallacious. But every time we reason about that which has a nature differing from individual there will be a conclusion that could have been otherwise.


  1. Josh said,

    April 24, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    >>But every time we reason about that which has a nature differing from individual there will be a conclusion that could have been otherwise.<<

    What do you mean by reasoning "about that which has a nature differing from individual"? Am I not reasoning about an individual distinct from its nature when I conclude that "Socrates is mortal" from "All men are mortal; Socrates is a man…"?

    • April 24, 2016 at 6:51 pm

      All I mean there is that any truth of fact can/could have been otherwise

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