DE&E: Chapter 6:5

More on accidents of matter vs. accidents of form:

Since everything is individuated by matter and is placed in its genus or species through its form, the accidents that follow from the matter are accidents of the individual, and by these accidents individuals of the same species differ one from another.

This makes sense, of course. If you and I share share the same essence, and yet we differ, we must differ in our accidents. And since matter is the principle of individuation, that’s where we must differ.

But the accidents that follow from the form are properly passions of the genus or species, and so they are found in all things participating in the nature of the genus or species, as risibility in man follows from the form, for laughter comes from a certain kind of understanding in the soul of man.

I’m not too clear on the word passions as used here. It seems to me that these accidents, or passions, are “properties” in the logical sense, characteristics that follow necessarily from the essence. I suppose risibility, or laughter, is an accident because we are not always laughing.

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