The Ontology of Thisness

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)
    327 Downloads (Pure)


    The paper seeks to give an account of what it is for an individual to instantiate thisness, and how an individual and its thisness are related (where the thisness of an individual x is the property of being identical to x). Such an account is completely lacking in the literature, even among those who defend and make use of thisness. My approach is to seek out a model for the instantiation of thisness by canvassing realist accounts of the substance/attribute relation , and then make appropriate modifications to the most likely candidate in order to accommodate an individual's instantiation of thisness (the accounts cannot be strictly identical for reasons that I explain). I go on to suggest that the model can be appropriately applied in the case of other individuals which might instantiate thisness: for example, persons and events (where these are conceived as fundamental categories of ontology distinct from material substances).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)49-71
    JournalPhilosophy and Phenomenological Research
    Issue number1
    Early online date18 Jan 2013
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


    • metaphysics
    • ontology substances
    • haecceities
    • events

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  • Activities

    • 2 Invited talk
    • 1 Participation in workshop, seminar, course

    PERSP Workshop on the Open Future

    Joseph Diekemper (Contributor)

    Dec 2011

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    'In the Steps of the Ancients' Conference

    Joseph Diekemper (Speaker)

    Nov 2011

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    APORO Ontology Workshop, QUB

    Joseph Diekemper (Organiser)

    Oct 2009

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course


    Oxford Templeton Fellowship

    Diekemper, Joseph (Recipient), 2011

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

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