To summarize, when the intellect reflects upon X and Y, and proceeds to abstract away the different particularities of X and Y, then at some point, the intellect will reach some common F that is the same in X and Y in every respect, except that in the former, it is in X, and in the latter, it is in Y. He states that formal sameness involves "F-in-Socrates" and "F-in-Plato", in his Fregean way, but he then denies (with Aquinas) that F exists.It's important to understand that Aquinas would not deny that F exists at all, only that it exists in reality. If “belonging to a spectrum” is “a different attribute for each color”, then how is it different for each color? Whatever our belief, ideology or taste, we all believe that we can find happiness if we search hard enough, and we pursue it like a cure. Would you accept that the ultimate principle be rational itself, then, following A-T tradition? Why the hell didn't you just . F-in-X, F-in-Y, G-in-Z. Indirect just means that there are a number of intermediary steps that one must use in order to reach one’s goal. Thus basic likeness is presupposed in any consideration of form. Second, I still don’t understand what “virtually” means. Are you referring to a form, i.e. (Also see above, where Jeremy Taylor points out that for Plato, forms, include the particulars that participate in them.) It can't be understood in Fregean terms.I haven’t brought up Frege at all, so I don’t see how Fregean terms are relevant. a statement that God exists or does not exist is a knowledge claim) without first referencing God's revelation, makes it impossible to attain knowledge to begin with. But if you allow other kinds of identity, such as formal identity, then there is no contradiction.You have yet to explain how formal identity is not simply a primordial likeness between two forms. I have not read Rand's novels.Consider yourself very fortunate. Oh, well. read Maritain reading Cajetan, what the thesis that “Existence does not exist” If there is no common standard that remains the same, but only slippery likenessness and resemblances, then how can one determine whether one likeness is closer than another? "The point of 'Existence exists.' It simply cannot be the case that something becomes without first being, because "becoming" is the transition from one state of being to another. In fact, on purely mathematical grounds, it is quite easy to replace the formalism by something else; for example, just expand everything mathematical in sight in terms of ZFC, so that (2) becomes(2') Observables are sets (of sets of sets of... or epsilon-trees or whatever).The whole QM formalism might be overturned and replaced by something else, and the considerations leading to the replacement may have to do with say, new experimental data. A resemblance theorist would simply say that their respective properties of "belonging to the Bulls" resemble each other but are not identical. But I will reply on one point:"Going back to your example, crimson red and light red are the same in the sense that they are both red[. And, regarding God's knowledge through forms, you have to be careful with translations here. I suppose it depends on what is meant by supernatural,"'Supernatural' means not following any set rules or natural law-like behaviour. To be an EM frequency is to exist on the EM spectrum, and being an EM frequency is what all colors share in common. It comes from her empiricism - that our knowledge of reality must be derived entirely from sensory evidence *from* reality. More and less are indicative of an ordered hierarchy of some kind. He states that formal sameness involves "F-in-Socrates" and "F-in-Plato", in his Fregean way, but he then denies (with Aquinas) that F exists. Thus far, I haven’t seen any examples of such a “rock bottom” resemblance. Physicists are just divided a bit on what causes this existence, and what it means to say that it exists. @ Monk68Re. Gregory is simply stating that if the image was like God in all ways, then it would not be distinct from God. It implies for example, that the speed of light is the top speed for any massless particle or wave (and thus any signal) for when the speed -> c, the energy needed to accelerate -> infinity. For the resemblance theorist, "belonging to a spectrum" doesn't pick out one single literally common attribute but a different attribute for each color, and it's your proposed common attribute that requires further analysis.He'd probably add that you're constituting that class of properties in the first place based on your logically prior recognition of the colors' resemblance(s), not thereby explaining those resemblance(s) in terms of something else; in fact, it's the underlying resemblance relations that explain your common attribute. And I would say that if a process of abstraction can end at the same point, then that destination is the partial identity between two things that are being compared. Second of all, Aquinas disagrees that the eternal types are known in this life, which you still haven't grappled with.There is nothing implicit that requires intermediary steps to make explicit in God’s mind, and that is precisely what “indirectly” means, i.e. The scheming bastards couldn't agree on the color of s**t. It's a trap, are you blind? Why? Treeness is thus something we abstract from the trees.So while they are the same in both the world and the mind, they are in some sense different whilst being considered by their modes of existence. In other words, is there such a structure of interconnections that exists metaphysically prior to any particular instantiation in reality? Also note how he says that the divine nature and the brutish nature are both “to be found in all that partakes of human life”. The point of the uniqueness is that if you posit resemblance relations, colors are placed in the spectrum by their unique resemblance relations to each other, and there's no need for partial identity.Again, every thing has “unique resemblance relations” to every other thing. And thus, given our account of similarity, crimson red is thus similar to light red.Again though, we need to be careful in how we apply this principle; it should be taken as an ontological one rather than an epistemological one, and thus allows for things to be similiar without US being able to pin down exactly what is the same and what is different. Heavenly Light by Jeff P / CC BY 2.0. With regards to the claim that the form is neither one nor many, what Aquinas writes is:“If plurality were in the concept of this nature, it could never be one, but nevertheless it is one as it exists in Socrates. Just offhand, I know that Tolstoy and Shaw did think Shakespeare a worthless writer. @dguller:"If 'belonging to a spectrum' is 'a different attribute for each color', then how is it different for each color? Sean,You seem to be very misled about what, exactly, being is. The chair may well exist objectively. See more. If they were seriously to conclude that the reasons they don't like Homer, or Dante, or Shakespeare, or Austen show that these authors are no-talent hacks, that's a sign of both stupidity and incompetent reading. Compared with the existence of a highly complicated and specific Universe, God's existence may be claimed to have these features. A common rebuttal to Kant's critique is that, although "existence" does add something to both the concept and the reality of God, the concept would be vastly different if its referent is an unreal Being. To my thinking, as long as the “nest of primordial relations between things” remains constant, then being a part of the nest of primordial relations between things is something that all things have in common, and could be the partial identity between them.Or am I missing something here? Even Shakespeare or Dante can be criticized. It seems that when we say that X is like Y, then we can identify factors that are present (in some sense) in both X and Y, and other factors that are present (in some sense) in X (or Y), but not present (in some sense) in Y (or X). For example, say that Plato is like Socrates. But I don't think the project can be carried out across the board and applied to all properties/attributes.). Take a specific claim, and assume someone is a resemblance theorist about it. Things with a perfect likeness are said to be of the same species--a univocal predication. Here we see that “to exist” means to be “self-communicable,” that is, we communicate ourselves to others. exist.”  In that case, they could both be And one more point.I still do not understand how a resemblance theorist can account for degrees of likeness between things. two colors resemble each other, you propose an "analysis" that a resemblance theorist would say is no analysis at all. Would those “ways” have to be the same in each form?Yes, they would. I would say that because each color is a particular electromagnetic wavelength, it follows that each color exists at a particular part of the electromagnetic spectrum. If creation and God shared something in common, which we can call C, then what would C be? Scott,That's one possibility; another is that formal sameness means that two particulars are numerically distinct instantiations of just one form (in which case the form itself is one and not many, and its instantiations are many and not one).I think this is the position George R. espouses, but I don't think it's coherent. Thus, as long as we use similair in an exclusive sense (excluding something being similair to itself), then it must be founded on partial sameness and partial differentness. 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. dguller,What I meant was that F does not exist by itself, but always exists within a substance.Indeed. A little off topic. that existence does not exist? ie that X and Y are in some way the same and some way different.As for the red example, obviously it's hard to define the difference between crimson red, lets say, and light red. "No, it's just that there are a bunch of animals that have reproductive systems that resemble each other in having external eggs." You are arbitrarily demanding a poverty of resources to which the resemblance theorist, as such, is simply not committed. Point-scoring skills are what Michael Jordan and Scotty Pippen have in common. Just because we might never be able to define the difference between two (exclusively) similair things does not mean that there isn't one in principle.Going back to your example, crimson red and light red are the same in the sense that they are both red, and different in the sense that crimson is a darker shade, and light red is lighter. @Jeremy Taylor:"[S]ome, like Scott . For example, red and blue could be related to one another in the sense of each being dependent upon a substance with qualities. 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. A fine of 200,000 Pakistani Rupees (PKR) (USD 1,248) has been imposed on a Pakistani man for claiming the coronavirus pandemic is not "fatal" and the government should not procure its vaccine. If it's partial identity and partial difference, then it follows that some absolutely identical trait exists in God and creatures, which is a contradiction. How would that violate the Identity of Indiscernibles? For example, this is the way that the continent of North America exists. But there is no F that can be considered separately from its existence in a substance. that only certain kinds of multiplicity are prohibited in God, is a good one, though. 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. In God "there is no idea corresponding merely to matter or merely to form" (DV q3 a5).In other words, just because X and Y come from the same place, they go different ways.Indeed.But then I wonder if it is possible to abstract away the different paths, and just focus the intellect upon the common origin.The common origin is the incomprehensible divine substance, so no.I would imagine that the resemblance theorist would say that this is precisely where the intellect must stop in its process of abstraction, and that it simply recognizes in a primordial fashion that roundness-in-A resembles roundness-in-B.It's more like there is something in the intellect that is similar to the roundness of A and B, which allows us to understand roundness as it exists in A and B. be. We are forced either into a radical and barely coherent empiricism or else into some kind of idealism that denies all epistemic access to mind-independent reality. You seem to object to this conclusion.Third, even Oderberg agrees that similarity presupposes identity. The only difference is that y = 2x is applied to this set of numbers, and y = 2x is applied to that set of numbers. Taking (e.g.) To avoid it, there must be something other than the unique set of relations, because everything exists in a unique set of relations to everything else. The Bible also teaches us that to even approach the question of knowledge (e.g. What does “more like” refer to in this case? @ Rank Sophist"then becoming presupposes being and must be less than being. Bill Vallicella also discussed Rand and "existence exists. But this is different from similarity.I don’t see how this can make sense under your framework in which whenever he says “the same as”, he really means “similar to”.That is not what I'm arguing. All it would need to say is that in many (and perhaps all) cases of (exclusive) similarity between such specific universals (in our example, two different shades of red), there's no common factor, just an irreducible relation of similarity. 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. Sure, there's just one team, but each of them has his own unique "property" of belonging to it: "Michael Jordan's belonging to the Bulls" is not the same property as "Scottie Pippen's belonging to the Bulls." Learn more. @rank sophist:"F in itself does not exist and has no effect on anything. THERE is plenty to recommend the standard model, our best description of particles and their interactions.But it has the odd awkward lapse. Surely the "in" of "F-in-Socrates" doesn't refer to location, for how can something non-physical have location? Also Niv writes:"Because there is no sensory evidence for the supernatural, she does not believe in the supernatural." It's somewhat reassuring in that respect - to find that the notions of the scholastics were not quite as unintelligible as they seemed. In other words, is it possible to conceive of F itself separate from F-in-X? Because one of the basic concepts of first-order logic is that of existence, as codified by the existential quantifier “(∃x),” one might suppose that there is little room left for any separate philosophical problem of existence. @Brandon:"Ayn Rand is deliberately adapting the methods and techniques of Hugo, and many of the literary aspects she gets criticized for are exactly the same ones that Hugo was criticized for when Les Miserables first came out. @rank sophist:"The only answer, in my view, is a theory of irreducible resemblance. Surely, in this case, their existence must be something other than the material realization of a form. They just resemble each other on certain aspects of reproduction a lot more than they resemble other animals on the same aspects. That is not what I'm arguing. But at the very least I don't see anything contradictory or obviously mistaken in holding that (say) distinct colors are "similar" precisely because they belong to a common spectrum, that their "similarity" consists entirely in their relations to one another within that spectrum, and that since these precise relations are different for each color, there's no single common factor (or set thereof) that all colors share merely through being included in that spectrum.Nor does this view seem to me to threaten either (a) realism about universals (since it allows that each specific color is, or may be, a real universal) or (b) the theory of forms (since it's not at all obvious to me that forms have to be "universals" in order to do their jobs as forms, even if it turns out that some of them in fact are). genus), and different nature (i.e. I don't think he ever repeated that solution, but, rather, went along with Aristotle's lame notion that the one form is multiplied by its relationship to materia. "All of these points could have been made without exaggeration or misrepresentation. Does God Exist? My humanity isn't sitting in front of my computer, is it?I don't get it. In other words, my argument can actually explain the intuitiveness of the greater resemblance between colors themselves than between ducks and colors. It is not as if for red, the EM spectrum is between F1 and F2, and for blue, the EM spectrum is between F3 and F4. I'm a little confused.Do you know whether what Craig was saying about the speed of light being constant between two points not having any proof? 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. Exist definition is - to have real being whether material or spiritual. But the general theoretical framework is not what is put on the crucible of experimentation, rather, in a sense, it is what allows and gives sense to experimentation in the first place. 449-450) From: Bertrand Russell, The Principles of Mathematics , New York: … Plato got around this by claiming that forms don't exist in this world, and so can't have the contradictory one-in-many problem. An eternal type is an absolute category similar to Plato's ideas.I would slightly modify your account. At any rate, it's hard to see how all human beings can share the same substantial form if our substantial forms are supposed to be our souls. "This is not quite right, but to get a proper perspective, I would advise you to read up on the Mach-Boltzmann controversy over the atomic theory (over which Einstein chimed in with a decisive contribution). It doesn't identify anything magically present in each color since the boundary is not in any color; it doesn't require any appeal to some mysterious identity that all colors have 'in' them; it just is a brief way of stating that a lot of things resemble a lot of other things in a way that's greater than the way they resemble lots of other things. How many forms are there?In one sense, there are three forms, because you have three individuals, each individual has a form within it, and thus there is F, F and G, i.e. But Aquinas' theory that angels were wholly devoid of prime matter was a controversial one, even during the Middle Ages. So, unless there is some foundational commonality between Socrates and Plato, you have an infinite regress. Everything is known directly by God by virtue of being immediately present to the divine intellect. So just to make does existence exist? I understand rather than nothing is isomorphic with the rate! 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