Substance theory

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Substance theory, or substance attribute theory, is an ontological theory about objecthood, positing that a substance is distinct from its properties. A thing-in-itself is a property-bearer that must be distinguished from the properties it bears.[1]

Substance is a key concept in ontology and metaphysics. Philosophies may be divided into Monist, Dualist, or Pluralist varieties according to the number of substances they consider the world to comprise. According to Monistic views, such as those of stoicism and Spinoza, there is only one substance, often identified as God or Being. These modes of thinking are sometimes associated with the idea of immanence. Dualism sees the world as being composed of two fundamental substances, while Pluralism, a feature of Platonism , for example, and Aristotelianism, states that more substances exist, and often that these substances can be placed into an ontological hierarchy.

Contents

The concept of substance in Western philosophy

In the millennia-old Aristotelian tradition, as well as early modern traditions that follow it, substances or ousia are treated as having attributes and modes or things.

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