DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-N056-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved September 26, 2020, from

References and further reading

  • Aristotle (c. mid 4th century) Categories, in The Complete Works of Aristotle, (Revised Oxford Translation), ed. J. Barnes, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, vol. 1, 1984.

    (Sets out the logical doctrine of substance.)

  • Aristotle (c. mid 4th century) Metaphysics, in The Complete Works of Aristotle, (Revised Oxford Translation), vol. 2, ed. J. Barnes, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984.

    (Explores ways in which substance is fundamental. Book I (A) considers earlier views, and VII (Z) argues that unitary bodies, that is individual living things, are substances.)

  • Ayer, A.J. (1936) Language, Truth and Logic, London: Victor Gollancz.

    (Chapter 1, ’The Elimination of Metaphysics’, argues that theories of substance are confusions due to language.)

  • Ayers, M.R. (1991) Locke, London: Routledge.

    (Volume 1, Part 3 contains a theory of integrated perception of objects. Volume 2, Part 1 finds insights in Locke’s and other theories of substance; Part 3 expounds a realist theory of identity.)

  • Descartes, R. (1641) Meditations on First Philosophy, in The Philosophical Writings of Descartes vol. 2, trans. J. Cottingham, R. Stoothoff and D. Murdoch, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

    (Classic argument for mind–body dualism.)

  • Descartes, R. (1644) Principles of Philosophy, Part 1, §§ 51–65, in The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, vol. 1, trans. J. Cottingham, R. Stoothoff and D. Murdoch, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

    (Descartes’ account of substances and their relation to their principle attributes and modes.)

  • Epicurus (c.305) Letter to Herodotus (from Diogenes Laertius, Lives of the Philosophers) in Epicurus: The Extant Remains, ed. C. Bailey, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1926.

    (Argues that bodies, in particular atoms, are substances, and that accidents are not distinct entities.)

  • Hobbes, T. (1651) Leviathan, ed. R. Tuck, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

    (Chapter 34 sets out Hobbes’ materialist conception of substance and accident.)

  • Hume, D. (1739–40) A Treatise of Human Nature, ed. L.A. Selby Bigge, revised P.H. Nidditch, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978.

    (Book I, part 1, §7; part 4, §§ 3 and 5 criticize the traditional concept of substance, and the substance-mode relation.)

  • Kant, I. (1781) Critique of Pure Reason, trans. N. Kemp Smith, London: Macmillan, 1963.

    (Argues that substance is an ineluctable category of judgment, imposed by the mind on what is given to sensibility.)

  • Kripke, S.A. (1980) Naming and Necessity, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980.

    (Rejects accounts of proper names which assign them sense or treat them as abbreviated descriptions, and extends a causal theory of meaning from this to other areas of language; revolutionary.)

  • Leibniz, G.W. (1686) Discourse on Metaphysics, in Philosophical Essays, trans. and ed. R. Ariew and D. Garber, Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company, 1989.

    (Expounds a notion of individual substances, whose concepts contain all their predicates.)

  • Leibniz, G.W. (1714) The Principles of Philosophy, or, the Monadology, in Philosophical Essays, trans. and ed. R. Ariew and D. Garber, Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company, 1989.

    (Identifies ’monads’, simple immaterial individuals, as the only substances.)

  • Locke, J. (1689) Essay concerning Human Understanding, ed. P.H. Nidditch, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975.

    (See Book II, chapter 23, Book III, chapter 6, and following, for an interpretation of the idea of substance as place-marker for unknown essences or natures.)

  • Plato (c. 380–367) The Republic, in The Dialogues of Plato, ed. B. Jowett, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1892.

    (Books V–VIII give an account of what is.)

  • Putnam, H. (1975) Mind, Language and Reality, in Philosophical Papers, vol. 2, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    (Contains a series of papers arguing that the meaning of natural-kind names lies in their reference to reality, not in definitions ’in the head’; revolutionary.)

  • Quine, W.V. (1953) ‘On what there is’, in From a Logical Point of View, New York: Harper & Row.

    (An early statement of Quine’s view that ontological commitment is expressed through qualification.)

  • Quine, W.V. (1960) Word and Object, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    (Classic exposition of contemporary pragmatist conceptualism, arguing that ontology is relative to language or conceptual scheme.)

  • Rorty, R. (1980) Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, Oxford: Blackwell.

    (An extreme version of relativistic conceptualism, with sympathetic interpretations of many modern exponents; widely read and influential.)

  • Spinoza, B. de (1677) Ethics, in The Collected Works of Spinoza, vol. 1, ed. E. Curley, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985.

    (Makes thought and extension attributes of the one substance, of which all individual minds and bodies are modes.)

  • Strawson, P.F. (1958) Individuals, London: Methuen.

    (Argues that objective experience would be impossible without material things such as are basic objects of reference in natural language.)

  • Suárez, F. (1597) Metaphysical Disputations, Book VII, trans. C. Vollert, On the Various Kinds of Distinction, Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University Press, 1947.

    (Holds that accidents are ’modally distinct’ and, although naturally dependent, in principle separable from substances in which they inhere.)

  • Wiggins, D. (1980) Sameness and Substance, Oxford: Blackwell.

    (Advances a theory of identity consonant with Kripke’s insights, which attempts to combine conceptualism and realism.)

  • William of Ockham (1322–7) Summa Logica, Part 1, trans. M.J. Loux, Ockham’s Theory of Terms, Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1974.

    (Chapters 19–62 consider which categories of abstract terms stand for really distinct particular beings. Not many do.)

  • Wittgenstein, L. (1953) Philosophical Investigations, Oxford: Blackwell.

    (Wittgenstein’s late masterpiece, identifying the source of philosophical theories in misunderstandings of language and its structures, and the source of those structures in the roles of language in life.)

Citing this article:
Ayers, Michael. Bibliography. Substance, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-N056-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
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