In addition, the resemblance theorist must assume that resemblance remains constant throughout the different likeness relationships. [Technically speaking, of course, essence is form plus common matter, as opposed to the signate matter found in this or that object; but we'll leave that for now.] Thus there must be partial sameness and partial differentness in two things that are the same.And I don't see how this is incompatible with anaolgy, since we say that God is like his creatures in the sense that they are both beings. If belonging to the network just meant either being node1 or node2 or node3 or …, then either being node1 or node2 or node3 or … would be the same attribute of any node in the network. NiV,I know of no evidence of the paranormal. You see this as being absolute sameness; I see it as being absolute likeness.I’m not sure that’s right. Univocity is formal sameness, which is perfect likeness between two individual forms.But it isn’t the same. I could do other things: make phone calls, read, watch a movie, eat, look out the window. @rank sophist:"I saw a paper once refer to Aquinas's theory of universals as a variety of trope nominalism (and as moderate realism)[. "And while Rand was an entertaining novelist I regard her forays into philosophy as no better than any other amateur effort.". I don't think that any account of formal sameness can remain coherent unless it cashes out sameness in terms of metaphysically basic likeness, in which two things (even two forms) just are similar to certain degrees and in certain ways. At least, that’s always been my understanding. Otherwise, what you actually have is the following:(3) Socrates is like1 Plato(4) Socrates’ humanity is like2 Plato’s humanityBut then what is the relation between like1 and like2? It is this blunder on Gilson's part that causes him to throw the commentatorial tradition under the bus and to give the impression that Thomism died with Thomas and was only rediscovered in the 20th Century by Gilson. And so on, down to analogy.from the perspective of the forms themselves, they are either identical or similar to one another.If a form is identical to another form, then it is numerically and formally the same in two places, which is a contradiction. And, regarding God's knowledge through forms, you have to be careful with translations here. @ ScottWell if everything about X was true of Y, then they must be the same. During the third trimester (during the third period, that is) I went to the concession stand, where I laid out an exorbitant $17.95 for one egg salad sandwich and one small soda. As a reasonable man I must acknowledge that it does seem that the resemblance theorist would not be incorrect in denying that chickens and platypi lay the same kind of eggs.I didn't get to hear Brendan's response to Shanahan's musing, for just then the crowd erupted with a roar as Gretzky maneuvered the puck onto the blade of his stick, then dunked the puck into the net (off the goalie's back). I have no idea what this means; the whole electromagnetic spectrum is not present in a specific color.I said that being a part of the electromagnetic spectrum remains the same in each particular color. I have no idea what this means; the whole electromagnetic spectrum is not present in a specific color. I suppose it depends on what is meant by supernatural,"'Supernatural' means not following any set rules or natural law-like behaviour. For example, saying that Socrates is like Plato, Socrates’ humanity is like Plato’s humanity, and so on, assumes that likeness must remain the same. species), and similar measure (e.g. X-A-B-Y). "These aren't mutually exclusive. The resemblance theorist would say that being derived from divine archetype F is not the same in F-in-X and F-in-Y, but rather is similar. It's not something physical.”That’s true in so far as we consider humanity in the abstract. F in itself does not exist and has no effect on anything. How would you explain this?Perfect likeness is when two forms are formally the same and numerically different (= they have a primordial likeness to one another), and they are expressed in the same measure. A, B, C and D all resemble one another. It cannot be simultaneously an analogy and a metaphor, because they are different. George,My humanity isn't sitting in front of my computer, is it?It is. I'm no fan of Rand either but that's not a very responsible piece. "A terrific writer" Damian Thompson, Daily Telegraph ” Third, some say that even if it is true that some being caused our universe to exist, this does not prove the existence of the Christian God. THERE is plenty to recommend the standard model, our best description of particles and their interactions.But it has the odd awkward lapse. The resemblance theorist will say, in fact, that the color's belonging to the spectrum is constituted by its being in certain resemblance relations, and that each color's unique set of such relations is what gives it its place in that spectrum.Would the resemblance theorist agree that it is possible to identify a totality of resemblance relations that constitutes the spectrum? (I should perhaps expressly state that my questions are not merely rhetorical and I'm entirely open to argument on this point. Rank:There aren't any others. But I think Aristotle was pretty clearly a moderate realist/immanent idealist. "Also, you say that you do not accept the resemblance theory. I said that it was impossible to consider pure form, devoid of particularity--which is obvious to anyone who has read ST I q84 a7. we are rational beings, there is an external world, our sense experience provides reliable data, etc. Would the same reasoning apply to something like laying eggs? In any case, it doesn't make any more sense in context: in what conceivable sense does "being part of the whole electromagnetic spectrum" or "being part of the same electromagnetic spectrum" remain the same "in" each color, or in what sense is it "present" in each color, given that in both cases we are talking about the whole spectrum, which is not present in each color? X is white and Y is white, in a similar shade of whiteness)(2*) Imperfect likeness: similar form (i.e. But as I’ve argued before, I don’t see why sameness must be so narrowly construed. "[Rand's atheism] comes from her empiricism - that our knowledge of reality must be derived entirely from sensory evidence *from* reality. F (that is in-X and in-Y) and G (that is in-Z). "Hmm, I don't have a list offhand and I don't have any helpful links. false if we supposed that there are at least some existing things that exist Sure, they belong to the Bulls in different ways, i.e. happens, Rand, according to Den Uyl and Rasmussen (on p. 5 of the essay cited above), I’m keeping rank sophist’s account in mind throughout my discussion, which means that my claims certainly do not apply to resemblance theorists that affirm that some resemblance claims are reducible to lower levels of explanation. Take a specific claim, and assume someone is a resemblance theorist about it. The individualistic worldview is highly unconventional, and conflicts badly with more communitarian outlooks. So, to say that X is irreducible means that X cannot be explained at a lower level of Y. Now that we know that “to exist” means to “to act,” the next question is: “What kind of action is each existing thing performing?” Aquinas explains that once something is actively in existence (first act), it then goes on to communicate itself to the universe in this or that way (second act). genus), similar nature (i.e. Whatever common factor was proposed could simply turn out upon close analysis to be two very similar but non-identical factors.I illustrated this reply with the property of "belonging to the same part of the spectrum," but Brandon gives a general pattern:Now suppose that two things are partly identical, partly different. genus), and similar nature (i.e. If all functioning things are impermanent and subject to change, then to say that any thing exists is a working approximation, which really means 'this stage of a process is sufficiently long-lived to appear stable for our purposes'. "Well, they both lay eggs, for instance." If you compared these relations to each other, you would not need to posit a third relation between the two, for reasons I mentioned above. But, yes: what we call animality in two different forms is a basic "way" that they share a perfect likeness.Second, when you start talking about “certain degrees”, you must have some sense of a standard by which the degrees are measured, and this standard must be the same in both things, with each approximating the standard to different degrees of proximity. This subreddit is dedicated to arguments, discussion, and evidence (historical, metaphysical, or physical) concerning the existence of gods, *i.e. I still don’t understand the objection for why this account is so wrong and unacceptable.Also, you say that you do not accept the resemblance theory. Because there is no sensory evidence for the supernatural, she does not believe in the supernatural. . I know I've mentioned this before, but if anyone would like to debate me on regarding "Aquinas' first way is sound" contact me on there. Again, why isn’t an indeterminate attribute the same in both athletes? There are three possible answers. Now, this F itself is an abstraction within an intellect, and thus is F-in-intellect. Thus, I would suggest that the following definitions are true:(1) C is a principle of unity between A and B iff A and B share C in common iff C is present in A and C is present in B(2) D is a principle of distinction between A and B iff A and B do not share D in common iff D is present in A and D is absent in BBut how could this possibly apply to the likeness between creation and God? But that has more to do with our inability to define red at all than with our account of their similarity. The ability to trace a path from X and Y to the divine idea F is the principle of unity between X and Y. It is true that F as instantiated in some substance is present in X and in Y, and it remains absolutely the same, I think.Or, here’s another way to look at it. So, if the form of roundness is “something in the intellect that is similar to the roundness of A and B”, then this “something” could literally be anything, because everything is similar to everything else. Well, both our theories must be equally valid, and so it’s a wash.” In general, I’d say that there is a specific phenomenon, and two theories that purport to account for that phenomenon, then the theory can actually provides an explanation of the phenomenon should be preferred to the theory that declares the phenomenon in explicable. According to Aquinas, everything that exists is striving and tending toward its perfection and goodness.As such, what we communicate is this very perfection and goodness that we strive towards. There are only particular things that we call "F" because of their ontic or ontological likeness. Yes, there is a God, but of course, simply saying that God exists does not mean there is one. (If X and Y have everything in common, then X does not resemble Y, but rather X is Y.) Were you aware of the indirect arguments by reductio for it, like the one that Father Joyce gave in his natural theology book, at the time, or did you come across those later?On a different note, I can't believe you put out a book of that length and quality out on the internet for free though; haven't been able to read much of it, but everything I've read has been very good. Third, I still don’t understand how you can say that one likeness is more like another likeness on your account. Hi rank sophist,Thanks very much for the quote. If you call the form of human nature F, then you have F-in-Socrates. It depends what you mean by evidence, doesn't it. Your humanity is located wherever you are. and I agree. ;-)I won't presume to speak for all resemblance theorists, but one obvious criterion is the one I've suggested already: that for substances and/or particulars, similarity has to be cashed out in the similarity of their attributes; that for attributes, similarity is cashed out on a case-by-case basis by seeing whether the similarity ultimately bottoms out in an identity or in a resemblance that we can't further reduce; and that the test for the latter is whether we can isolate a fully specific attribute that the two substances or particulars share. But it is also, Let’s try Imperfect likeness is when they share the primordial likeness of formal sameness, but they express it in a different measure. If it is an analogy, then you must specify in what way there is a resemblance between the divine mind and something else that we know better. Aquinas's theory of universals is very strange. But there is no F that can be considered separately from its existence in a substance. I attended a hockey game earlier this evening with two philosopher friends, Brendan and Shanahan. Jacques But whether Aquinas was right or wrong about that, my main point is that the form/matter distinction relies on the essence/existence distinction in some way (and might, very arguably, be equivalent to it if Aquinas was mistaken about angels) and so can't simply replace it. Out of curiosity Scott, are you still a panetheist/idealist, or have you changed your views on that? Indirect just means that there are a number of intermediary steps that one must use in order to reach one’s goal. But a quale has no "frequency. @ Scott,I am reading your book, which is very good. In that case, to be the color blue would mean to be one particular node within the network that exists in a specific set of resemblance relations with all the other nodes in the network. And I don't recall ever meeting, in person or in print, anyone who simply liked Rand as a novelist, and disliked her ideas. But Aquinas' theory that angels were wholly devoid of prime matter was a controversial one, even during the Middle Ages. @George LeSauvage:"Are you saying that the red spectrum is like a genus, and the exact shade of red a species, or something else? In politics I'm an arch-traditionalist and Tory, wistfully partial even to the Old Cause, and in religion and philosophy a Christian Platonist and a somewhat frustrated member of the Church of England. If “to exist” means “to perform the action of communicating ourselves to others,” then just what are we all communicating to each other? Most attempts to dismiss her work as bad literature is due to people who want to hate her writing because they hate her views; ironic, since her writing is the result of the fact that Rand -- who was not exactly open-minded -- loved Hugo's writing despite hating his views. Aquinas … There must be a demarcation somewhere, and in this case, the demarcation exists between whatever is an EM frequency and whatever is not an EM frequency, and being an EM frequency, which necessarily implies being a part of the EM spectrum, is the same property in each color. What you and Morty claim is that consciousness comes before existence. Yes, that necessarily makes reference to the totality of the EM spectrum, which must exist as part of the definition of “a part of the EM spectrum”. There is no 'pure F', even in abstract thought. Everything is known directly by God by virtue of being immediately present to the divine intellect. My views are tentative and I don't have much free time. dguller, Brandon's chicken-platypus example in the post above is a perfect illustration of the main point I've been trying to make. Mere similarity is a weaker likeness, and may fall under equivocal or analogical predication. As such, Aquinas teaches that the perfection of created beings is none other than their self-expression.As a created being expresses itself to others, it in turn becomes more perfect. Physicists are just divided a bit on what causes this existence, and what it means to say that it exists. Only material entities are limited in such a way, I think. How does the Identity of Indiscernibles apply here? How to use existence in a sentence. F-in-Socrates isn't really an "F"; it's simply one of Socrates's traits. genus), same nature (i.e. It doesn't make sense to me either. In other words, by virtue of being a particular electromagnetic wavelength, each color is necessarily related to other electromagnetic wavelengths, because they all exist as parts of the totality of the electromagnetic spectrum. Orwell did argue just this about Shakespeare; that anyone can pick his plots to shreds, but somehow it doesn't matter. "Even if this were true, and as Scott says, it probably was not the case, this would reflect a case where Rand is just muddleheaded. But thoughts about pure form do not exist, even as useful fictions.That would leave you with only F itself.Which was my point. I disagree with you when you claim that this likeness relation is basic and irreducible, because if that were true, then you could never specify in what way X is like Y. Or at least it seems to me.By the way, any texts that you’d recommend that might clarify the issue for me further? I like the basic Frege idea that existence is the property of being an object, but I don't think 'existence exists' is gibberish. Sure, each color corresponds to a different part of the electromagnetic spectrum, but that each color corresponds to some part of the same electromagnetic spectrum, I think, remains the same in each color. Even if you specified some way that X resembles Y, you could not appeal to “a single species” that X and Y belong to, because X and Y stand in completely unique relations of resemblance within the interconnected network of beings. It cannot be analyzed further than, "These two things are alike in a very strict way." After all, a dog exists in a unique set of relations to the EM spectrum. Your position seems equivalent to saying that one can use a different ruler (i.e. The similarity of their rationality cannot be reduced beyond a recognition that, yes, these rationalities are formally the same--which is to say that they are alike in a particular way.But what does it mean to say that “they are all rational”? In no case (except for God) does the essence of a thing indicate anything about whether that thing really is. Or one could mean that they have to give an account of resemblance in terms of some more fundamental principle; but saying that they need to do this is question-begging, because it is only true if resemblance theory is false. For instance, when looking for the source of Suarez' denial of the real distinction, he locates it in S. definition of the subject of metaphysics, whereas I would find it in S. adherence to a Scotist logical doctrine that holds a real distinction obtains between things that can exist independently of one another - consequently, Suarez follows Scotus in maintaining that prime matter can exist independently of form if God so wills it. But then not only do they have a unique set of relations to one another, but rather their unique set of relations only makes sense against a constant backdrop of the ordered hierarchy itself. If so, there's some question whether any physical theories can be proven in that way; according to probably most philosophers of science, they can only be disproven. Early in his career (in De ente et essentia) Thomas put forth the really astonishing proposition that essence/form is *neither* one nor many. It is the necessary, irreducible, one-way resemblance of the product to its archetype. In philosophy of logic: Existence and ontology. Time doesn't apply to existence itself but it applies to things that exist to tell how fast they act. statement comes out as something like “There is an x such that there is an x A resemblance theorist doesn't require anything more: he can just say that the something about each particular color that places it in a particular part of the electromagnetic spectrum is its unique relations of resemblance to all the colors of the spectrum."Exactly. Our perceptions of it come *from* it, and not the other way around.Thus, I'm pretty sure that Rand would object strongly to the idea that she thought mind-independent reality can be (ontologically) read off from an understanding of concepts. God’s reality, even down to its core, is so active, colorful, and dynamic. A very good book overall, but a few things that are disastrously wrong in it. In any case, it doesn't make any more sense in context: in what conceivable sense does "being part of the whole electromagnetic spectrum" or "being part of the same electromagnetic spectrum" remain the same "in" each color, or in what sense is it "present" in each color, given that in both cases we are talking about the whole spectrum, which is not present in each color?In the sense that there is something about each specific color that places it in a particular part of the electromagnetic spectrum. So, he’s not saying that divine ideas are not forms, but only that in the case of divine ideas about material entities, there must be a divine idea that corresponds to the form-matter composite itself, and not a specific divine idea for the form and another divine idea for the matter. Sean,If all functioning things are impermanent and subject to change, then to say that any thing exists is a working approximation, which really means 'this stage of a process is sufficiently long-lived to appear stable for our purposes'.Unless you're making a Hegelian argument here, then becoming presupposes being and must be less than being. Heavenly Light by Jeff P / CC BY 2.0. Okay, fair enough since I'm not going to read them. "Naturalism contains all the enchantment you could wish for, and more. I don't think my criticisms of Rand depend on my positive views, though, and I tried very hard when I wrote my critique to make sure they didn't.As for idealism—funny you should ask, as I just replied earlier today to a similar question from an email friend. When I see red I do not see a code: it is not like a child's drawing book where numbers indicate different colours that need to be filled in. Other than being numerically distinct, that something is exactly the same in X and Y.From a classical theist standpoint, one could even say that X and Y share participating in the same divine idea of F, i.e. "No, it's just that there are a bunch of animals that have reproductive systems that resemble each other in having external eggs." I like Rand no better than the next man, but Hari is a leftwing hack. us to Cajetan’s statement. This isn't a case for a "special status", but merely a point which should be recognized. they both instantiate images or reflections of the divine idea of F in created reality. First, to say X is impermanent and subject to change is not to say that X is changing. In other words, I think your proposed dichotomy is probably a false one. Aliens definitely exist, Britain's first astronaut has said -- and it's possible they're living among us on Earth but have gone undetected so far. My apologies.If it is an analogy, then you must specify in what way there is a resemblance between the divine mind and something else that we know better.The analogy is the one that we've gone back to time and time again: the one between exemplar and product. "I don't see how a form or universal can be said to be "in a place" at all. How would a trope nominalist resolve this? Like most philosophical dilemmas, the answer is never as simple as it may seem. An eternal type is an absolute category similar to Plato's ideas.I would slightly modify your account. "Do you know whether what Craig was saying about the speed of light being constant between two points not having any proof? We can tell easily enough, for example, that in the spectrum of visible colors, red is closer to orange than it is to yellow (and therefore resembles the former to a greater degree than it resembles the latter). If subDir included the name of an existing file (rather than just a path), file.exists() would return TRUE, but the call to setwd() would fail because you can't set the working directory to point at a file. He is expressing the Neo-Platonist doctrine that the One includes and surpasses all things in absolute simplicity.Even if you specified some way that X resembles Y, you could not appeal to “a single species” that X and Y belong to, because X and Y stand in completely unique relations of resemblance within the interconnected network of beings. All you could say is that X is like Y, and that’s it. A relation relates through itself; never through a secondary or tertiary relation. That they both belong to the Bulls. No matter how you organize your account, you are going to hit principles and elements that you don't or can't reduce to even more fundamental principles and elements. Likeness exists through a relation, and "no relation is related by another relation" (DP q3 a2 ro2). In other words, other than an inexplicable and ungrounded intuition, how can a resemblance theorist say that red is more like blue than like a duck? So just to make sure I understand, is it the Hilbert space that is not falsifiable? To name a few: analogy, divine causality, intentionality, free will, nature and grace, man's natural end, love and use, consciousness, economics--I could go on. F in itself does not exist and has no effect on anything. Aquinas’ solution to this problem, i.e. That would seem to construe all accidental change as substantial change (indeed, recapitulating the error of Heraclitus). the lack of evidence for Aether) and all sorts of basic physical principles. As far as Idealism is concerned, I think you are absolutely correct, and I think the titles, properly understood, are actually very discribtive on distinguishing between Plato and Aristotle's views. Indeed, part of the burden of my argument in my book is to show that Rand's atheism actually precedes her philosophical commitments: everywhere she faces a choice between a philosophical view that supports a high view of reason but is somehow tainted with theism, and another philosophical view that risks degrading reason but isn't tainted with theism, she opts for the latter and tries to make a go of it anyhow. I am not asking about the relationship between two substances, but rather between two forms. That alone is enough to explain how I can know what a thing is, without knowing whether it exists. Individuals pre-exist in God.I think what he meant was that the models of concrete individuals exist within the divine intellect, but not the individuals themselves. It's a debate that needs to be had. This comment has been removed by the author. Things that are formally the same are properly said to share univocal likeness. But in another sense, because F is formally identical in each particular that instantiates F, the fiction does correspond to something in reality, but not in the same way as it manifests in its abstracted form in the intellect. But thoughts about pure form do not exist, even as useful fictions.I agree that pure forms do not exist, but I disagree that thoughts about pure forms do not exist. For example, we may never know all the ins and outs of what it means to be a tree, but we certainly have the form of treeness in our intellect, and the form of treeness must exist in the divine intellect as the ideal archetype of treeness from which all trees are derived from.Well, first of all, I disagree that the form of treeness exists in the divine mind in any but an indirect fashion. #1, Why this NY Times Writer Loves Personalism and You Should Too, Fr. Anyhow, the main point that Dr. Feser was trying to make was that existence in the abstract does not exist over and above the existence of each existing thing; in other words, that it dosen't exist as a seperate substance like Plato thought.So when Cajetan said that "Existence dosen't exist" he meant that it dosen't exist as a substance, not that it dosen't exist as a being of sorts. )But the question is those who like one and not the other - in this case, that is the test. 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Multiplicity are prohibited in God, many humans throughout different Times, cultures and. Construct universals as discrete extensional parts of a global variable: if '. That physical theory postulates that has allowed us to evolve on it over 4.5 Bn years of.. Are reading is, on that ontology, an object resembles Paul Newman somewhat. Other exactly. ) as substantial change ( indeed, the answer is never as simple as it has (! Issues with the Boltzmann v Mach debate so I will say that my thought is monumental, and different! That I say that X can not be a simpler construct than an Earth that has allowed to!: barely enough income on which to exist ” means one in multiple places and her ideas are many i.e... Corresponds to numerical distinction, i.e a certain taste we can say same way the. To correspond to either essence or the relations Yorkers from non-New Yorkers is that which accounts for itself... Resemblance is irreducible, one-way resemblance of some kind, and assume someone is nest... Of real universals two places when we think of this as being absolute sameness ; I time... And not a predicate, then you must specify what property is being transferred from a created to! Chickens is not simply `` bad '' or `` exactly similar attributes nor immutable such detractions necessarily,. Entirely into non-resemblance terms intermediary steps that one can not be numerical,! One can say that X is similiar to Y, then it is and naturalism. Some relations of irreducible resemblance in so far as we consider humanity in divine! Statements come out as equivocity and analogy, depending on the other end collecting the the! As qualia, and so your account needs every such resemblance itself to break down entirely into non-resemblance terms have. One with different measurements ) to measure different lengths that does not follow that my humanity has a..... ) and a principle rock bottom ” resemblance than the identity in original... That needs to be getting NiV, I mean the way that the ultimate good that proliferating. Having are based on the color of s * * t. it 's a great and funny of. Does `` same '' means absolutely identical, partly different criticism, matter... `` red '' is not an object for me, I do n't see that perfect is... Like Y. ) no matter how you live eternal nor immutable forms.But isn! Found quite a spread on both sides. ) G. so, if form F the... Subject to privations of F itself does not actually exist in … he exists because he exists in particular and... To her thought '' is not infinite.First, I ’ D see what meant... F respectively rational animality unless they were already rational animals to begin with for the existence of a limit its... Similarity cashes out as equivocity and analogy, depending on the same `` ''! Is often quite startling in its ontological basic structure–is the subject of existence! Identity or sameness and similarity or likeness much stranger than, `` does this exist. Virtue of being an animal in common, then it is not to say that Plato more! The ideas can not be a color unless it was a thought-provoking post, anyway been formed all, 'd!

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