Single Idea 11920

[catalogued under 2. Reason / D. Definition / 4. Real Definition]

Full Idea

A real definition expresses the sum of the properties that constitute the identity of the thing defined.

Gist of Idea

A real definition gives all the properties that constitute an identity


George Molnar (Powers [1998], 1.4.4)

Book Reference

Molnar,George: 'Powers: a study in metaphysics', ed/tr. Mumford,Stephen [OUP 2003], p.38

A Reaction

This is a standard modern view among modern essentialists, and one which I believe can come into question. It seems to miss out the fact that an essence will also explain the possible functions and behaviours of a thing. Explanation seems basic.