Metaphysics presupposes that each thing has its own fixed nature, its own fixed properties, and considers each thing by itself, in isolation. It tries to settle the nature and properties of each thing as a given, separate object of investigation, not considering things in their interconnection and in their change and development.

From Materialism and the Dialectical Method (Maurice Cornforth)

What does "given" mean in the context? "particular" or "already arranged"


  • It does indeed mean "particular" or something like "identified in the particular context"
    – Jaime
    Mar 1, 2023 at 11:43
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    It's a noun, not an adjective: oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/given_3
    – Joachim
    Mar 1, 2023 at 11:57
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    @Joachim: given can be a noun, but in this example, it is clearly an adjective qualifing "object of investigation"
    – Colin Fine
    Mar 1, 2023 at 14:19
  • @ColinFine An adjective with an article? Are you sure? :)
    – Joachim
    Mar 1, 2023 at 17:59
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    Yes. If it is a noun, then you have a NP a given followed by a nominal separate object of investigation, which is grammatically incoherent. The NP is a given, separate object of investigation. It's not clear to me whether given modifies separate object of investigation, or whether given and separate independently modify object of investigation.
    – Colin Fine
    Mar 1, 2023 at 18:03

1 Answer 1


In this kind of context, 'given' means:

Granted as a supposition; acknowledged or assumed.

This probably could have been answered with a dictionary but it does have quite a broad definition and I can see how it might not be so obvious. By this definition a 'given' could be a previously established fact or an obvious assumption - facts and assumptions couldn't be more different in most contexts.

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