more from David Wiggins

Single Idea 12049

[catalogued under 14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / k. Explanations by essence]

Full Idea

Answering 'what is it?' with the secondary substance identifies an object with a class of continuants which survive certain changes, come into being in certain ways, are qualified in certain ways, behave in certain ways, and cease to be in certain ways.

Gist of Idea

Naming the secondary substance provides a mass of general information


David Wiggins (Substance [1995], 4.3.3)

Book Reference

'Philosophy: a Guide Through the Subject', ed/tr. Grayling,A.C. [OUP 1995], p.218

A Reaction

Thus the priority of this sort of answer is that a huge range of explanations immediately flow from it. I take the explanation to be prior, and the primary substance to be prior, since secondary substance is inductively derived from it.