all their staggering whatness
and mystery, trees as Adam might have seen
When the social takes the place of the political, an individual's whoness disappears, to be replaced with their whatness
. This submersion of plurality means that an individual's unique traits, qualities, and humanity are subsumed and become invisible.
To apprehend an object, the artist must first recognize its wholeness, its existence as an object separate from other objects; then he must recognize the object's complexity and multiplicity before finally recognizing the "whatness
of a thing," its absolute being and its absolute negation: "that thing which it is and no other thing." (19) Stephen's goal is to apprehend the object "as a thing" in order "to see" its radiance, its quidditas, which he believes can be "apprehended luminously by the mind which has been arrested by its wholeness and fascinated by its harmony" (187).
His topics include whatness
and Aristotelian essentialism about a god as secondary substance, a Thomistic perspective on the complexity of a god, a Hegelian view of the essence of a god in appearances, a Sartrean idea of existence preceding essence in a god, and Derridean differential ontology for a god beyond anti-essentialism.
It sustained and composed a model of womanhood in the sphere of domesticity that pushed women to purchase new appliances, compiling a set of essentialist characteristics tied to the way of finding domestic happiness through how-to manuals--building up instructions and tips to domestic, social and family life--and in the end reduced women "to the essential whatness
of motherhood." (39)
Heidegger argues that "the division into whatness
and thatness does not just contain a doctrine of metaphysical thinking.
(34) Defined this way as a limiting concept, we are not in a position to ask about its "mode of being" in terms of its "existential moments," as does Ingarden, (35) or apply Pfander's triple distinction of "Seinsurteil" (judgment concerning its mode of being), "Attributionsurteil" (judgment concerning essential and inessential properties), and "Bestimmungsurteil" (judgment concerning its whatness
In the former question essence is understood initially in the sense of whatness
(quidditas) or material content (realitas), whereas truth is understood as a characteristic of knowledge.
(6.) Although not elaborated in this brief paper, it has to be noted that ethics as theory of conduct (or, more generally, axiology as theory of value) in relation to something presupposes knowing what that thing is, hence questions of "oughtness" assume answers to much more fundamental questions of "whatness
": what is human nature and what is the nature of the world in which humans live and pursue their livelihoods.
Stumbling over a way to translate his Greek what-it-is, Latin commentators and Boethius especially use their own related "essence." However, Aristotle's original phrase does not refer to an adjectival feature of something, its whatness
, as the Latin essentia suggests.
The "vulgarity of speech or of gesture" or "a memorable phase of the mind" is capable of achieving "a sudden spiritual manifestation." The "soul" of the commonest object, "its whatness
leaps to us from the vestment of its appearance" (Stephen Hero 216).