Single Idea 15709

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

Full Idea

Essentialism is a reasoning heuristic that allows us to make fairly good predictions much of the time, but it should not be confused with the structure of reality.

Gist of Idea

Essentialism is useful for predictions, but it is not the actual structure of reality


Susan A. Gelman (The Essential Child [2003], 11 'Discussion')

Book Reference

Gelman,Susan A.: 'The Essential Child' [OUP 2005], p.324

A Reaction

She particularly cites biology as the area where it might be inaccurate. I'm beginning to think that the operations of induction are the place to look for an good understanding of essentialism.