more from Saul A. Kripke

Single Idea 17055

[catalogued under 9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 5. Essence as Kind]

Full Idea

It is part of the nature of gold as we have it to be an element with atomic number 79.

Gist of Idea

Atomic number 79 is part of the nature of the gold we know


Saul A. Kripke (Naming and Necessity lectures [1970], Lecture 3)

Book Reference

Kripke,Saul: 'Naming and Necessity' [Blackwell 1980], p.125

A Reaction

The word 'nature' directly invokes Aristotle's concept of an essence. Scientific essentialism arises from the idea that by discovering the atomic number, we have somehow 'arrived' at the essence, and enquiry is reaching its terminus.