13166 | Essences are no use in mathematics, if all mathematical truths are necessary |
Full Idea: Essences and essential properties do not seem to be useful in mathematical contexts, since all mathematical truths are regarded as necessary (though Kit Fine distinguishes between essential and necessary properties). | |
From: Paolo Mancosu (Explanation in Mathematics [2008], §6.1) | |
A reaction: I take the proviso in brackets to be crucial. This represents a distortion of notion of an essence. There is a world of difference between the central facts about the nature of a square and the peripheral inferences derivable from it. |