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illustration Haecceity



Part of speech: noun

Origin: Latin, mid 17th century


The property of being a unique and individual thing.

Examples of Haecceity in a sentence

"Each vase she sculpted has a particular haecceity."

"The teacher knew each child has haecceity and can’t be constrained by categories."

About Haecceity

This word stems from the medieval Latin “haecceitas.” It comes from the Latin “haec,” feminine of “hic,” meaning “this.”

Did you Know?

Haecceity is a deeply philosophical concept attributed to Scottish Catholic priest and university professor John Duns Scotus. He defined it as a non-qualitative property of a substance or thing that is responsible for its individuation and identity, such as a particular person’s unique identity. Interestingly, Scotus is also where the term “dunces” originated from. His opponents equated Duns’ followers, who argued against Renaissance humanism, to dullards incapable of scholarship.

illustration Haecceity

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