structure for 'Natural Theory'    |     alphabetical list of themes    |     expand these ideas

26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / a. Scientific essentialism

[basics of essence as foundation of the laws]

37 ideas
We aim to know the natures which are observed in natural phenomena [Epicurus]
Essences are part of first philosophy, but as part of nature, not part of logic [Bacon]
If we knew the minute mechanics of hemlock, we could predict that it kills men [Locke]
If there is some trace of God in things, that would explain their natural force [Leibniz]
Qualities should be predictable from the nature of the subject [Leibniz]
Gold has a real essence, unknown to us, which produces its properties [Leibniz]
Part of our idea of gold is its real essence, which is not known to us in detail [Leibniz]
The movement of pure essences constitutes the nature of scientific method [Hegel]
Science seeks classification which will discover laws, essences, and predictions [Lewis,CI]
Modern science seeks essences, and is getting closer to them [Copi]
Dispositional essences are special, as if an object loses them they cease to exist [Marcus (Barcan)]
Galilean science aimed at true essences, as the ultimate explanations [Popper]
If causes are the essence of diseases, then disease is an example of a relational essence [Williams,NE on Putnam]
Archimedes meant by 'gold' the hidden structure or essence of the stuff [Putnam]
A species requires a genus, and its essence includes the essence of the genus [Ellis]
Essentialists say dispositions are basic, rather than supervenient on matter and natural laws [Ellis]
The essence of uranium is its atomic number and its electron shell [Ellis]
A proton must have its causal role, because without it it wouldn't be a proton [Ellis]
What is most distinctive of scientific essentialism is regarding processes as natural kinds [Ellis]
Scientific essentialism is more concerned with explanation than with identity (Locke, not Kripke) [Ellis]
The ontological fundamentals are dispositions, and also categorical (spatio-temporal and structural) properties [Ellis]
Alchemists tried to separate out essences, which influenced later chemistry [Alexander,P]
Reality is directional [Witt]
Science works when we assume natural kinds have essences - because it is true [Molnar]
Location in space and time are non-power properties [Mumford on Molnar]
The essence of a muon doesn't entail its other essential properties [Molnar]
Causation is easier to disrupt than logic, so metaphysics is part of nature, not vice versa [Fine,K]
Two properties can have one power, and one property can have two powers [Swoyer]
The real essentialist is not merely a scientist [Oderberg]
Essentialism doesn't mean we know the essences [Gelman]
Essentialism encourages us to think about the world scientifically [Gelman]
The nature of an element must survive chemical change, so it is the nucleus, not the electrons [Hendry]
Maybe water is the smallest part of it that still counts as water (which is H2O molecules) [Hendry]
Maybe the nature of water is macroscopic, and not in the microstructure [Hendry]
The colour of gold is best explained by relativistic effects due to fast-moving inner-shell electrons [Scerri]
Substantial forms were a step towards scientific essentialism [Pasnau]
Scientific essentialists tend to characterise essence in terms of modality (not vice versa) [Tahko]