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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Inherence \In*her"ence\, Inherency \In*her"en*cy\, n. [Cf. F. inh['e]rence.] The state of inhering; permanent existence in something; innateness; inseparable and essential connection.
--Jer. Taylor.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1570s, from Medieval Latin inhaerentia, from inhaerentem (see inherent). Related: Inherency (c.1600).


n. The state of being inherent or permanently present ''in'' something; indwelling.


n. the state of being within or not going beyond a given domain [syn: immanence, immanency]


Inherence refers to Empedocles' idea that the qualities of matter come from the relative proportions of each of the four elements entering into a thing. The idea was further developed by Plato and Aristotle.

That Plato accepted (or at least did not reject) Empedocles' claim can be seen in the Timaeus. However, Plato also applied it to cover the presence of form in matter. The form is an active principle. Matter, on the other hand is passive, being a mere possibility that the forms bring to life.

Aristotle clearly accepted Empedocles' claim 1, but he rejected Plato's idea of the forms. According to Aristotle, the accidents of a substance are incorporeal beings which are present in it. "By being 'present in a subject' I do not mean present as parts are present in a whole, but being incapable of existence apart from the said subject." ( The Categories 1 24-26)

A closely related term is participation. If an attribute inheres in a subject, then the subject is said to participate in the attribute. For example, if the attribute in Athens inheres in Socrates, then Socrates is said to participate in the attribute, in Athens.

Category:Concepts in metaphysics Category:Ontology Category:Natural philosophy

Usage examples of "inherence".

But within the Supreme we must see energy not as an overflow but in the double aspect of integral inherence with the establishment of a new being.