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In metaphysics, the word individual, while sometimes meaning a person, more typically refers to any numerically singular thing. Used in many contexts, both 'Socrates' and 'the Moon' denote individuals; 'grapefruit' and 'redness' (at least often) do not. 'Individual' as a piece of philosophical jargon is much-bandied and often to be found in the company of particular--indeed, often treated as synonymous with 'particular' (though one wonders if [abstract particular]?s can count as individuals)--and contrasted with 'universal?'.

A famous work on individuals and their individuation? is by [P. F. Strawson]?: Individuals: An Essay in Descriptive Metaphysics (London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1959; New York: Anchor, 1963).

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Last edited April 3, 2001 4:53 pm by Larry Sanger (diff)