substance
(Lat., sub, under, stare, stand: that which stands under) Many concerns and disputes cluster around the ideas associated with this term. The substance of a thing may be: (i) its essence, or that which makes it what it is. This will ensure that the substance of a thing is that which remains through change in its properties. In Aristotle (Metaphysics Z, vii) this essence becomes more than just the matter, but a unity of matter and form. (ii) That which can exist by itself, or does not need a subject for existence, in the way that properties need objects; hence (iii) that which bears properties. A substance is then the subject of predication, that about which things are said as opposed to the things said about it. Substance in the last two senses stands opposed to modifications such as quantity, quality, relations, etc. It is hard to keep this set of ideas distinct from the doubtful notion of a substratum, something distinct from any of its properties, and hence incapable of characterization. The notion of substance tends to disappear in empiricist thought in favour of the sensible qualities of things, with the notion of that in which they inhere giving way to an empirical notion of their regular concurrence. But this in turn is problematic, since it only makes sense to talk of the concurrence of instances of qualities, not of qualities themselves. So the problem of what it is for a quality to be instanced remains.
Metaphysics inspired by modern science tends to reject the concept of substance in favour of concepts such as that of a field or a process, each of which may seem to provide a better example of a fundamental physical category.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • SUBSTANCE — Une idée reçue particulièrement tenace occupe le devant de la scène philosophique depuis l’époque du positivisme d’Auguste Comte, c’est à dire depuis plus d’un siècle: l’idée selon laquelle la métaphysique serait morte avec Kant, à la fin du… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Substance — • A genus supremum, cannot strictly be defined by an analysis into genus and specific difference; yet a survey of the universe at large will enable us to form without difficulty an accurate idea of substance Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight.… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • substance — Substance. s. f. Terme de Philosophie, Estre qui subsiste par luy mesme, à la difference de l accident qui ne subsiste qu estant adherant à un sujet. Substance spirituelle. substance corporelle. dans le mystere de l Eucharistie la substance du… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Substance P — Structure et représentation tridimensionnelle de la Substance P …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Substance — Sub stance, n. [F., fr. L. substantia, fr. substare to be under or present, to stand firm; sub under + stare to stand. See {Stand}.] 1. That which underlies all outward manifestations; substratum; the permanent subject or cause of phenomena,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • substance — 1 Substance, purport, gist, burden, core, pith can denote the inner significance or central meaning of something written or said. Substance implies the essence of what has been said or written devoid of details and elaborations; the term is used… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • substance — sub·stance n 1: substantive law was a question of substance and not process compare procedure 2: something (as language) essential esp. to establishing a valid right, claim, or charge a t …   Law dictionary

  • substance — ► NOUN 1) a particular kind of matter with uniform properties. 2) the real physical matter of which a person or thing consists. 3) solid basis in reality or fact: the claim has no substance. 4) the quality of being important, valid, or… …   English terms dictionary

  • substance — [n1] entity, element actuality, animal, being, body, bulk, concreteness, core, corpus, fabric, force, hunk, individual, item, mass, material, matter, object, person, phenomenon, reality, something, staple, stuff, texture, thing; concepts… …   New thesaurus

  • substance — [sub′stəns] n. [OFr < L substantia < substare, to be present < sub , under + stare, to STAND] 1. the real or essential part or element of anything; essence, reality, or basic matter 2. a) the physical matter of which a thing consists;… …   English World dictionary

  • Substance — Sub stance, v. t. To furnish or endow with substance; to supply property to; to make rich. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”