“Skeleton Man and Dog” (click for source)

I am (slowly) reading Introductory Metaphysics (1955) by A.R. Dulles, J.M. Demske, and R.J. O’Connell at the advice of my philosopher friend Jerome Wernow. In chapter five the authors are trying to explain the difference between essence and accidents. This is a philosopher’s analogy if I have ever read one:

“When a dog changes his posture, he has changed only accidently, and does not cease to be the same dog. But when he is run over by an automobile, he ceases to exist, and there exists in his place a heap of chemicals, which rapidly disintegrate (p. 59-60).”

There is your pleasant image of the day! Nothing explains the essence-accident distinction like the thought of a decomposing animal!