more from Kit Fine

Single Idea 11157

[catalogued under 2. Reason / D. Definition / 4. Real Definition]

Full Idea

In modern analytic philosophy we find that, as a result of sustained empiricist critique, the idea of real definition has been more or less given up (unless it be taken to be vestigially present in the notion of a sortal).

Gist of Idea

Modern philosophy has largely abandoned real definitions, apart from sortals


Kit Fine (Essence and Modality [1994], p. 3)

Book Reference

-: 'Philosophical Perspectives' [-], p.3

A Reaction

The account of essences as falling under sortals (roughly, categorising terms) is associated with David Wiggins. Kit Fine is in the business of reviving Aristotelian real definitions, as are fans of scientific essentialism (see under 'Nature').