more from Epicurus

Single Idea 14044

[catalogued under 8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 8. Properties as Modes]

Full Idea

The shapes, colours, sizes and weights which are predicated of body as accidents, ...and are known by sense-perception, must not be thought of as independent natures (for that is inconceivable).


'Accidents' are contingent properties

Gist of Idea

The perceived accidental properties of bodies cannot be conceived of as independent natures


Epicurus (Letter to Herodotus [c.293 BCE], 68)

Book Reference

Epicurus: 'The Epicurus Reader', ed/tr. Inwood,B. /Gerson,L. [Hackett 1994], p.14

A Reaction

I take this to be an anti-platonist remark, though he is not denying that the accidental properties may have some universal character. I'm struck by how close the basic metaphysics of Epicurus is to that of Aristotle.

Related Ideas

Idea 14045 Accidental properties give a body its nature, but are not themselves bodies or parts of bodies [Epicurus]

Idea 14046 A 'body' is a conception of an aggregate, with properties defined by application conditions [Epicurus]

Idea 14047 Bodies have impermanent properties, and permanent ones which define its conceived nature [Epicurus]