IPA: hˈɛsˈiʌti


  • (philosophy) The essence of a particular thing that gives it its unique particularity; those qualities that make an individual this specific individual and not some other.

Examples of "haecceity" in Sentences

  • God: concepts of | haecceity: medieval theories of |
  • They are not individuated by an haecceity or primitive thisness.
  • The haecceity of a thing is what makes this particular thing what it is in particular.
  • The haecceity or thisness of an object, the property of being (identical to) that very object, provides a trivial example of an individual essence for each object.
  • Now, “God, seeing Alexander's individual notion or haecceity, sees in it at the same time the basis and reason for all the predicates which can be said truly of him.”
  • Some would defend the Principle even in this case by claiming that there are properties such as being that very object A. Call such a property a thisness or haecceity.
  • Closely related to these theories is one kind of haecceity theory, according to which individuals would be constructs of universal properties with the very important addition of one singular property (an haecceity).
  • His emphasis upon Lolita’s thisness, what Joyce called haecceity, is the unshakable foundation of his effort to restore her individuality, to break the spell of her “nymphage,” to see her as the unique woman he has uniquely damaged.
  • This leads to a dilemma that was articulated by Steven French and Michael Redhead (1988); either quantum particles are not individuals, or they are individuals but the principle of individuation that applies to them must make reference to some kind of empirically transcendent haecceity, bare particularity or the like.

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