Essential Properties and Individual Essences

Philosophy Compass 6 (1):65-77 (2011)
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Abstract

According to Essentialism, an object’s properties divide into those that are essential and those that are accidental. While being human is commonly thought to be essential to Socrates, being a philosopher plausibly is not. We can motivate the distinction by appealing—as we just did—to examples. However, it is not obvious how best to characterize the notion of essential property, nor is it easy to give conclusive arguments for the essentiality of a given property. In this paper, I elaborate on these issues and explore the way in which essential properties behave in relation to other related properties, like sufficient-for-existence properties and individual essences.

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Sonia Roca-Royes
University of Stirling

Citations of this work

On How (Not) to Define Modality in Terms of Essence.Robert Michels - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (4):1015-1033.
An Intuitive Solution to the Problem of Induction.Andrew Dennis Bassford - 2022 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 26 (2):205-232.
Essence, Modality, and Intrinsicality.Gaétan Bovey - 2021 - Synthese 198 (8):7715-7737.
Grounding, Essence, and Contingentism.Karol Lenart - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (5):2157-2172.

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References found in this work

Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
The Meaning of 'Meaning'.Hillary Putnam - 1975 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.
The Nature of Necessity.Alvin Plantinga - 1974 - Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
Essence and Modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.

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