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    Miller, Timothy D. 2008. Desgabets on Cartesian Minds. British Journal for the History of Philosophy, Vol. 16, Issue. 4, p. 723.

  • Print publication year: 2000
  • Online publication date: March 2008

9 - Individuation

from II - Logic, language, and abstract objects
Seventeenth-century philosophers discussed several related questions under the heading individuation, although they did not always distinguish clearly between them. This chapter examines four of these questions. The main scholastic theories concerning individuation were drawn together and discussed in detail towards the end of the sixteenth century in the fifth of Francisco Suárez's fifty-four Disputationes metaphysicae. Descartes assumes that there is a plurality of individual human souls. Each individual human self, he states, has an immediate awareness of its own thinking and thus its own existence. Locke argued on the basis of his atomism that the complex of accidents relevant to individuation would have to be reduced to those of spatio-temporal location. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz's philosophy as a whole is often characterised as individualism. The individual substance, or monad, as he called it in his later writings, was certainly a main focus of his philosophical thinking.
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The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Philosophy
  • Online ISBN: 9781139055451
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