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1. (of the solution of a differential equation) obtained by giving specific values to the arbitrary constants in a general equation
2. Logic (of a proposition) affirming or denying something about only some members of a class of objects, as in some men are not wicked
3. Property law denoting an estate that precedes the passing of the property into ultimate ownership
4. Logic another name for individual
5. Philosophy an individual object, as contrasted with a universal
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



singular, individual, the philosophical cate-gory expressing the relative isolation, discreteness, and spatial and temporal distinctness of things and events and the specific individual properties constituting their unique qualitative and quantitative determinateness.

Not only individual objects but whole classes of objects as well can be regarded as particulars if they are considered as unified, relatively independent, and existing within the limits of a certain measure. In addition, the object itself is a set of individual parts. Things and events are absolutely nonidentical, individual. They occupy different places, have different relations, and consequently possess different properties. Events cannot be repeated. Phenomena are subject to the principle of the irreversibility of time. The “repeated” is already characterized by its occurrence at a different time and thus under new conditions, which leave their stamp on the phenomenon.

The concrete form that an individual object takes is determined by a system of relationships out of which the object emerges. “The individual exists only in the connection that leads to the universal…. Every individual enters incompletely into the universal, etc., etc.” (V. I. Lenin, Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 29, p. 318). The universal is disclosed in its concept only through the reflection of the individual and particular. As early as Aristotle it was noted that the universal exists only in relation to the particular. Science is interested above all in the lawlike and the universal, which it reaches through the particular. Art and other spheres of human activity achieve the universal in the form of the particular.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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