more from David Wiggins

Single Idea 11870

[catalogued under 9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / a. Individuation]

Full Idea

What a principle of activity does completely for a natural thing, and the function does imperfectly for an ordinary artefact, the artist's conception of his own making of the work must do for the painting.

Gist of Idea

Activity individuates natural things, functions do artefacts, and intentions do artworks


David Wiggins (Sameness and Substance Renewed [2001], 4.12)

Book Reference

Wiggins,David: 'Sameness and Substance Renewed' [CUP 2001], p.137

A Reaction

This nicely sums up Wiggins on individuation, and he seems to effectively elide individuation with essence. I certainly feel uneasy that a work of art needs a quite separate account from other artefacts. Surely it is just that we are fussier about them?