Chapter

Substance

John Heil

in The Universe As We Find It

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199596201
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741876 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199596201.003.0002
Substance

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This chapter gives an account of substances as property bearers. Substance and property are correlative notions: substances are property bearers and properties are particular ways particular substances are. Substances are simple: a substance could not have parts, substantial parts, parts that are themselves substances. Thus substances are to be distinguished from complexes made up of substances, ‘substances by courtesy’. Complexes are not apt property bearers, nor are events. What the substances and properties are is an empirical question to be settled, if at all, by fundamental physics. Genuine emergence requires the emergence of substances. An important species of emergence occurs when new kinds of particle are produced — naturally, under extreme cosmological conditions, or artificially, in particle accelerators.

Keywords: substance; property; substance by courtesy; simple; complex; event; emergence

Chapter.  7583 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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