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14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / k. Explanations by essence

[explaining by showing hidden natures in things]

34 ideas
To understand a triangle summing to two right angles, we need to know the essence of a line [Aristotle]
Aristotelian explanation by essence may need to draw on knowledge of other essences [Aristotle, by Koslicki]
We know something when we fully know what it is, not just its quality, quantity or location [Aristotle]
We know a thing when we grasp its essence [Aristotle]
Real enquiries seek causes, and causes are essences [Aristotle]
The explanation is what gives matter its state, which is the form, which is the substance [Aristotle]
Essential properties explain in conjunction with properties shared by the same kind [Aristotle, by Kung]
Aristotle regularly says that essential properties explain other significant properties [Aristotle, by Kung]
Definition of essence makes things understandable [Aquinas]
Forms make things distinct and explain the properties, by pure form, or arrangement of parts [Arnauld,A/Nicole,P]
To understand the properties we must know the essence, as with a circle [Spinoza]
From the phenomena, I can't deduce the reason for the properties of gravity [Newton]
Locke seems to use real essence for scientific explanation, and substratum for the being of a thing [Locke, by Jones,J-E]
To explain qualities, Locke invokes primary and secondary qualities, not real essences [Locke, by Jones,J-E]
Gold is supposed to have a real essence, from whence its detectable properties flow [Locke]
We will only connect our various definitions of gold when we understand it more deeply [Leibniz]
The cause of a change is not the real influence, but whatever gives a reason for the change [Leibniz]
To fully conceive the subject is to explain the resulting predicates and events [Leibniz]
The essence of substance is the law of its changes, as in the series of numbers [Leibniz]
To give essentialist explanations there have to be natural kinds [Ellis]
Can the qualities of a body be split into two groups, where the smaller explains the larger? [Alexander,P]
Essence explains passive capacities as well as active powers [Harré/Madden]
Some peripheral properties are explained by essential ones, but don't themselves explain properties [Kung]
Some non-essential properties may explain more than essential-but-peripheral ones do [Kung]
Asking 'what is it?' nicely points us to the persistence of a continuing entity [Wiggins]
The category of substance is more important for epistemology than for ontology [Wiggins]
Naming the secondary substance provides a mass of general information [Wiggins]
If fragile just means 'breaks when dropped', it won't explain a breakage [Mumford]
Nuclear charge (plus laws) explains electron structure and spectrum, but not vice versa [Hendry]
Locke's kind essences are explanatory, without being necessary to the kind [Mackie,P]
Discovering the Aristotelian essence of thunder will tell us why thunder occurs [Koslicki]
Bohr explained the periodic table and chemical properties of elements, using the quantum atom [Kumar]
Essences must explain, so we can infer them causally from the accidents [Pasnau]
Essences are used to explain natural kinds, modality, and causal powers [Tahko]