Archive for October, 2008

DE&E: Chapter 4:1

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

Onward to Chapter 4 of De Ente et Essentia! In this chapter we’ll begin to look at “separated substances”, those which contain no matter at all, such as the soul, the intelligences, and the first cause:

We should now see how essences exist in separated substances, that is, in the soul, in the intelligences, and in the first cause.

The “first cause” is God; the intelligences are angels, and similar creatures; the soul….OK, now I’m puzzled. I’d understood that the soul is the form of the body. That my body is my matter and my soul is my form. The two are not separate; it takes both to be me. So in what sense is the soul a separated substance?

I understand from the teachings of the Church that after death and before the resurrection, my soul will be sundered from my body; in that sense, I suppose it will be a separated substance. And how can it be separated in that way? Is that what Thomas is speaking of, here? I dunno. But with that caveat, here’s what we have:

  • Separated Substances
    • The Soul
    • The Intelligences (Angels)
    • The First Cause (God)

Let’s forge ahead.

Now, while everyone concedes the simplicity of the first cause, some people have tried to introduce into the intelligences and the soul a composition of form and matter, a position that seems to have begun with Avicebron, the author of the book called Fons Vitae. But this view is repugnant to the common teaching of the philosophers, for they call these things substances separated from matter, and they prove them to be wholly without matter. The most cogent demonstration of this proceeds from the excellence of understanding found in these substances.

Some say that the soul and the intelligences do include matter, but they are mistaken. And this is demonstrated in that these substances are capable of understanding, that is, of intellect:

For we see that forms are not actually intelligible except as they are separated from matter and its conditions, and forms are not made actually intelligible except by virtue of an intelligent substance, which educes the forms and receives them in itself.

When I apprehend something, such as my eldest son, what I apprehend is his form. Only an intelligent substance, i.e., one with an intellect, can do this: the agent intellect apprehends the forms within itself. We’ve made use of this fact many times before.

Hence, in any intelligent substance there is a complete absence of matter in such a way that the substance has neither a material part itself nor even is the substance like a form impressed in matter, as is the case with material forms.

A form impressed in matter, like the form of a dog, has no material component in itself…but without the material component there’s nothing for the form to give form to.

This is a case where I understand what he’s saying, but he hasn’t proven his case, at least to me. I accept that the intellect is necessarily immaterial; but I don’t believe I’ve seen a demonstration of the proposition. And though it might need to have an immaterial component to apprehend immaterial forms, why must the soul of which it is a part be wholly immaterial?

While we’re at it, as I understand it matter is the principle of change. My intellect is immaterial. And yet I apprehend first this and now that, and I learn things; the content of my intellect changes. Moreover, my time in purgatory, before the resurrection, is supposed to purge my soul of the effects of my sin. That’s change. If my soul is completely immaterial, how does it change?

I suppose some of these questions would be answered in the later chapters of the Compendium Theologiae, which I’ve not gotten to yet.

DE&E: Chapter 3:8

Friday, October 17th, 2008

I approach tonight’s paragraph with a certain amount of apprehension, in the purely colloquial sense. Phil already had at it a bit in a comment on yesterday’s post–he called it “heavy, heavy fuel”–but let’s see how I do burning it myself. At the very least, it’s the final paragraph of Chapter 3.

Thomas says:

We have thus made clear how the essence or nature is related to the notion of species, for the notion of species is not among those that pertain to the essence considered absolutely; nor is it among the accidents that follow from the existence that the essence has outside the soul, as whiteness or blackness. Rather, the notion of species is among the accidents that follow from the existence the essence has in the intellect. And in this way as well do the notions of genus or difference pertain to essences.

Now, let’s pull up that outline again.

  • Essence, considered as a whole
    • Considered absolutely
    • As it exists
      • In Individuals
      • In the Intellect

The notion of species is “not among those that pertain to the essence considered absolutely”; it does not enter into the concept of, say, “rational animal”.

  • Essence, considered as a whole
    • Considered absolutely
    • As it exists
      • In Individuals
      • In the Intellect

Thomas goes on “…nor is it among the accidents that follow from the existence that the essence has outside the soul, as whiteness or blackness.” The essence ask it exists in individuals can have accidents associated with it; but the notion of “species” is not one of them. The thing I note here is that since it isn’t part of the essence considered absolutely, it pretty much has to be an accident. That had not occurred to me before. Anyway, “species” isn’t found there, either:

  • Essence, considered as a whole
    • Considered absolutely
    • As it exists
      • In Individuals
      • In the Intellect

So the only thing that’s left is that it’s one of the “accidents that follows from the existence the essence has in the intellect.” That is, by contemplating different species we apprehend the general notion of “species”; it becomes a concept we can use to think with.

And then, finally, Thomas points out that the same is true of the notions of genus and specific difference.

OK, that makes a lot more sense that it did yesterday evening. I’m glad I waited; I was more tired than I realized.

DE&E: Chapter 3:7 Updated

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Note: I’ve updated this from its original state, thanks to some feedback in the comments. New text is in italics.

In the previous paragraph, Thomas spoke of how a species relates to the essence of which it is the species. Now, suddenly, he’s talking about genera, and suddenly I’m lost again. This is going to take some thought. Thomas says,

But to be predicated pertains to a genus per se, because being predicated is placed in its definition. Now, predication is completed by the action of the intellect in compounding and dividing, and it has as its basis the unity of those things one of which is said of another. Hence, the notion of predicability can be subsumed in the notion of this intention that is the genus, which is itself completed by an act of the intellect. Still, when the intellect attributes the intention of predicability to something by compounding it with another, this intention is not that of genus; it is rather that to which the intellect attributes the intention of genus, as, for instance, to what is signified by the term animal.

I have a tendency to try to skim the top and get the gist, and that always gets me into trouble. So let’s take this sentence by sentence.

But to be predicated pertains to a genus per se, because being predicated is placed in its definition.

I do not understand that “But” at the beginning of the sentence. It appears that it should stand in opposition to something in the previous paragraph, and yet it doesn’t seem to. Let’s ignore that “But”, and move on.

Thomas says, “…to be predicated pertains to a genus per se….” That, it is the essence of a genus to predicated of those things of which it is the genus. “…because being predicated is placed in its definition.” I assume what Thomas means here is simply that’s it’s part of the definition of a genus that it’s something that’s predicated of others. That’s what it means to be a genus. Next.

Now, predication is completed by the action of the intellect in compounding and dividing, and it has as its basis the unity of those things one of which is said of another.

By the “action of the intellect in compounding and dividing” I take Thomas to mean compounding of terms together, thereby dividing the beings to whom the terms apply. For example, when I combine rational and animal, I divide animals into rational and non-rational.

As Peter notes in the comments box, by “compounding or dividing”, Thomas means the second act of the intellect. The first act is apprehension, as when we apprehend the essence of something. The second act is judgement, when we judge whether a proposition is true or false. So predication certainly is completed by judgement. If I assert that Socrates is an animal, I am inviting you to judge that true or false.

Then, “…it has as its basis the unity of those things one of which is said of another.” A predicate is something said of another; and in general of a set of others, as in “All men are mortal”. Here, “mortal” means the same thing for all of those things of which it is said.

Hence, the notion of predicability can be subsumed in the notion of this intention that is the genus, which is itself completed by an act of the intellect.

He appears to be saying that every predicate is, in some sense, a genus. I don’t see why he points out that the genus is completed by an act of the intellect. In fact, I’m not even sure what that means. (Is it simply that the intellect applies the genus to beings that exist in the world?)

Still, when the intellect attributes the intention of predicability to something by compounding it with another, this intention is not that of genus; it is rather that to which the intellect attributes the intention of genus, as, for instance, to what is signified by the term animal.

This, I think I get. When I think of animals, I use the intention “animal”, not the intention “genus”. “This dog is an animal”. But “animal” itself is a genus, that to which I attribute the intention of genus.

OK, I’ve come up with a plausible explanation of what Thomas is saying, but I don’t understand why he’s saying most of it, which isn’t a good sign. In this case, I think it’s because he’s suddenly pulled in some technical terminology (compounding and dividing) that I don’t get.

OK, I’ve got more of it than I did. I still find much of it confusing, but I think that’s all the farther I’m going to get tonight.

DE&E: Chapter 3:6

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Okay, we’ve covered the old ground and gotten back on track. Today we move forward.

We’ve been talking about human nature, or any essence, considered absolutely, and as it exists in individuals and in the intellect. It is human nature to be a rational animal; and considered absolutely, nothing else can be predicated of human nature except rationality and animality. But what can human nature itself be predicated of? Humans, of course! But other terms, like species, cannot.

Since human nature, considered absolutely, is properly predicated of Socrates, and since the notion of species does not pertain to human nature considered absolutely but only accidentally because of the existence the nature has in the intellect, the term species is not predicated of Socrates, for we do not say that Socrates is a species.

Socrates is a man, that is, a rational animal. This is clear. But although we think of “man” as a species, as well as a nature, Socrates is not the species “man”, nor yet any kind of species at all. But this is no problem, for “human nature” is a species only insofar as it exists in the intellect, and it is not that that is predicated of Socrates.

And why is this distinction, that “species” exists only in the intellect, so important?

We would have to say that Socrates is a species if the notion of species pertained to man arising from the existence that the nature has in Socrates or from the nature considered absolutely, that is, insofar as man is man. For whatever pertains to man insofar as he is man is predicated of Socrates.

If “species” pertained to man insofar as he is man, that is, as human nature is considered absolutely, then Socrates would be a species. Similarly, if “species” pertained to man insofar as human nature exists in Socrates, then Socrates would be a species. That’s silly, of course. And so the long and arduous journey of the last five paragraphs actually makes sense.

DE&E: Chapter 3:5 Redux

Monday, October 13th, 2008

Ok, once more unto the breach with the fifth paragraph of Chapter 3 of De Ente et Essentia. My original take on it is here.

Human nature has in the intellect existence abstracted from all individuals, and thus it is related uniformly to all individuals that exist outside the soul, as it is equally similar to all of them, and it leads to knowledge of all insofar as they are men.

As Thomas has shown, an essence has existence in individuals, and in the intellect. Let’s suppose I’m contemplating a crowd of people. In my intellect, I apprehend human nature. That human nature is the same for all the people I see; and in apprehending it I have true knowledge of each of them insofar as they are men, that is, insofar as they are men in the absolute sense, i.e., insofar as they are rational animals.

Since the nature in the intellect has this relation to each individual, the intellect invents the notion of species and attributes it to itself.

In other words, the intellect sees many people, which it apprehends as one kind of thing. And it sees many trees, which it apprehends as one kind of thing. And it sees many dogs, which is apprehends as one kind of thing. And the intellect says, “Gosh, there are many different kinds of things; but some of them have the same nature as others. I’ll call these groups ‘species’.” That is, “species” is a concept that exists in the intellect. It derives from the observation that there are kinds of things. And as concepts received from sense data are “first intention”, “species” (and “genus”) are “second intention” because they derive from first intention.

Hence, the Commentator, in De Anima I, com. 8, says, “The intellect is what makes universality in things,” and Avicenna says the same in his Metaphysicae V, cap. 2.

Our sense sees individuals; from these our intellect apprehends the nature that exists in all members of a species; and apprehends this as a universal with respect to the sensed individuals.

Although this nature understood in the intellect has the notion of a universal in relation to things outside the soul (because it is one likeness of them all), as the nature has existence in this intellect or in that one, it is a certain particular understood species.

So the nature as it exists in the intellect can be viewed in two ways:

  • Essence, considered as a whole
    • Considered absolutely
    • As it exists
      • In Individuals
      • In the Intellect
        • Is a Universal
          • When considered in relation to things outside the intellect in which the same essence exists
        • Is a Species
          • When considered on its own, as an object of thought.

The Commentator, therefore, is in error in De Anima III, com. 5, when he wants to infer the unity of intellect in all men from the universality of the understood form, because the universality of the form does not arise from the existence the form has in the intellect but rather from its relation to things as a likeness of such things.

Aha! The Commentator (Averroes, I believe) wanted to say that because human nature is a universal as apprehended by the intellect, and because it is apprehend the same by all men, man’s intellect is a unity, which I presume means that all men share a single intellect in some sense. But, says Thomas, the nature as apprehend, the “form”, as he calls it, is not a universal by itself, by its existence in the intellect; by itself, it’s a species. It only becomes a universal when taken in relation to the individuals in which it is apprehended.

It is as if there were a corporeal statue representing many men; that image or species of statue would have a singular and proper existence insofar as it exists in this matter, but it would have an aspect of commonality insofar as it was a common representative of many.

And similarly the species “man” has a singular and proper existence all its own in my intellect; but nevertheless it describes the various men and women I run into every day.

It strikes me that the species is a kind of pattern. We say that all men belong to the same species because they match the pattern…but the pattern isn’t all men. It’s just a pattern. But if I say that all men match the pattern, then I have a universal. (I’m taking my understanding of “universal” from logic, rather than metaphysics; am I missing anything by so doing?)

DE&E: Chapter 3:4 Redux

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

This is where things really started coming unglued the first time around. Let’s try it again, fresh, remembering the distinctions that Thomas has made in the preceding paragraphs:

  • Essence, considered as a whole
    • Considered absolutely
    • As it exists
      • In Individuals
      • In the Intellect

Thomas then continues:

Nevertheless, the nature understood in this way is not a universal notion, because unity and commonality are in the notion of a universal, and neither of these pertains to human nature considered absolutely.

In the previous paragraph, Thomas was discussing the nature (or essence) as it exists in individuals and in the intellect. Thus, my first thought was that “the nature understood in this way” referred to the nature as it exists. It’s clear from the end of the sentence, though, that we’re back to discussing nature considered absolutely.

So, nature considered absolutely is not a universal: per Runes’ Dictionary of Philosophy, “that which by its nature is fit to be predicated of many”. A universal is a unity because it is in some sense the same in all of those individuals of which it is predicated; and it is a commonality because it is shared by all of those individuals. But all of this is outside the notion of essence considered absolutely.

For if commonality were in the concept of man, then in whatever humanity were found, there would be found commonality, and this is false, because no commonality is found in Socrates, but rather whatever is in him is individuated. Similarly, the notion of genus or species does not pertain to human nature as an accident arising from the existence that the nature has in individuals, for human nature is not found in individuals according to its unity such that it will be one thing in all the individuals, which the notion of the universal demands.

Everything that is in Socrates is individuated; so though he clearly has human nature, it does not exist in him as a Platonic unity that is shared across all human beings.

Human nature, considered absolutely, isn’t a universal; human nature as it exists in Socrates isn’t a universal. (And genera and species are in the same boat.) Given our outline, there’s only one other option: universals, genera, and species exist in the intellect:

The only possibility, therefore, is that the notion of species pertains to human nature according to the existence human nature has in the intellect.

And many thanks to Phil for making the various distinctions clear to me!

DE&E: Chapter 3:3 Redux

Saturday, October 11th, 2008

Having reconsidered the second paragraph, let us now revisit the third paragraph of Chapter 3 of De Ente et Essentia. By the end of the second paragraph, Thomas had established this outline of the essence of a thing, considered as a whole:

  • Essence, considered as a whole
    • Considered absolutely
    • As it exists in individuals

In the third paragraph he continues to look at essence as it exists in individuals.

The nature considered in this way, however, has a double existence. It exists in singulars on the one hand, and in the soul on the other, and from each of these there follow accidents.

Here, “nature” is, of course, essence and a singular is an individual substance. The essence exists in an individual when it is that individual’s nature; and it exists in the soul when that soul understands the essence in its intellect. In other words, if you’re a man, then the essence of man exists in you; and when I apprehend you it exists in my intellect as well, that is, in my soul. Now, accidents can be added to essence when it exists in either place. So now we have this outline:

  • Essence, considered as a whole
    • Considered absolutely
    • As it exists
      • In Individuals
      • In the Intellect

Moving on:

In singulars, furthermore, the essence has a multiple existence according to the multiplicity of singulars. Nevertheless, if we consider the essence in the first, or absolute, sense, none of these pertain to the essence. For it is false to say that the essence of man, considered absolutely, has existence in this singular, because if existence in this singular pertained to man insofar as he is man, man would never exist outside this singular. Similarly, if it pertained to man insofar as he is man not to exist in this singular, then the essence would never exist in the singular.

There’s that phrase, “to man insofar as he is man”, that is, man’s essence in the absolute sense. If it were part of the essence of man to be me, I’d be the only man there is. And if it were part of the essence of man not to be, I’d not be a man. But as the essence of man is considered absolutely, the existence of individual men is neither here nor there.

But it is true to say that man, but not insofar as he is man, has whatever may be in this singular or in that one, or else in the soul. Therefore, the nature of man considered absolutely abstracts from every existence, though it does not exclude the existence of anything either. And the nature thus considered is the one predicated of each individual.

I’m not sure what’s meant by “or else in the soul.” in the first sentence of the above. Certainly, whatever is accidentally in this individual man or that individual man may be said of men in general accidentally. I guess what he’s after is that just as this true of real individual men, it’s also true of the concept of man in my intellect: it may have accidents, and these may also be said (accidentally) of man.

But in any event, the essence “man”, considered absolutely, has nothing to say about the existence or non-existence of any individual.

DE&E: Chapter 3:2 Redux

Friday, October 10th, 2008

Update: WordPress screwed up my outlines. I’ve formatted them differently, and asked WordPress to stop “helping”; if you looked at this and couldn’t make sense of it, take another look.

In my first attempt at understanding Chapter 3:2 I got confused; so let’s try it again. In the first paragraph of the chapter, Thomas has just explained that it only makes sense to speak of genus and species as relating to essence when we consider essence as the essence of whole individual, not as of a part of the individual: that is, as form plus non-signate matter, not simply as form. (If that’s confusing, go back and re-read Chapter 2. It might not help, but it’ll keep you busy.)

So, with regard to essence considered as a whole:

The nature, however, or the essence thus understood can be considered in two ways.

It’s become clear that I need to explicitly outline some of these things. Let’s give it a try.

  • Essence, considered as a whole
    • ?
    • ?

Now, we’ll move on and fill this in as we go.

First, we can consider it according to its proper notion, and this is to consider it absolutely. In this way, nothing is true of the essence except what pertains to it absolutely: thus everything else that may be attributed to it will be attributed falsely.

Phil did a great job of explaining this in his comments on the earlier version of this and subsequent paragraphs. It took it a while to sink in, but I think I have it. We’re looking at, say, the concept of man as a rational animal: and nothing beyond that. So now we have this:

  • Essence, considered as a whole
    • Considered absolutely
    • ?

For example, to man, in that which he is a man, pertains animal and rational and the other things that fall in his definition; white or black or whatever else of this kind that is not in the notion of humanity does not pertain to man in that which he is a man.

The extension of the term man includes many things, such as whiteness and blackness and shortness and tallness, but the comprehension of the term doesn’t speak of these things at all. The comprehension of the term is that man is an animal, and man is rational. Note the use of the phrase “man in that which he is a man”. Per Phil, this is a code for “man’s essence, considered absolutely”. Given how it’s used here, that makes sense. Thus we have the following:

  • Essence, considered as a whole
    • Considered absolutely
      • E.g., man, in that which he is a man: animal and rational
    • ?

OK, now that we’ve nailed that down, what can we say about it? Is this essence, considered as a whole and absolutely, one or many?

Hence, if it is asked whether this nature, considered in this way, can be said to be one or many, we should concede neither alternative, for both are beyond the concept of humanity, and either may befall the conception of man.

Considered absolutely, we can’t say “one” or “many”, for quantity simply isn’t included in the comprehension of a “rational animal”. It’s a remarkably abstract notion.

If plurality were in the concept of this nature, it could never be one, but nevertheless it is one as it exists in Socrates. Similarly, if unity were in the notion of this nature, then it would be one and the same in Socrates and Plato, and it could not be made many in the many individuals.

This is a bit I think I got right the first time around, so I’ll quote myself:

If the essence were many, then it can’t be one; and yet it is one in Socrates. Thus, Thomas avoids nominalism. But if the essence were a unity, then it would be one in the same in Socrates, Plato, me, you, and Thomas himself, and we would all be one Man, rather than many men. Thus, Thomas avoids Platonic idealism.

Now, finally, we get to the second sense of the term:

Second, we can also consider the existence the essence has in this thing or in that: in this way something can be predicated of the essence accidentally by reason of what the essence is in, as when we say that man is white because Socrates is white, although this does not pertain to man in that which he is a man.

Considered absolutely, man has no quantity, no color, no accidents. However, a variety of men exist, having the nature of man; and in them we can say “man is white”, or “man is tall”. But nevertheless, this has no bearing on man considered absolutely, man in that which he is a man. So now we have this:

  • Essence, considered as a whole
    • Considered absolutely
      • E.g., man, in that which he is a man: animal and rational
      • Neither one nor many, as quantity is in no way included in the comprehension of the term.
    • As it exists in individuals
      • E.g., man, in that Socrates is a man.
      • One, insofar as it exists in an individual man.
      • Many, insofar as all men are distinct.

DE&E: Chapter 3 To Date

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

I missed some important distinctions and got myself into a mess back in the second paragraph of Chapter 3 of De Ente et Essentia, and that error has been compounded over the following paragraphs (as indicated by my mounting complexity). Phil has generously taken time to clarify things in the comments.

This doing one paragraph every other day simply isn’t working; I think I’m going to have to focus on DE&E for a while, and I think I’m going to need to go back and work through most of Chapter 3 to date all over again, taking Phil’s comments into account.

But not tonight. I’m just back from my business trip, which was in a place a couple of time zones away, and I’m feeling it more than usual. Gonna take it easy tonight, and climb back in the saddle tomorrow. Then it’ll be all being all the time until I get through this.

:-)

DE&E: Chapter 3:5

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

Thomas showed in the last paragraph that an essence, e.g., human nature, has unity only in the intellect. I’m having trouble with that. If there is not that in me which I have in common with you, how can we be said to share the same nature? But let me try an analogy. Consider two bar stools made by different manufacturers. Both are clearly bar stools. One has a round seat, one has a square seat. One has four legs, one is a pedestal. One is wood, one is metal. Yet despite having nothing materially in common, both have the form of a bar stool. In my mind I can see that they serve the same purpose, are designed with the same intent: to be a comfortable height and easy to get on and off for someone sitting at a crowded bar. The similarity exists only in my head; and yet it’s undeniable.

Hmm. I’m still not sure I get it. But anyway, Thomas goes on (with great pertinence to the above, most likely):

Human nature has in the intellect existence abstracted from all individuals, and thus it is related uniformly to all individuals that exist outside the soul, as it is equally similar to all of them, and it leads to knowledge of all insofar as they are men.

Is he simply saying that you can’t point at a particular human being and say, “OK, that part: that’s where the human nature is”? There isn’t an organ, identical in every human being, that gives it human nature? Human nature is, as I understand it, the special form of Man; surely every human being shares that form. But it isn’t separable, and it can’t be seen with the senses. Hmmm.

I fear I’m not responding directly to Thomas’ words, here….

Since the nature in the intellect has this relation to each individual, the intellect invents the notion of species and attributes it to itself.

Gosh, all of these individuals share a common nature, I apprehend that. I need to call that something; I’ll call it “belonging to a species”. (Hence, the notion of “species” is second intention.)

Hence, the Commentator, in De Anima I, com. 8, says, “The intellect is what makes universality in things,” and Avicenna says the same in his Metaphysicae V, cap. 2.

The things really are similar to each other in a deep way…but only the intellect can apprehend this. I suppose that’s true: there is no image my sense can conjure up that depicts a generic Man that actually looks like a real man. Every image I come up with is one of the following:

  • An image of a particular man, e.g., one of my co-workers
  • An image of an image of a man, e.g., Michelangelo’s David, or a picture I’ve seen.
  • A symbolic image, such as the little “man” shape on the crosswalk signal or the men’s room door, that evokes the concept in my intellect but doesn’t really look a thing like a real man.
  • A sort of fuzzy mannish shape, details to be filled in later.

Clearly, the sense can only deal with universals in terms of symbols that evoke a concept in my intellect.

Although this nature understood in the intellect has the notion of a universal in relation to things outside the soul (because it is one likeness of them all), as the nature has existence in this intellect or in that one, it is a certain particular understood species. The Commentator, therefore, is in error in De Anima III, com. 5, when he wants to infer the unity of intellect in all men from the universality of the understood form, because the universality of the form does not arise from the existence the form has in the intellect but rather from its relation to things as a likeness of such things. It is as if there were a corporeal statue representing many men; that image or species of statue would have a singular and proper existence insofar as it exists in this matter, but it would have an aspect of commonality insofar as it was a common representative of many.

Interesting. My concept of Man is mine; your concept is yours. They are similar enough that we can communicate with each other because both my concept and yours are based on the similarity of real men. Similarly, the stick figures on two different men’s room doors might be identical to the eye but they are distinct; one is in McDonald’s, the other in Burger King.

I’m clearly going to have to think about this some more.