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  1. One’s understanding of some objects may be conditioned by the empirical residue but in some sense it at times may not be. Take for example some spontaneous variation such as an acquired pigment. It at once is a spontaneous variation nothing more. But if it succeeds as a more permanent modification it at once is a modification and as that modification proceeds to participate in an environmental co-adaptation it is at once understood to be an adaptation. Hence there are three successive objectivizations of the very same ‘anatomical, molecular, histological configuration’, namely, the acquired pigment. But the terms variation, modification, and adaptation have different definitions, and since definition denotes the essence, an essential change has taken place despite no change in the ‘anatomical, molecular, histological configuration’ of the variation. So essence is in that sense disconnected from ‘collocations of atoms and molecules’. For what it’s worth.

    Joe Ferrara, M.D.

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