more from Gottfried Leibniz

Single Idea 12994

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / a. Scientific essentialism]

Full Idea

The complex idea of gold includes its being something which has a real essence whose detailed constitution is unknown to us, except for the fact that such qualities as malleability depend upon it.

Gist of Idea

Gold has a real essence, unknown to us, which produces its properties


Gottfried Leibniz (New Essays on Human Understanding [1704], 3.10)

Book Reference

Leibniz,Gottfried: 'New Essays on Human Understanding', ed/tr. Remnant/Bennett [CUP 1996], p.345

A Reaction

This is precisely the view of modern scientific essentialism. The underlying idea I take to be the conception of essence as the thing which explains the properties.