A note on science and essentialism

Theoria 19 (3):311-320 (2004)
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 question for or against Humeanism.
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DOI theoria20041935
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