Single Idea 15685

[catalogued under 9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 1. Essences of Objects]

Full Idea

The two views contrasting with essentialism naturally emerging in childhood are the claim that essentialism is a historical accident emerging from Western philosophy, and that essentialism is an inherent consequence of naming things.

Gist of Idea

Essentialism is either natural to us, or an accident of our culture, or a necessary result of language


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

Book Reference

Gelman,Susan A.: 'The Essential Child' [OUP 2005], p.15

A Reaction

Helpful. I take Idea 15682 to rule out the idea that it is just a feature of western culture. I can't conceive of early man surviving without essentialism. I don't think it rules out the naming view. Animals may do what emerges in us as full 'naming'.

Related Idea

Idea 15682 Even fairly simple animals make judgements based on categories [Gelman]