Combining Philosophers

Ideas for Carl Ginet, Erik J. Olsson and L.A. Paul

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3 ideas

9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / e. Individuation by kind
'Substance theorists' take modal properties as primitive, without structure, just falling under a sortal [Paul,LA]
     Full Idea: Some deep essentialists resist the need to explain the structure under de re modal properties, taking them as primitive. One version (which we can call 'substance theory') takes them to fall under a sortal concept, with no further explanation.
     From: L.A. Paul (In Defense of Essentialism [2006], 1)
     A reaction: A very helpful identification of what Wiggins stands for, and why I disagree with him. The whole point of essences is to provide a notion that fits in with sciences, which means they must have an explanatory role, which needs structures.
If an object's sort determines its properties, we need to ask what determines its sort [Paul,LA]
     Full Idea: If the substance essentialist holds that the sort an object belongs to determines its de re modal properties (rather than the other way round), then he needs to give an (ontological, not conceptual) explanation of what determines an object's sort.
     From: L.A. Paul (In Defense of Essentialism [2006], 1)
     A reaction: See Idea 14193 for 'substance essentialism'. I find it quite incredible that anyone could think that a thing's sort could determine its properties, rather than the other way round. Even if sortals are conventional, they are not arbitrary.
Substance essentialism says an object is multiple, as falling under various different sortals [Paul,LA]
     Full Idea: The explanation of material constitution given by substance essentialism is that there are multiple objects. A person is essentially human-shaped (falling under the human sort), while their hunk of tissue is accidentally human-shaped (as tissue).
     From: L.A. Paul (In Defense of Essentialism [2006], 1)
     A reaction: At this point sortal essentialism begins to look crazy. Persons are dubious examples (with sneaky dualism involved). A bronze statue is essentially harder to dent than a clay one, because of its bronze. If you remake it of clay, it isn't the same statue.