more from Thomas Aquinas

Single Idea 13070

[catalogued under 2. Reason / D. Definition / 5. Genus and Differentia]

Full Idea

Socrates has no definition if definitions by their nature must be in purely general terms, and if no purely general terms can succeed in uniquely singling out this signated matter.


'Signated' presumably means picked out

Gist of Idea

If definitions must be general, and general terms can't individuate, then Socrates can't be defined


report of Thomas Aquinas (De Ente et Essentia (Being and Essence) [1267], 23) by Cover,J/O'Leary-Hawthorne,J - Substance and Individuation in Leibniz 1.1.2

Book Reference

Cover,J/O'Leary-Hawthorne,J: 'Substance and Individuation in Leibniz' [CUP 1999], p.17

A Reaction

There seem to be two models. That general terms actually individuate the matter of Socrates, or that they cross-reference to (so to speak) define Socrates 'by elimination', as the only individual that fits. But the latter is a poor definition.