more from David Wiggins

Single Idea 12063

[catalogued under 9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / e. Individuation by kind]

Full Idea

The sense of the sortal term under which we pick out an individual expands into the scientific account of things of that kind, where the account clarifies what is at issue in questions of sameness and difference of specimens of that kind.

Gist of Idea

Sortal classification becomes science, with cross reference clarifying individuals


David Wiggins (Substance [1995], 4.13.1)

Book Reference

'Philosophy: a Guide Through the Subject', ed/tr. Grayling,A.C. [OUP 1995], p.242

A Reaction

This is how the sortal approach is supposed to deal with individuals. So the placid tiger reveals much by falling under 'tiger', and a crucial extra bit by falling under 'placid'. See Idea 12053 for problems with this proposal.

Related Idea

Idea 12053 'Human being' is a better answer to 'what is it?' than 'poet', as the latter comes in degrees [Wiggins]