1 an evasion of the point of an argument by raising irrelevant distinctions or objections [syn: quibble, cavil]
2 the essence that makes something the kind of thing it is and makes it different from any other [syn: haecceity]
In philosophy, quiddity is identity or "whatness," i.e., something's "what it is." The term derives from the Latin word "quidditas," which was used by the medieval Scholastics to refer to a concept of substance they encountered while translating the works of Aristotle.
The (Greek equivalent) term was used by Aristotle in reference to an entity's aspects of "matter" and "form."
It describes properties a particular substance (e.g. a person) shares with others of its kind. The question "what (quid) is it?" asks for a general description by way of commonailty. This is quiddity or "whatness" (i.e., its "what it is"). Quiddity is often contrasted with the haecceity or "thisness" of an item, which, in turn, describes the particular properties of an object or substance (e.g. a particular person).
quiddity in German: Quidditas
quiddity in Slovak: Quidditas
quiddity in Finnish: Mikyys ja tämyys
axiom, cavil, center, core, dodge, elixir, essence, essential, flower, focus, fundamental, gist, gravamen, heart, hypostasis, inner essence, jesuitism, kernel, marrow, meat, nub, nucleus, nuts and bolts, pith, postulate, principle, quibble, quid, quillet, quintessence, quip, quirk, quodlibet, sap, shuffle, soul, spirit, stuff, substance, the nitty-gritty