The Notion of a Thing


  • Meghan Allerton Trent University
  • Terrance Quinn Middle Tennessee State University


Now the notion of a thing is grounded in an insight that grasps, not relations between data, but a unity, identity, whole in data; and this unity is grasped, not by considering data from any abstractive viewpoint, but by taking them in their concrete individuality and in the totality of their aspects. For if the reader will turn his mind to any object he names a thing, he will find that object to be a unity to which belongs every aspect of every datum within the unity. Thus, the dog Fido is a unity, and to Fido is ascribed a totality of data whether of color or shape, sound or odor, feeling or movement. Moreover, from this grasp of unity in a concrete totality of data there follow the various characteristics of things.

Author Biographies

Meghan Allerton, Trent University

Meghan Allerton is a doctoral candidate in the Environmental and Life Sciences graduate program at Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario. She contributed to Seeding Global Collaboration (2016) and has published in Divyadaan: Journal of Philosophy & Education. She holds an M.Env.Sc. and an Honours B.Sc. from the University of Toronto.

Terrance Quinn, Middle Tennessee State University

Terrance Quinn is Professor Emeritus from Middle Tennessee State University and is an active scholar. He has publications in the mathematical sciences, foundations of science, and regarding Lonergan’s work. He also has been contributing to the economics literature. His personal website is and he can be reached at