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Continuants and Occurrents

Erwin Tegtmeier

Pages 168 - 171

The term ‘continuant’ has been introduced by W. E. Johnson to replace Aristotle's term of “substance” (ousia) as a residual term, freed from certain controversial philosophical implications. Johnson characterises the continuant as “that which continues to exist while its states and relations may be changing” (Logic I, p. 199). Thus a continuant has a relatively long duration, is a subject, i.e., a bearer of properties and stands in relations to other items. The category of continuants is contrasted with the category of occurrents, which resemble Aristotelian accidents in that they inhere in continuants. Unlike recent uses of the term ‘occurrent’, where ‘occurrent’ is predominantly used to cover the subcategories of processes and events, respectively, in Johnson occurrents are momentary and simple.

1Department of Philosophy, University of Mannheim

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