Acta Academica 2013: 45(2)

Title Author(s) pp.
Reifying things or relations: substantialism versus functionalism
Prof DFM Strauss

Our awareness of a diversity of things as well as a multiplicity of relationships took shape in the history of philosophy and the various academic disciplines, embodied in a constant struggle between allegedly independent substances or encompassing relations. Viewing entities as independent (self-sufficient) substances dominated Greek and Medieval philosophy. Since the Renaissance, a definite shift towards the primacy of relations has taken place. Kant claims that our knowledge about matter is limited to knowledge about relationships. Entities are not independent substances, because through the universal modal aspects in which they function they are related, as embodied in the wave-particle duality.

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