from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In metaphysics, a quiddity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun philosophy Essence; quiddity.
  • noun Quality; quantity.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

what +‎ -ness


  • The sense of "something there" accompanies our sense perceptions, vouching for the "whatness" of things.

    Philocrites: The ontological imagination.

  • Rather than arguing that things convey their reality to percipients which would imply that we recognize as real only those things possessed of "whatness", James argues that the sense of reality is a constituent part of the percipient's experience that may in fact be independent of the object of that experience.

    Philocrites: The ontological imagination.

  • To my parents, Bernie and Kay, for showing me what “no matter whatness” really ought to look like.

    Tattoos on the Heart

  • The “no matter whatness” of God dissolves the toxicity of shame and fills us with tender mercy.

    Tattoos on the Heart

  • To this end, one hopes against all human inclination to model not the “one false move” God but the “no matter whatness” of God.

    Tattoos on the Heart

  • You never stop asking, and sometimes the “no matter whatness” prevails.

    Tattoos on the Heart

  • He nodded so I continued, in this ugly new voice, to ask him about the skin and bones and the whatness of this place and if I'd opened the door to hell and he said, finally, this wasn't hell.

    Magic X

  • And yet we decided, with all the “no matter whatness” we could muster, that she would give up on us long before we would ever give up on her.

    Tattoos on the Heart

  • The later Heidegger clarifies that the thinking that begins with Being and Time is neither directed to being in a metaphysical sense the whatness or thatness of things nor directed to the human being in an existential-phenomenological sense.


  • Medieval metaphysics in particular Thomas Aquinas focused on the whatness or quidditas as the subject of ontology, but this is already a significant narrowing of the horizon of the original Aristotelean definition which leaves open many ways of thinking to proceed INCLUDING the possibility of not giving Whatness the priority, let alone the exclusive signification, among the various possible meanings of being.

    Archive 2008-03-01


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  • The thisness or thatness of a thing.

    October 15, 2008