Bring Back Substances!

Weir, Ralph (2021) Bring Back Substances! The Review of Metaphysics, 75 (2). pp. 265-308. ISSN 0034-6632

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This essay champions the idea of substances, understood as things that can exist by themselves. I argue that this idea has a valuable role to play in present-day philosophy, in explaining what makes object-like things object-like, and an important place in the history of philosophy, from its roots in Aristotle to its full expression in Descartes. Both claims are unusual. For philosophers tend to regard the idea of something that could exist by itself as incoherent, and this has encouraged the view that it will be useless to present-day philosophers and that it cannot charitably be attributed to Descartes. I argue that the charge of incoherence rests on a misunderstanding. I also address various other objections to the idea of substances as things that can exist by themselves.

Keywords:metaphysics, substances, Descartes, Aristotle, ontology
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V500 Philosophy
Divisions:College of Arts
ID Code:47472
Deposited On:31 Jan 2022 14:59

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