Single Idea 11977

[catalogued under 10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / c. Counterparts]

Full Idea

An essential attribute of something is an attribute it shares with all its counterparts.

Gist of Idea

Essential attributes are those shared with all the counterparts


David Lewis (Counterpart theory and Quant. Modal Logic [1968], III)

Book Reference

Lewis,David: 'Philosophical Papers Vol.1' [OUP 1983], p.35

A Reaction

I don't like this. It ties essence entirely to identity, but I think essence precedes identity. Essence is a nexus of causal and explanatory powers which bestows an identity on each thing. But essence might be unstable, and identity with it.