Single Idea 14190

[catalogued under 9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 2. Types of Essence]

Full Idea

Essentialism says that objects have their properties essentially. 'Deep' essentialists take the (nontrivial) essential properties of an object to determine its nature. 'Shallow' essentialists substitute context-dependent truths for the independent ones.

Gist of Idea

Deep essentialist objects have intrinsic properties that fix their nature; the shallow version makes it contextual


L.A. Paul (In Defense of Essentialism [2006], Intro)

Book Reference

'Metaphysics (Philosophical Perspectives 20)', ed/tr. Hawthorne,John [Blackwell 2006], p.333

A Reaction

If the deep essence determines a things nature, we should not need to say 'nontrivial'. This is my bete noire, the confusion of essential properties with necessary ones, where necessary properties (or predicates, at least) can indeed be trivial.