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Commentary on Nawar

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image of Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy

I offer an interpretation of the Stoic “peculiar qualification” (ἰδία ποιότης) which provides for the identity of individuals over time and the distinguishability of discrete individuals. This interpretation is similar to but not the same as one of the strands in Lewis’s interpretation as presented by Nawar. I suggest that the “peculiar qualification”—what makes the individual be the individual—is the particular ἕξις or φύσις or ψυχή that is in an individual. That is, the peculiar quality is not the kind of πνεῦμα an entity has, nor some further qualification or disposition of the kind of πνεῦμα that it has, such as acquired characteristics of the tenor or nature or soul in its particular lived history, but simply the discrete soul or nature or tenor, extended in its own particular spatial location. The so-called peculiar quality is that portion of πνεῦμα that is proper to that individual. 

Affiliations: 1: Boston College


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