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Haecceity

[hak-SEE-ə-dee]

Part of speech: noun

Origin: Latin, mid 17th century

1.

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."

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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.

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