Single Idea 17863

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / e. Anti scientific essentialism]

Full Idea

The essentialist line (one I trace to Aristotle, Descartes and Kripke) is driving us away from, not closer to, the real nature of things. It promised a sort of Hubble telescope - essences - able to reveal the deep structure of reality.

Gist of Idea

Essences promise to reveal reality, but actually drive us away from it


Joseph Almog (Nature Without Essence [2010], Intro)

Book Reference

-: 'Journal of Philosophy' [-], p.360

A Reaction

I suspect this is tilting at a straw man. No one thinks we should hunt for essences instead of doing normal science. 'Essence' just labels what you've got when you succeed.