The notion of identity is investigated through Aristotle and Hegel as supporters of two different ontological conceptions: pluralism of substances and relational holism. Through Aristotle, I examine both the thesis according to which the identity of an object is constituted by its properties and the difficulties which this thesis encounters (e.g., those raised by Max Black). Aristotle easily defines the identity in species, in genus, and in number; some problems arise regarding the identity of individuals: for these, it is not enough to indicate the definition and the proper qualities, but matter is needed. Matter cannot, however, be a criterion for identifying duplicate objects: in this case, it plays at most the role of a "weak individuator" A weak individuator involves relations with other entities. The use of relations in determining the identity of an entity is extensively treated by Hegel, according to whom, in order to define the identity of an object a multiplicity of particular objects is required and, therefore, relations among entities. I conclude by proposing a notion of the object understood not as an independent, separate, and autonomous item, but as a portion of the world, which is given in a phenomenological context and identifies a dialectical context.

What Makes a Thing What It Is? Aristotle and Hegel on Identity

RASPA, VENANZIO
2016-01-01

Abstract

The notion of identity is investigated through Aristotle and Hegel as supporters of two different ontological conceptions: pluralism of substances and relational holism. Through Aristotle, I examine both the thesis according to which the identity of an object is constituted by its properties and the difficulties which this thesis encounters (e.g., those raised by Max Black). Aristotle easily defines the identity in species, in genus, and in number; some problems arise regarding the identity of individuals: for these, it is not enough to indicate the definition and the proper qualities, but matter is needed. Matter cannot, however, be a criterion for identifying duplicate objects: in this case, it plays at most the role of a "weak individuator" A weak individuator involves relations with other entities. The use of relations in determining the identity of an entity is extensively treated by Hegel, according to whom, in order to define the identity of an object a multiplicity of particular objects is required and, therefore, relations among entities. I conclude by proposing a notion of the object understood not as an independent, separate, and autonomous item, but as a portion of the world, which is given in a phenomenological context and identifies a dialectical context.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2639225
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