How Not to Define Substance (B. Schnieder)

Published in Ratio 18 (2005), 107–17.

Abstract: The article is a critical examination of Joshua Hoffman’s and Gary Rosenkrantz’ definition of a substance. Though ingenious, and even though it might be extensionally adequate, their account cannot provide an informative analysis of the concept in question, because it exhibits a peculiar kind of circularity. It is shown that one cannot establish, on the basis of their analysis, that a given entity is a substance, if one does not already know that it is one in advance.