1.If substance S exists and accident A exists, it does not follow that A inheres in S. An accident cannot exist without existing in some substance or other, but if A exists it does not follow that A exists in S. If redness is an accident, it cannot exist except in some substance; but if all we know is that redness exists and that Tom exists, we cannot validly infer that Tom is red, i.e., that redness inheres in Tom.
2. So if A inheres in S, this inherence is something in addition to the existence of S and the existence of A. There is more to Tom's being red than Tom and redness. We must distinguish three items: S, A, and the tie of inherence. S and A are real (mind-independent) items. Presumably the tie of inherence is as well. Presumably we don't want to say that A inheres in S in virtue of a mental synthesis on our part.
3. My question: what is inherence? What is the nature of this tie? That the accident of a substance is tied to it, and indeed necessarily tied to it, is clear. The nature, not the existence, of the tie is what is in question.
4. Inherence is not an external relation on pain of Bradley's regress.
5. Inherence is not identity. This was argued earlier.
6. A is not a part of S. This too was argued earlier.
7. Is S a part of A? For Brentano, an accident is a whole a proper part of which is the substance itself -- but there is no other proper part in addition to the substance! Every part of the accident is either the substance or a part of the substance. This I find bizarre. Suppose a chocolate bar is both brown and sticky. What distinguishes the brownness accident from the stickiness accident if both have as sole proper part the chocolate bar? (For a very clear exposition of Brentano's theory, see R. Chisholm, "Brentano's Theory of Substance and Accident" in his Brentano and Meinong Studies.)
8. I made a similar suggestion, namely, that S is a part of A, except that I assayed accidents as akin to facts. This has its own difficulties.
9. Here is Dr. Novak's scholastic suggestion:
I take the connexion between S and A to be that of a receptive potency and its corresponding act. S contains an intrinsic relation of "informability" to all its possible accidents, and A contains an intrinsic relation of informing toward S. Together these two constitute an accidental whole of which they are not just parts but complementary intrinsic causes: S is its material cause and A its formal cause. They are unified in jointly intrinsically co-causing the one accidental composite.
This implies that we must distinguish among three items: the substance (Peter, say), his accidents (being hot, being sunburned, being angry, being seated etc.) and various accidental wholes each composed of the substance and one accident.
So it seems that Novak is committed to accidental compounds such as [Socrates + seatedness] where Socrates is the material cause of the compound and seatedness the formal cause. Moreover, the substance has the potentiality to be informed in various ways, and each accident actualizes one such potentiality.
Recall that what we are trying to understand is accidental change. And recall that I agree with Novak that we cannot achieve a satisfactory analysis in terms of just a concrete particular, universals, and an exemplification relation. If Peter changes in respect of F-ness, and F-ness is a universal, then of course there are two times t and t* such that Peter exemplifies F-ness at t but does not exemplify F-ness at t*. But this is not sufficient for real accidental change in or at Peter. For the change is not relational but intrinsic to Peter. So, whether or not we need universals, we need a category of entities to help us explain real change. As Novak appreciates, these items must be particulars, not universals.
What we have been arguing about is the exact nature of these particulars. I suggested earlier that they are property-exemplifications. Novak on the basis of the above quotation seems to be suggesting that they are accidental compounds.
Suppose Socrates goes from seated to standing to seated again. In this case of accidental change we have one substance, three accidents, and three accidental compounds for a total of seven entities. Why three accidents instead of two? Because the second seatedness is numerically different from the first. (Recall Locke's principle that nothing has two beginnings of existence.) And because the second accident is numerically distinct from the first, the first and the third accidental compound are numerically distinct.
When Socrates stands up, [Socrates + seatedness] passes out of being and [Socrates + standingness] comes into being and stays in being until Socrates sits down again. So these accidental compounds are rather ephemeral objects, unlike Socrates.
Perhaps they help us understand change. But they raise their own questions. Socrates and seated-Socrates are not identical. Presumably they are accidentally the same. Is accidental sameness the same as contingent identity? What are the logical properties of accidental sameness? Is an Ockham's Razor type objection appropriately brought against the positing of accidental compounds?