Single Idea 13166

[catalogued under 9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 7. Essence and Necessity / b. Essence not necessities]

Full Idea

Essences and essential properties do not seem to be useful in mathematical contexts, since all mathematical truths are regarded as necessary (though Kit Fine distinguishes between essential and necessary properties).

Gist of Idea

Essences are no use in mathematics, if all mathematical truths are necessary


Paolo Mancosu (Explanation in Mathematics [2008], 6.1)

Book Reference

'Stanford Online Encyclopaedia of Philosophy', ed/tr. Stanford University [], p.14

A Reaction

I take the proviso in brackets to be crucial. This represents a distortion of notion of an essence. There is a world of difference between the central facts about the nature of a square and the peripheral inferences derivable from it.

Related Idea

Idea 11248 Necessary truths can be two-way relational, where essential truths are one-way or intrinsic [Politis]