Single Idea 14192

[catalogued under 9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 15. Against Essentialism]

Full Idea

Two objections to deep essentialism are that it falters when faced with a skeptical objection concerning arbitrariness, and the need for a reductive account of de re modality.

Gist of Idea

Essentialism must deal with charges of arbitrariness, and failure to reduce de re modality


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

Book Reference

'Metaphysics (Philosophical Perspectives 20)', ed/tr. Hawthorne,John [Blackwell 2006], p.334

A Reaction

An immediate response to the second objection might be to say that modal facts about things are not reducible. The charge of arbitrariness (i.e. total arbitrariness, not just a bit of uncertainty) is the main thing a theory of essences must deal with.

Related Ideas

Idea 14190 Deep essentialist objects have intrinsic properties that fix their nature; the shallow version makes it contextual [Paul,LA]

Idea 14191 Deep essentialists say essences constrain how things could change; modal profiles fix natures [Paul,LA]