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Sunday, June 21, 2015


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As someone trained in Quinian the tradition of metaphysics, your posts on modes of existence and whether or not God is a being among beings have been very helpful to me. I've been taking my time, thinking through these posts as well as Tuggy's responses. I think I can see

Let me see if I can put things into my own words. PvI and the Frussellians deny that there are modes of being. So, when talking about substances and accidents, they would likely acknowledge that substances exist on their own and accidents are enot capable of independent existence. The difference, they would say, is in the nature of substances and accidents. However, on your view, they are misplacing the difference. It is not in the nature of the two kinds of entities; rather, it is in the way they exist. Substances exist independently, and accidents exist dependently. The *existence* of these entities is different, not their natures.

Have I got it?

If I have, I'm wondering what a nature is. Whatever it is, on your view, it must not include the way in which an entity exists (its mode), right?

I meant to delete the "I think I can see".


I think you are very close to getting it. But this isn't right: >>The *existence* of these entities is different, not their natures.<<

The natures are different too.

Let's take a different example, God and Socrates, an example that involves two substances. I claim that they exist in different ways. God exists-originally; Socrates exists-derivatively. But they clearly differ in their natures.

For present purposes we can say that the nature of x is the conjunction of x's quidditative non-relational properties. A nature so defined does not include the way an item exists.

I distinguish among the following: the existence of x, the mode of existence of x, the nature of x, corresponding to three different questions: Does x exist? How does x exist? What is x?

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