On ‘What Something Is’
Posted by Tanas Gjorgoski on May 6, 2008
Just few thoughts related to the last post.
In it I said that we give a name to the notion that we “have in mind”. (as I mentioned in last post, this phrase – “have something in mind”, should be taken for what it is – a metaphor, which means – to think of something in context of some act, be it talking, analyzing, etc…)
Those notions come from experience, but not as a bunch of facts, nor as definitions. Those are new things from the world of which we become aware. Be it movement, money, books, colors, coffee, and so on…
While the notions don’t come in form of facts/propositions/definitions, the awareness of those notions is not just an “empty” causal relation. When we have a specific notion in mind, it is in specific way that notion, and not some other that we are thinking of. And there are possible determinations of those notions – from the notion one can abstract/focus on/isolate different aspects. Those determinations are what the thing IS.
‘A is B’, is a relation between the subject A and the predicate B. The predicate doesn’t tell us everything about the subject. Cows are animals, red is a color, that apple is red, the weather is hot (today), and so on… We are left with the predicate when we abstract from some things about the subject, and focus on others.
However, what we had in mind when baptizing is the notion itself, and not some determination of the notion. And in that sense, we can safely say, that what we had in mind is more (as the full-blooded notion which stands as a subject in the mentioned subject/predicate judgments) than what that something is (in terms of different predicates that can be given to it).
This first ‘is’ is not an ‘is’ of predication, but of identity, where the notion is self-identical, and different from other notions (“Something is what it is”). The second ‘is’ is the ‘is’ of predication, of determining the notion in different ways.
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