more from E.J. Lowe

Single Idea 16548

[catalogued under 2. Reason / D. Definition / 6. Definition by Essence]

Full Idea

An entity's essence is just what that entity is, revealed by its real definition. This isn't a distinct entity, but either the entity itself, or (my view) no entity at all. ..We should not reify essence, as that leads to an infinite regress of essences.

Gist of Idea

An essence is what an entity is, revealed by a real definition; this is not an entity in its own right


E.J. Lowe (What is the Source of Knowledge of Modal Truths? [2013], 6)

Book Reference

-: 'Mind' [-], p.23

A Reaction

The regress problem is a real one, if we wish to treat an essence as some proper and distinct part of an entity. If it is a mechanism, for example, the presumably a mechanism has an essence. No, it doesn't! Levels of explanation!

Related Idea

Idea 16551 Grasping an essence is just grasping a real definition [Lowe]