Single Idea 17251

[catalogued under 9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 13. Nominal Essence]

Full Idea

That accident for which we give a certain name to any body, or the accident which denominates its subject, is commonly called the essence thereof.

Gist of Idea

The feature which picks out or names a thing is usually called its 'essence'


Thomas Hobbes (De Corpore (Elements, First Section) [1655], 2.08.23)

Book Reference

Hobbes,Thomas: 'Metaphysical Writings', ed/tr. Calkins,Mary Whiton [Open Court 1905], p.67

A Reaction

This is clearly a prelude to Locke's more carefully formulated 'nominal essence'. Fairly obvious, for nominalist empiricists. A bit surprising to say this was 'common'.