Single Idea 15704

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / d. Knowing essences]

Full Idea

If my speculations are correct, then essentialism starts out strictly as a belief that many categories are richly structured kinds, then additionally becomes a search for underlying inherent properties.

Gist of Idea

Essentialism starts from richly structured categories, leading to a search for underlying properties


Susan A. Gelman (The Essential Child [2003], 10 'Figuring')

Book Reference

Gelman,Susan A.: 'The Essential Child' [OUP 2005], p.286

A Reaction

This is her summary of extensive essentialist research among children. She favours the priority of kinds and categories. We actually change taxonomies on the basis of revisions in our accounts of essence. Science negotiates.