Haecceities: Essentialism, Identity, and Abstraction is both an artistic and philosophical examination of the limits of Abstraction in art and of kinds of radical identity that are determined in the identification of those limits. Building on his work
Subjects and Objects, Strayer shows how the fundamental conditions of making and apprehending works of art can be used, in concert with language, thought, and perception, as ‘material’ for producing the more Abstract and radical artworks possible. Certain limits of Abstraction and possibilities of radical identity are then identified that are critically and philosophically considered. They prove to be so extreme that the concepts
artwork, abstraction, identity, and
object in art, philosophy, and philosophy of art, have to be reconsidered.
Jeffrey Strayer is an artist and philosopher who teaches philosophy at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. His
Haecceities series consists of works of art in which kinds of radical artistic identity and various Abstract limits are demonstrated. For more information, please visit
Haecceities, gives us a fascinating, extended intellectual meditation on the limits of abstraction in art, and does so with such a breathtaking relentlessness, that it is unlikely that anyone could ever write a more definitive book on the subject." - Phil Jenkins,
Marywood University, in:
Philosophy in Review 39.2 (2019)
List of Haecceity Illustrations and Figures
1. Theses of Abstraction.
2. The essential elements of an artistic complex and the idea of Essentialism or Essentialist Abstraction.
3. Radical identity.
4. Essence and Essentialism.
7. Summary and the goals and workings of Essentialism.
Space, Time, Language, and Objects and Particular Matters of General Relevance to Essentialism
8. The particularity of objects and the use of the term ‘haecceity’ in regard to Essentialist artworks.
9. Space, language, and the perceptual object.
10. Effects of the algorithm: visible and invisible, on and off the surface.
11. Time and the perceptual object.
12. Space, time, language, and the perceptual object.
13. Meaning, specification tokens, and matrices.
14. Time and the specified object.
15. Change and the perceptual object.
17. The delimitation of logical space and a subject’s history of awareness.
Haecceities, Ideational Objects, and Identity
18. No artwork without an identity.
19. Traditional identity in the visual arts.
20. Essentialism and identity.
21. Haecceities and ideational objects.
22. Kinds of ideational identity.
23. Basic and sophisticated space, meaning, identity, and work.
24. Haecceity artwork identity: preliminary points.
25. Disseminated identity.
26. Distributed identity.
27. Disseminated and/or distributed identity.
28. Non-disseminated and non-distributed identity.
29. Aesthetic properties and basic and sophisticated space.
30. Homogeneous identity.
31. Heterogeneous identity.
32. Actuality and possibility and identity.
33. Possibilities of identity.
34. Identity and Abstraction.
35. Things that can complicate identity.
36. Thisness and Essentialism.
37. Egalitarian identity.
38. Summary of Essentialist identity.
The Space of Apprehension and the Field of Understanding
40. Circles, matrices, and the space of apprehension.
41. Language and information in the Haecceities series.
42. Comprehending specifications.
43. The field of understanding.
44. The algorithm, matrices, parts and wholes, and relationships.
45. Ideational objects.
Essentialist Determination of Some Limits of Abstraction and Kinds of Radical Identity: Selections from the Haecceities Series with Commentary
46. The language of Essentialism, identity, and the limits of Abstraction.
47. Haecceity 1.0.0.
48. Haecceity 1.1.0.
49. Haecceity 1.2.0.
50. Haecceity 2.0.3.
51. Haecceity 2.9.0.
52. Haecceity 2.10.1.
53. Haecceity 3.29.0.
54. Haecceity 4.7.0.
55. Haecceity 7.3.0.
56. Haecceity 12.0.0.
Appendix One: A Paradox of Identity?
Appendix Two: Time and Understanding.
Artists, art critics and historians. Professional philosophers and graduate students in art and philosophy. All thinkers interested in art, philosophy of art, philosophy of subjects and objects, and metaphysics.