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  1. E. Anderson (1997). Dispositional Essentialism; Alive and Well. Philosophical Papers 26 (2):195-201.
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  2. Erik Anderson (2005). How General is Generalized Scientific Essentialism? Synthese 144 (3):373 - 379.
    I look at a recent argument offered in defense of a doctrine which I will call generalized scientific essentialism. This is the doctrine according to which, not only are some facts about substance composition metaphysically necessary, but, in addition, some facts about substance behavior are metaphysically necessary. More specifically, so goes the argument, not only is water necessarily composed of H2O and salt is necessarily composed of NaCl, but, in addition, salt necessarily dissolves in water. If this argument is sound, (...)
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  3. Edward Averill (1982). Essence and Scientific Discovery in Kripke and Putnam. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 43 (2):253-257.
    THE CLAIM THAT IF GOLD HAS THE ATOMIC NUMBER 79 THEN GOLD NECESSARILY HAS THE ATOMIC NUMBER 79 IS SHOWN TO BE FALSE. THE KRIPKE-PUTNAM ARGUMENT FOR THIS CLAIM IS REWORKED TO SHOW THIS: IF A PROPERTY OF GOLD (LIKE ATOMIC NUMBER) PLAYS A BASIC ROLE IN A THEORY OF SUBSTANCE, THAT IS BOTH TRUE AND THE BEST MOST COMPREHENSIVE THEORY OF SUBSTANCE POSSIBLE, THEN GOLD NECESSARILY HAS THIS PROPERTY. 'BASIC ROLE' IS EXPLAINED.
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  4. Gary Banham (2007). Kantian Realism and Scientific Essentialism. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 15 (4):775 – 784.
    Full-text of this article is not available in this e-prints service. This article was originally published following peer-review in British Journal for the History of Philosophy, published by and copyright Routledge.
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  5. George Bealer (1987). The Philosophical Limits of Scientific Essentialism. Philosophical Perspectives 1:289-365.
    Scientific essentialism is the view that some necessities (e.g., water = H2O) can be known only with the aid of empirical science. The thesis of the paper is that scientific essentialism does not extend to the central questions of philosophy and that these questions can be answered a priori. The argument is that the evidence required for the defense of scientific essentialism (e.g., twin earth intuitions) is reliable only if the intuitions required by philosophy to answer its central questions is (...)
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  6. H. Beebee (2004). Review: Scientific Essentialism. [REVIEW] Mind 113 (450):334-340.
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  7. Helen Beebee (2004). Review: Ellis, Scientific Essentialism; The Philosophy of Nature. [REVIEW] Mind 113 (450).
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  8. John Bigelow (1990). The World Essence. Dialogue 29 (02):205-.
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  9. Alexander Bird (2008). Review of Alexander Bird, Nature's Metaphysics: Laws and Properties. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (6).
    This is a rewarding book. In terms of area, it has one foot firmly planted in metaphysics and the other just as firmly set in the philosophy of science. Nature's Metaphysics is distinctive for its thorough and detailed defense of fundamental, natural properties as essentially dispositional and for its description of how these dispositional properties are thus suited to sustain the laws of nature as (metaphysically) necessary truths.
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  10. Alexander Bird (2007). A Posteriori Knowledge of Natural Kind Essences. Philosophical Topics 35 (1-2):293-312.
    I defend this claim that some natural essences can be known (only) a pos- teriori against two philosophers who accept essentialism but who hold that essences are known a priori: Joseph LaPorte, who argues from the use of kind terms in science, and E. J. Lowe, who argues from general metaphysical and epistemological principles.
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  11. Alexander Bird (2005). Laws and Essences. Ratio 18 (4):437–461.
    Those who favour an ontology based on dispositions are thereby able to provide a dispositional essentialist account of the laws of nature. In part 1 of this paper I sketch the dispositional essentialist conception of properties and the concomitant account of laws. In part 2, I characterise various claims about the modal character of properties that fall under the heading ‘quidditism’ and which are consequences of the categoricalist view of properties, which is the alternative to the dispositional essentialist view. I (...)
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  12. Martha Brandt Bolton (1992). The Idea-Theoretic Basis of Locke's Anti-Essentialist Doctrine of Nominal Essence. In Phillip D. Cummins & Guenter Zoeller (eds.), Minds, Ideas, and Objects: Essays in the Theory of Representation in Modern Philosophy. Ridgeview Publishing Company.
  13. George Botterill (2005). Scientific Essentialism. Philosophical Books 46 (2):118-122.
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  14. L. Clapp (2002). Scientific Essentialism. Philosophical Review 111 (4):589-594.
    Scientific Essentialism defends the view that the fundamental laws of nature depend on the essential properties of the things on which they are said to operate, and are therefore not independent of them. These laws are not imposed upon the world by God, the forces of nature, or anything else, but rather are immanent in the world. Ellis argues that ours is a dynamic world consisting of more or less transient objects that are constantly interacting with each other, and whose (...)
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  15. Richard Corry (2011). Can Dispositional Essences Ground the Laws of Nature? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (2):263 - 275.
    A dispositional property is a tendency, or potency, to manifest some characteristic behaviour in some appropriate context. The mainstream view in the twentieth century was that such properties are to be explained in terms of more fundamental non-dispositional properties, together with the laws of nature. In the last few decades, however, a rival view has become popular, according to which some properties are essentially dispositional in nature, and the laws of nature are to be explained in terms of these fundamental (...)
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  16. Alice Drewery (2004). A Note on Science and Essentialism. Theoria 19 (3):311-320.
    This paper discusses recent attempts to use essentialist arguments based on the work of Kripke and Putnam to ground causal necessity in the world. I argue in particular that arecent argument by Alexander Bird relies on controversial intuitions about the natures of substances which no Humean would accept. While a case can be made that essentialism reflects some assumptions within scientific practice, the same can be said of Humeanism; ultimately neither Bird’s arguments, nor any empirical facts, can decide the (...)
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  17. B. D. Ellis (2001). Scientific Essentialism. Cambridge University Press.
    Scientific Essentialism defends the view that the fundamental laws of nature depend on the essential properties of the things on which they are said to operate, and are therefore not independent of them. These laws are not imposed upon the world by God, the forces of nature, or anything else, but rather are immanent in the world. Ellis argues that ours is a dynamic world consisting of more or less transient objects which are constantly interacting with each other, and whose (...)
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  18. Brian Ellis (2005). Marc Lange on Essentialism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (1):75 – 79.
    For scientific essentialists, the only logical possibilities of existence are the real (or metaphysical) ones, and such possibilities, they say, are relative to worlds. They are not a priori, and they cannot just be invented. Rather, they are discoverable only by the a posteriori methods of science. There are, however, many philosophers who think that real possibilities are knowable a priori, or that they can just be invented. Marc Lange [Lange 2004] thinks that they can be invented, and tries to (...)
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  19. Brian Ellis (1999). Bigelow's Worries About Scientific Essentialism. In Howard Sankey (ed.), Causation and Laws of Nature. Kluwer. 61--75.
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  20. Brian Ellis & Caroline Lierse (1994). Dispositional Essentialism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72 (1):27 – 45.
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  21. Philippe Gagnon (2012). Remarques Sur le Projet Essentialiste de Brian Ellis En Philosophie de la Nature. Eikasia. Revista de Filosofía 43 (March):61-94.
  22. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2009). How Scientific is Scientific Essentialism? Journal for General Philosophy of Science 40 (1):85 - 101.
    Scientific essentialism holds that: (1) each scientific kind is associated with the same set of properties in every possible world; and (2) every individual member of a scientific kind belongs to that kind in every possible world in which it exists. Recently, Ellis (Scientific essentialism, 2001 ; The philosophy of nature 2002 ) has provided the most sustained defense of scientific essentialism, though he does not clearly distinguish these two claims. In this paper, I argue that both claims face a (...)
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  23. Marc Lange (2005). Reply to Ellis and to Handfield on Essentialism, Laws, and Counterfactuals. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (4):581 – 588.
    In Lange 2004a, I argued that 'scientific essentialism' [Ellis 2001 cannot account for the characteristic relation between laws and counterfactuals without undergoing considerable ad hoc tinkering. In recent papers, Brian Ellis 2005 and Toby Handfield 2005 have defended essentialism against my charge. Here I argue that Ellis's and Handfield's replies fail. Even in ordinary counterfactual reasoning, the 'closest possible world' where the electron's electric charge is 5% greater may have less overlap with the actual world in its fundamental natural kinds (...)
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  24. Marc Lange (2004). A Note on Scientific Essentialism, Laws of Nature, and Counterfactual Conditionals. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (2):227 – 241.
    Scientific essentialism aims to account for the natural laws' special capacity to support counterfactuals. I argue that scientific essentialism can do so only by resorting to devices that are just as ad hoc as those that essentialists accuse Humean regularity theories of employing. I conclude by offering an account of the laws' distinctive relation to counterfactuals that portrays laws as contingent but nevertheless distinct from accidents by virtue of possessing a genuine variety of necessity.
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  25. Sarah-Jane Leslie (2013). Essence and Natural Kinds: When Science Meets Preschooler Intuition. Oxford Studies in Epistemology 4:108-66.
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  26. Vassilios Livanios (2010). Symmetries, Dispositions and Essences. Philosophical Studies 148 (2):295 - 305.
    Dispositional essentialists ultimately appeal to dispositional essences in order to provide (a) an explanation of the conservation of physical quantities and (b) identity conditions for fundamental physical properties. This paper aims to offer alternative suggestions based on symmetry considerations and exhibits their consequences for the thesis of dispositional essentialism.
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  27. Nicholas Maxwell (1993). Induction and Scientific Realism: Einstein Versus Van Fraassen: Part Two: Aim-Oriented Empiricism and Scientific Essentialism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (1):81-101.
    In this paper I argue that aim-oriented empiricism provides decisive grounds for accepting scientific realism and rejecting instrumentalism. But it goes further than this. Aim-oriented empiricism implies that physicalism is a central part of current (conjectural) scientific knowledge. Furthermore, we can and need, I argue, to interpret fundamental physical theories as attributing necessitating physical properties to fundamental physical entities.
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  28. Nicholas Maxwell (1993). Part Two: Aim-Oriented Empiricism and Scientific Essentialism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (1):81-101.
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  29. Stephen Mumford (2005). Kinds, Essences, Powers. Ratio 18 (4):420–436.
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  30. Markus Schrenk (2010). The Powerlessness of Necessity. Noûs 44 (4):725-739.
    This paper concerns anti-Humean intuitions about connections in nature. It argues for the existence of a de re link that is not necessity.Some anti-Humeans tacitly assume that metaphysical necessity can be used for all sorts of anti-Humean desires. Metaphysical necessity is thought to stick together whatever would be loose and separate in a Hume world, as if it were a kind of universal superglue.I argue that this is not feasible. Metaphysical necessity might connect synchronically co-existent properties—kinds and their essential features, (...)
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  31. Holly VandeWall (2007). Why Water is Not H2O, and Other Critiques of Essentialist Ontology From the Philosophy of Chemistry. Philosophy of Science 74 (5):906-919.
    Ellis argues that certain essential properties of objects in the world not only determine the nature of these objects but also how they will behave in any situation. In this paper I will critique Ellis's essentialism from the perspective of the philosophy of chemistry, arguing that our current knowledge of chemistry in fact does not lend itself to essentialist interpretations and that this seriously undercuts Ellis's project. In particular I will criticize two key distinctions Ellis draws between internal vs. external (...)
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  32. Denis M. Walsh (2006). Evolutionary Essentialism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (2):425-448.
    According to Aristotelian essentialism, the nature of an organism is constituted of a particular goal-directed disposition to produce an organism typical of its kind. This paper argues—against the prevailing orthodoxy—that essentialism of this sort is indispensable to evolutionary biology. The most powerful anti-essentialist arguments purport to show that the natures of organisms play no explanatory role in modern synthesis biology. I argue that recent evolutionary developmental biology provides compelling evidence to the contrary. Developmental biology shows that one must appeal to (...)
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  33. John Woods (2005). The Economics of Paradox: A Response to Armour-Garb. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (1):103 – 113.
    For scientific essentialists, the only logical possibilities of existence are the real (or metaphysical) ones, and such possibilities, they say, are relative to worlds. They are not a priori, and they cannot just be invented. Rather, they are discoverable only by the a posteriori methods of science. There are, however, many philosophers who think that real possibilities are knowable a priori, or that they can just be invented. Marc Lange [Lange 2004] thinks that they can be invented, and tries to (...)
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  34. David Yates (2013). The Essence of Dispositional Essentialism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):93-128.
    Dispositional essentialists argue that physical properties have their causal roles essentially. This is typically taken to mean that physical properties are identical to dispositions. I argue that this is untenable, and that we must instead say that properties bestow dispositions. I explore what it is for a property to have such a role essentially. Dispositional essentialists argue for their view by citing certain epistemological and metaphysical implications, and I appeal to these implications to place desiderata on the concept of essence (...)
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