more from Hilary Putnam

Single Idea 17643

[catalogued under 9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / c. Statue and clay]

Full Idea

Relative to the description 'that statue', a certain shape is an essential property of the object; relative to the description 'that piece of clay', the shape not an essential property (but being clay is).

Gist of Idea

Shape is essential relative to 'statue', but not essential relative to 'clay'


Hilary Putnam (Why there isn't a ready-made world [1981], 'Intro')

Book Reference

Putnam,Hilary: 'Realism and Reason: Papers vol 3' [CUP 1985], p.206

A Reaction

Relative to the description 'that loathsome object', is the statue essentially loathsome? Asserting the essence of an object is a response to the object, not a response to a description of it. This is not the solution to the statue problem.