Results for 'Essence'

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  1. Essence and Modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.
    It is my aim in this paper to show that the contemporary assimilation of essence to modality is fundamentally misguided and that, as a consequence, the corresponding conception of metaphysics should be given up. It is not my view that the modal account fails to capture anything which might reasonably be called a concept of essence. My point, rather, is that the notion of essence which is of central importance to the metaphysics of identity is not to (...)
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  2. Grounding, Essence, And Identity.Fabrice Correia & Alexander Skiles - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (3):642-670.
    Recent metaphysics has turned its focus to two notions that are—as well as having a common Aristotelian pedigree—widely thought to be intimately related: grounding and essence. Yet how, exactly, the two are related remains opaque. We develop a unified and uniform account of grounding and essence, one which understands them both in terms of a generalized notion of identity examined in recent work by Fabrice Correia, Cian Dorr, Agustín Rayo, and others. We argue that the account comports with (...)
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  3. Essence and Intrinsicality.David Denby - 2014 - In Robert M. Francescotti (ed.), Companion to Intrinsic Properties. De Gruyter. pp. 87-109.
    In the first half of this paper, I argue that essential properties are intrinsic and that this permits a modal analysis of essence that is immune the sort of objections raised by Fine. In the second half, I argue that intrinsic properties collectively have a certain structure and that this accounts for some observations about essences: that things are essentially determinate; that things often have properties within a certain range essentially; and that the essential properties of things are their (...)
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  4. Generic Essence, Objectual Essence, and Modality.Fabrice Correia - 2006 - Noûs 40 (4):753–767.
    When thinking about the notion of essence or of an essential feature, philosophers typically focus on what I will call the notion of objectual essence. The main aim of this paper is to argue that beside this familiar notion stands another one, the notion of generic essence, which contrary to appearance cannot be understood in terms of the familiar notion, and which also fails to be correctly characterized by certain other accounts which naturally come to mind as (...)
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  5. Essence, Necessity, and Explanation.Kathrin Koslicki - 2012 - In Tuomas E. Tahko (ed.), Contemporary Aristotelian Metaphysics. Cambridge University Press. pp. 187--206.
    It is common to think of essence along modal lines: the essential truths, on this approach, are a subset of the necessary truths. But Aristotle conceives of the necessary truths as being distinct and derivative from the essential truths. Such a non-modal conception of essence also constitutes a central component of the neo-Aristotelian approach to metaphysics defended over the last several decades by Kit Fine. Both Aristotle and Fine rely on a distinction between what belongs to the (...) proper of an object and what merely follows from the essence proper of an object. In order for this type of approach to essence and modality to be successful, we must be able to identify an appropriate consequence relation which in fact generates the result that the necessary truths about objects follow from the essential truths. I discuss some proposals put forward by Fine and then turn to Aristotle’s account: Aristotle’s central idea, to trace the explanatory power of definitions to the causal power of essences has the potential to open the door to a philosophically satisfying response to the question of why certain things are relevant, while others are irrelevant, to the nature or essence of entities. If at all possible, it would be desirable for example to have something further to say by way of explanation to such questions as ‘Why is the number 2 completely irrelevant to the nature of camels?’. (shrink)
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  6. Essence and Properties.David S. Oderberg - unknown
    The distinction between the essence of an object and its properties has been obscured in contemporary discussion of essentialism. Locke held that the properties of an object are exclusively those features that ‘flow’ from its essence. Here he follows the Aristotelian theory, leaving aside Locke’s own scepticism about the knowability of essence. I defend the need to distinguish sharply between essence and properties, arguing that essence must be given by form and that properties flow from (...)
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  7. Essence in Abundance.Alexander Skiles - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (1):100-112.
    Fine is widely thought to have refuted the simple modal account of essence, which takes the essential properties of a thing to be those it cannot exist without exemplifying. Yet, a number of philosophers have suggested resuscitating the simple modal account by appealing to distinctions akin to the distinction Lewis draws between sparse and abundant properties, treating only those in the former class as candidates for essentiality. I argue that ‘sparse modalism’ succumbs to counterexamples similar to those originally posed (...)
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  8. Essence and Logical Properties.Hashem Morvarid - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (11):2897-2917.
    Since Kit Fine presented his counter-examples to the standard versions of the modal view, many have been convinced that the standard versions of the modal view are not adequate. However, the scope of Fine's argument has not been fully appreciated. In this paper, I aim to carry Fine’s argument to its logical conclusion and argue that once we embrace the intuition underlying his counter-examples, we have to hold that properties obtained, totally or partially, by application of logical operations are not (...)
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  9. The Essence of Dispositional Essentialism.David Yates - 2013 - 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 (...) involved. I argue that the traditional modal theory of essence meets these desiderata, but that the resulting theory wrongly implies that certain dispositions essential to mass are essential to charge, thereby offering a new argument against modal theories of essence. I argue that dispositional essentialism requires a primitive notion of essence, and develop a primitivist theory based on Kit Fine's views. I show that the primitivist theory has all the virtues of the modal alternative, and none of the vices. I develop a novel way of thinking about the relationship between properties, laws and dispositions, and argue that it has distinct advantages over standard dispositional essentialist formulations. (shrink)
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  10. Essence, Explanation, and Modality.Michael Wallner & Anand Vaidya - forthcoming - Philosophy:1-27.
    Recently, Kit Fine's view that modal truths are true in virtue of, grounded in, or explained by essentialist truths has been under attack. In what follows we offer two responses to the wave of criticism against his view. While the first response is pretty straightforward, the second is based on the distinction between, what we call, Reductive Finean Essentialism and Non-Reductive Finean Essentialism. Engaging the work of Bob Hale on Non-Reductive Finean Essentialism, we aim to show that the arguments against (...)
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  11. Essence and Modal Knowledge.Boris Kment - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 8):1957-1979.
    During the last quarter of a century, a number of philosophers have become attracted to the idea that necessity can be analyzed in terms of a hyperintensional notion of essence. One challenge for proponents of this view is to give a plausible explanation of our modal knowledge. The goal of this paper is to develop a strategy for meeting this challenge. My approach rests on an account of modality that I developed in previous work, and which analyzes modal properties (...)
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  12. Essence, Potentiality, and Modality.Barbara Vetter - forthcoming - Mind.
    According to essentialism, metaphysical modality is founded in the essences of things, where the essence of a thing is roughly akin to its real definition. According to potentialism, metaphysical modality is founded in the potentialities of things, where a potentiality is roughly the generalized notion of a disposition. Essentialism and potentialism have much in common, but little has been written about their relation to each other. The aim of this paper is to understand better the relations between essence (...)
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  13. Finean Essence, Local Necessity, and Pure Logical Properties.Hashem Morvarid - 2018 - Synthese 195 (11):4997-5005.
    Since Kit Fine published his famous counter-examples to the modal account of essence, numerous modalists have proposed to avoid the counter-examples by revising the modal account. A sophisticated revision has been put forward by Fabrice Correia. Drawing on themes from Prior’s modality, Correia has introduced a nonstandard conception of metaphysical modality and has proposed to analyze essence in its terms. He has claimed that the analysis is immune to Fine’s counter-examples. In this paper, I argue that there are (...)
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  14. Essence, Necessity, and Definition.Justin Zylstra - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (2):339-350.
    What is it for something to be essential to an item? For some time, it was standard to think that the concept of necessity alone can provide an answer: for something to be essential to an item is for it to be strictly implied by the existence of that item. We now tend to think that this view fails because its analysans is insufficient for its analysandum. In response, some argue that we can supplement the analysis in terms of necessity (...)
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  15. From Essence to Necessity Via Identity.Jessica Leech - forthcoming - Mind:fzaa012.
    An essentialist theory of modality claims that the source of possibility and necessity lies in essence, where essence is then not to be defined in terms of necessity. Hence such theories owe us an account of why it is that the essences of things give rise to necessities in the way required. A new approach to understanding essence in terms of the notion of generalized identity promises to answer this challenge by appeal to the necessity of identity. (...)
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  16.  72
    Collective Essence and Monotonicity.Justin Zylstra - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (5):1087-1101.
    This paper focuses on the concept of collective essence: that some truths are essential to many items taken together. For example, that it is essential to conjunction and negation that they are truth-functionally complete. The concept of collective essence is one of the main innovations of recent work on the theory of essence. In a sense, this innovation is natural, since we make all sorts of plural predications. It stands to reason that there should be a distinction (...)
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  17. Essence and Cause: Making Something Be What It Is.Riin Sirkel - 2018 - Discipline Filosofiche 28 (1):89-112.
    Aristotle frequently describes essence as a “cause” or “explanation”, thus ascribing to essence some sort of causal or explanatory role. This explanatory role is often explicated by scholars in terms of essence “making the thing be what it is” or “making it the very thing that it is”. I argue that this is problematic, at least on the assumption that “making” expresses an explanatory relation, since it violates certain formal features of explanation. I then consider whether Aristotle (...)
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  18. Necessity, Essence, and Individuation: A Defense of Conventionalism.Alan Sidelle - 1989 - Cornell University Press.
  19. Essence and Mere Necessity.Jessica Leech - 2018 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82:309-332.
    Recently, a debate has developed between those who claim that essence can be explained in terms of de re modality (modalists), and those who claim that de re modality can be explained in terms of essence (essentialists). The aim of this paper is to suggest that we should reassess. It is assumed that either necessity is to be accounted for in terms of essence, or that essence is to be accounted for in terms of necessity. I (...)
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  20. Essence and Definition by Abstraction.Bob Hale - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 8):2001-2017.
    We may define words or concepts, and we may also, as Aristotle and others have thought, define the things for which words stand and of which concepts are concepts. Definitions of words or concepts may be explicit or implicit, and may seek to report preexisting synonymies, as Quine put it, but they may instead be wholly or partly stipulative. Definition by abstraction, of which Hume’s principle is a much discussed example, seek to define a term-forming operator, such as the number (...)
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  21. Essence and the Grounding Problem.Mark Jago - 2016 - In Reality Making. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 99-120.
    Pluralists about coincident entities say that distinct entities may be spatially coincident throughout their entire existence. The most pressing issue they face is the grounding problem. They say that coincident entities may differ in their persistence conditions and in the sortals they fall under. But how can they differ in these ways, given that they share all their microphysical properties? What grounds those differences, if not their microphysical properties? Do those differences depend only on the way we conceptualise those objects? (...)
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  22. The Essences of Fundamental Properties.Jennifer Wang - 2019 - Metaphysics 2 (1):40-54.
    There is a puzzle concerning the essences of fundamental entities that arises from considerations about essence, on one hand, and fundamentality, on the other. The Essence-Dependence Link (EDL) says that if x figures in the essence of y, then y is dependent upon x. EDL is prima facie plausible in many cases, especially those involving derivative entities. But consider the property negative charge. A negatively charged object exhibits certain behaviors that a positively charged object does not: it (...)
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  23.  91
    Essence and Explanation.Albert Casullo - 2020 - Metaphysics 2 (1):88-96.
    In Necessary Beings, Bob Hale addresses two questions: What is the source of necessity? What is the source of our knowledge of it? He offers novel responses to them in terms of the metaphysical notion of nature or, more familiarly, essence. In this paper, I address Hale’s response to the first question. My assessment is negative. I argue that his essentialist explanation of the source of necessity suffers from three significant shortcomings. First, Hale’s leading example of an essentialist explanation (...)
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  24. The Epistemology of Essence.Tuomas Tahko - 2018 - In Alexander Carruth, S. C. Gibb & John Heil (eds.), Ontology, Modality, Mind: Themes from the Metaphysics of E. J. Lowe. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 93-110.
    The epistemology of essence is a topic that has received relatively little attention, although there are signs that this is changing. The lack of literature engaging directly with the topic is probably partly due to the mystery surrounding the notion of essence itself, and partly due to the sheer difficulty of developing a plausible epistemology. The need for such an account is clear especially for those, like E.J. Lowe, who are committed to a broadly Aristotelian conception of (...), whereby essence plays an important theoretical role. In this chapter, our epistemic access to essence is examined in terms of the a posteriori vs. a priori distinction. The two main accounts to be contrasted are those of David S. Oderberg and E.J. Lowe. (shrink)
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  25. The Essence of Grounding.Justin Zylstra - 2019 - Synthese 196 (12):5137-5152.
    I develop a reduction of grounding to essence. My approach is to think about the relation between grounding and essence on the model of a certain conceptof existential dependence. I extend this concept of existential dependence in a coupleof ways and argue that these extensions provide a reduction of grounding to essenceif we use sorted variables that range over facts and take it that for a fact to obtain is forit to exist. I then use the account to (...)
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  26. Essence and Modality.Edward N. Zalta - 2006 - Mind 115 (459):659-693.
    Some recently-proposed counterexamples to the traditional definition of essential property do not require a separate logic of essence. Instead, the examples can be analysed in terms of the logic and theory of abstract objects. This theory distinguishes between abstract and ordinary objects, and provides a general analysis of the essential properties of both kinds of object. The claim ‘x has F necessarily’ becomes ambiguous in the case of abstract objects, and in the case of ordinary objects there are various (...)
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  27. (Finean) Essence and (Priorean) Modality.Fabrice Correia - 2007 - Dialectica 61 (1):63–84.
    In Fine 1994, Kit Fine challenges the view that the notion of essence is to be understood in terms of the metaphysical modalities, and he argues that it is not essence which reduces to metaphysical modality, but rather metaphysical modality which reduces to essence. In this paper I put forward a modal account of essence and argue that it is immune from Fine’s objections. The account presupposes a non‐standard, independently motivated conception of the metaphysical modalities which (...)
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  28.  25
    The Essence of Christianity.Ludwig Feuerbach - 1843 - Dover Publications.
    The most important work of the famed German philosopher, this 1841 polemic asserts that religion and divinity are outward projections of inner human nature. Feuerbach's critique of Hegelian idealism excited immediate international attention — Marx and Engels were particularly influenced. This acclaimed translation is by the celebrated English novelist George Eliot.
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  29. Essence and Natural Kinds: When Science Meets Preschooler Intuition.Sarah-Jane Leslie - 2013 - Oxford Studies in Epistemology 4:108-66.
  30. Essences and Natural Kinds.Alexander Bird - 2009 - In Robin Le Poidevin (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics. Routledge. pp. 497--506.
    Essentialism as applied to individuals is the claim that for at least some individuals there are properties that those individuals possess essentially. What it is to possess a property essentially is a matter of debate. To possess a property essentially is often taken to be akin to possessing a property necessarily, but stronger, although this is not a feature of Aristotle’s essentialism, according to which essential properties are those thing could not lose without ceasing to exist. Kit Fine (1994) takes (...)
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  31. The Essence of Essentialism.George E. Newman & Joshua Knobe - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (5):585-605.
    Over the past several decades, psychological essentialism has been an important topic of study, incorporating research from multiple areas of psychology, philosophy and linguistics. At its most basic level, essentialism is the tendency to represent certain concepts in terms of a deeper, unobservable property that is responsible for category membership. Originally, this concept was used to understand people’s reasoning about natural kind concepts, such as TIGER and WATER, but more recently, researchers have identified the emergence of essentialist-like intuitions in a (...)
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  32. The Essence of Space-Time.Tim Maudlin - 1988 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:82 - 91.
    I argue that Norton & Earman's hole argument, despite its historical association with General Relativity, turns upon very general features of any linguistic system that can represent substances by names. After exploring various means by which mathematical objects can be interpreted as representing physical possibilities, I suggest that a form of essentialism can solve the hole dilemma without abandoning either determinism or substantivalism. Finally, I identify the basic tenets of such an essentialism in Newton's writings and consider how they can (...)
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  33. Essence Without Fundamentality.Agustin Rayo - 2015 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 30 (3):349-363.
    I argue for a conception of essence that does not rely on distinctions of metaphysical fundamentality.
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  34. Essence and Dependence.Jessica Wilson M. - forthcoming - In Mircea Dumitru (ed.), Metaphysics, Meaning, and Modality: Themes from Kit Fine. Oxford University Press.
    I first discuss Kit Fine's distinctive 'schema-based' approach to metaphysical theorizing, which aims to identify general principles accommodating any intelligible application of the notion(s), by attention to his accounts of essence and dependence. I then raise some specific concerns about the general principles Fine takes to schematically characterize these notions. In particular, I present various counterexamples to Fine's essence-based account of ontological dependence. The problem, roughly speaking, is that Fine supposes that an object's essence makes reference to (...)
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  35.  68
    A Puzzle for Social Essences.Michael J. Raven - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
    The social world contains institutions (nations, clubs), groups (races, genders), objects (talismans, borders), and more. This paper explores a puzzle about the essences of social items. There is widespread consensus against social essences because of problematic presuppositions often made about them. But it is argued that essence can be freed from these presuppositions and their problems. Even so, a puzzle still arises. In a Platonic spirit, essences in general seem “detached” from the world. In an Aristotelian spirit, social essences (...)
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  36.  26
    (Finean) Essence and (Priorean) Modality.Fabrice Correia - 2007 - Dialectica 61 (1):63-84.
    In Fine 1994, Kit Fine challenges the view that the notion of essence is to be understood in terms of the metaphysical modalities, and he argues that it is not essence which reduces to metaphysical modality, but rather metaphysical modality which reduces to essence. In this paper I put forward a modal account of essence and argue that it is immune from Fine’s objections. The account presupposes a non‐standard, independently motivated conception of the metaphysical modalities which (...)
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  37.  32
    Necessity, Essence, and Individuation: A Defense of Conventionalism.Alan Sidelle - 1989 - Cornell University Press.
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  38. The Modal View of Essence.Sam Cowling - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (2):248-266.
    According to the modal view, essence admits of reductive analysis in exclusively modal terms. Fine (1994) argues that modal view delivers an inadequate analysis of essence. This paper defends the modal view from Fine's challenge. This defense proceeds by examining the disagreement between Finean primitivists and Quinean eliminativists about essence. In order to model this disagreement, a distinction between essence and a separable concept, nature, is required. This distinction is then used to show that Fine's challenge (...)
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  39.  59
    Can Essence Provide Knowledge of Metaphysical Necessity? A Reply to Jago.Benjamin L. Curtis - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (3):931-933.
    In this paper I argue against Mark Jago’s recent suggestion that ordinary knowers can move from knowledge of essence to knowledge of metaphysical necessity.
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    The Essence of Genuine Reference.Genoveva Marti - 1995 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 24 (3):275-289.
    We have witnessed a fundamental change of perspective in the conception of reference. What the proponents of the new approach criticized and what they proposed to abandon is relatively clear; it is much less clear though what is at the heart of the philosophy that inspired the change. The proponents of the new approach all agreed in disagreeing with Frege: natural languages may, and in fact do, contain expressions that refer without the mediation of a Fregean sense. The core motto (...)
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  41. The Essence of Response-Dependence.Ralph Wedgwood - 1997 - European Review of Philosophy 3:31-54.
    Many philosophers have thought that colours or flavours or values are in some way less objective than shape or mass or motion. This paper explores the approach to capturing this thought that is based on the idea of ‘ response-dependence ’. First, it is argued that the conceptions of response-dependence developed by Mark Johnston, Philip Pettit and Crispin Wright fail to capture this thought adequately. Then, the rest of the paper proposes an alternative conception, based in part on Kit Fine's (...)
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  42. Constitutive Essence and Partial Grounding.Eileen S. Nutting, Ben Caplan & Chris Tillman - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (2):137-161.
    Kit Fine and Gideon Rosen propose to define constitutive essence in terms of ground-theoretic notions and some form of consequential essence. But we think that the Fine–Rosen proposal is a mistake. On the Fine–Rosen proposal, constitutive essence ends up including properties that, on the central notion of essence, are necessary but not essential. This is because consequential essence is closed under logical consequence, and the ability of logical consequence to add properties to an object’s consequential (...)
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  43.  52
    Identity, Essence, and Indiscernibility.Stephen Yablo - 1987 - Journal of Philosophy 84 (6):293.
  44. Essence, Identity, and the Concept of Woman.Natalie Stoljar - 1995 - Philosophical Topics 23 (2):261-293.
  45. The Essence of Human Freedom: An Introduction to Philosophy.Martin Heidegger - 2002 - Continuum.
    The Essence of Human Freedom is a fundamental text for understanding Heidegger's view of Greek philosophy and its relationship to modern philosophy.
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  46. Identity, Essence, and Indiscernibility.Stephen Yablo - 1987 - Journal of Philosophy 84 (6):293-314.
  47.  58
    Why Essences Are Essential in the Psychology of Concepts.Woo-Kyoung Ahn, Charles Kalish, Susan A. Gelman, Douglas L. Medin, Christian Luhmann, Scott Atran, John D. Coley & Patrick Shafto - 2001 - Cognition 82 (1):59-69.
  48. The Essence of Manifestation.Michel Henry - 1973 - The Hague: M. Nijhoff.
    INTRODUCTION THE PROBLEM OF THE BEING OF THE EGO AND THE FUNDAMENTAL PRESUPPOSITIONS OF ONTOLOGY "Mit dem cogito sum beansprucht Descartes, der Philosophic ...
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  49. Essence and Modality. The Quintessence of Husserl's Theory.Kevin Mulligan - 2004 - In Mark Siebel & Markus Textor (eds.), Semantik Und Ontologie: Beiträge Zur Philosophischen Forschung. Ontos Verlag. pp. 387--418.
    Even the most cursory reader of Husserl’s writings must be struck by the frequent references to essences (“Wesen”, “Essenzen”), Ideas (“Idee”), kinds, natures, types and species and to necessities, possibilities, impossi- bilities, necessary possibilities, essential necessities and essential laws. What does Husserl have in mind in talking of essences and modalities? What did he take the relation between essentiality and modality to be? In the absence of answers to these questions it is not clear that a reader of Husserl can (...)
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  50. Essence of Culture and a Sense of History: A Feminist Critique of Cultural Essentialism.Uma Narayan - 1998 - Hypatia 13 (2):86 - 106.
    Drawing parallels between gender essentialism and cultural essentialism, I point to some common features of essentialist pictures of culture. I argue that cultural essentialism is detrimental to feminist agendas and suggest strategies for its avoidance. Contending that some forms of cultural relativism buy into essentialist notions of culture, I argue that postcolonial feminists need to be cautious about essentialist contrasts between "Western" and "Third World" cultures.
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