I'm thinking of general properties as normal abstract objects (whatever "normal" means, here). But so I have never been able to get at why there was this strong, recurring thread in esp. scholastic-style theology, in defense of, "For God, there is no difference between general properties and particular subsistence." I was used to counterfactual/counterpossible epic fantasy and science fiction stories, where there are more than one One True God, depending on which slice of the meta-setting we're eating. So I felt like I had a general/generic notion of One True God as such, and this was differentiable from the simplicitarian essence of the actual One True God, if It exists.

However, I felt like I could understand simplicitarianism better if I thought of it as a matter of denying that for God, there are different general and particular facts. Since there would be, absolutely necessarily, one and only one True God as such, any relevant fact that would be general if it ranged over a possible plurality, will be just as much as to be perfectly particular, here, except that really, the distinction itself is rather waived. In fact-theoretic terms, I seem better able to understand, "For God, there is no difference between general nature and particular existence."

But so this leads me to wondering if general properties go together with general facts or not. Per the above, apparently not. Yet I have a countervailing intuition that some property of general facts (in general!) could be construed as a general property. Maybe this would be one of only a few general properties; or, oddly, given general facts are otherwise all facts about particular properties, only they have some bare predicate of "generality" integrated into them (the particular property "generality," the general property "particularity").

Do general facts depend on there being general properties, or vice versa, or can these two generalities be believed/disbelieved in separately?

  • I am unsure what "there is no difference between general properties and particular subsistence" refers to in scholastics? There is certainly a difference between common natures and haecceities in Duns Scotus, or between essence and esse (act of being) in Aquinas, even to God's eye. They coincide only in God himself, not for God in other substances. Also, don't "general facts" apply universals to universals, while "particular facts" universals to particulars? Why are "particular properties" even needed? Common natures just subsist in multiple particulars.
    – Conifold
    Commented Aug 4, 2022 at 19:12
  • @Conifold, I've misspoken, and I kinda thought... it's where I said the thing about there being no general or particular facts "for" God. Normally, when we say something like that, we'd mean, "God does not know general from particular facts, but knows truth indivisibly," which was not what I should be saying. I should have worded it to sound like, "Any fact about God is equally general and particular, or neither general nor particular at all, on account of God's simplicity." Commented Aug 4, 2022 at 19:16


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