Single Idea 15697

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

Full Idea

With kind essentialism the person assumes that the world is divided up into preexisting natural categories. Individual essentialism seems not to require any such commitment to kind realism.

Gist of Idea

Kind (unlike individual) essentialism assumes preexisting natural categories


Susan A. Gelman (The Essential Child [2003], 06 'Essentialism')

Book Reference

Gelman,Susan A.: 'The Essential Child' [OUP 2005], p.152

A Reaction

This pinpoints my difficulty: how do we decide whether some category or attributed essence is part of a preexisting natural kind? Some natural kinds are self-evident, like water (roughly), but others need subtle teasing out. How is the teasing done?