Single Idea 15683

[catalogued under 9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 5. Essence as Kind]

Full Idea

I suggest that sortals are likewise required for determining essence. One cannot answer the question 'What is the essence of this?' without supplying the sortal - of this 'what'.

Gist of Idea

Sortals are needed for determining essence - the thing must be categorised first


Susan A. Gelman (The Essential Child [2003], 01 'Prelims')

Book Reference

Gelman,Susan A.: 'The Essential Child' [OUP 2005], p.13

A Reaction

I remain baffled by this view. I take the category to be an inductive generalisation from other similar individuals. It can't get off the ground if you don't start with the individuals. Sortals are just a shorthand.