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basic particulars

Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


M etaphysics, epistemology Strawson 's term for a distinguishable class of particulars that can be identified and re-identified without reference to particulars of other kinds. Other particulars are identifiable only through making identifying reference to basic particulars. As constituents of our conceptual frame-work, basic particulars bestow their characteristics upon this scheme. Because the possibility of identifying particulars lies in locating these particulars in a single unified spatio-temporal system, and because material bodies are three-dimensional objects that endure through time and are accessible to observation and experience, Strawson argues that material bodies are the best candidates for basic particulars. “The assertion that material bodies are basic particulars in our actual conceptual scheme, then, is now to be understood as the assertion that, as things are, identifying thought about particulars other than material bodies rests in general on identifying thought about material bodies, but not vice versa.” Strawson, Individuals ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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