more from William of Ockham

Single Idea 16779

[catalogued under 9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / c. Types of substance]

Full Idea

When a piece of wood is divided in two halves, no new substance is generated. But there are now two substances, or the accidents of the two halves would be without a subject. They existed before hand, and were one piece of wood, but not in the same place.

Gist of Idea

Cut wood doesn't make a new substance, but seems to make separate subjects


William of Ockham (Seven Quodlibets [1332], IV.19), quoted by Richard S. Westfall - Never at Rest: a biography of Isaac Newton 26.2

Book Reference

Pasnau,Robert: 'Metaphysical Themes 1274-1671' [OUP 2011], p.611

A Reaction

A nice example, demonstrating that there are substances within substances, contrary to the view of Duns Scotus. If a substance is just a subject for properties, it is hard to know what to make of this case.