Ideas from 'The Philosophy of Nature: new essentialism' by Brian Ellis [2002], by Theme Structure

[found in 'The Philosophy of Nature: new essentialism' by Ellis,Brian [Acumen 2002,1-902683-62-5]].

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1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 5. Against Analysis
Essentialism says metaphysics can't be done by analysing unreliable language
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 8. States of Affairs
Modern trope theory tries, like logical atomism, to reduce things to elementary states
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 3. Types of Properties
Properties are 'dispositional', or 'categorical' (the latter as 'block' or 'intrinsic' structures)
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 6. Categorical Properties
The passive view of nature says categorical properties are basic, but others say dispositions
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 12. Denial of Properties
Redness is not a property as it is not mind-independent
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 5. Powers and Properties
Properties have powers; they aren't just ways for logicians to classify objects
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / a. Dispositions
Nearly all fundamental properties of physics are dispositional
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 1. Essences of Objects
Kripke and others have made essentialism once again respectable
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 2. Types of Essence
'Individual essences' fix a particular individual, and 'kind essences' fix the kind it belongs to
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 9. Essence and Properties
Essential properties are usually quantitatively determinate
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 13. Nominal Essence
'Real essence' makes it what it is; 'nominal essence' makes us categorise it a certain way
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 7. Indiscernible Objects
One thing can look like something else, without being the something else
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 1. Possibility
Scientific essentialists say science should define the limits of the possible
10. Modality / C. Sources of Modality / 5. Modality from Actuality
Essentialists deny possible worlds, and say possibilities are what is compatible with the actual world
10. Modality / C. Sources of Modality / 6. Necessity from Essence
Metaphysical necessities are true in virtue of the essences of things
10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 3. A Posteriori Necessary
Essentialists say natural laws are in a new category: necessary a posteriori
10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 4. Conceivable as Possible / a. Conceivable as possible
Imagination tests what is possible for all we know, not true possibility
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 1. Possible Worlds / c. Possible worlds realism
Possible worlds realism is only needed to give truth conditions for modals and conditionals
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 2. Qualities in Perception / b. Primary/secondary
Essentialists mostly accept the primary/secondary qualities distinction
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 2. Qualities in Perception / c. Primary qualities
Primary qualities are number, figure, size, texture, motion, configuration, impenetrability and (?) mass
14. Science / C. Induction / 5. Paradoxes of Induction / a. Grue problem
Emeralds are naturally green, and only an external force could turn them blue
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / e. Necessity in explanations
Essentialists don't infer from some to all, but from essences to necessary behaviour
19. Language / A. Language / 6. Predicates
Predicates assert properties, values, denials, relations, conventions, existence and fabrications
20. Action / B. Motives for Action / 1. Acting on Desires
Humans have variable dispositions, and also power to change their dispositions
20. Action / D. Explaining an Action / 3. Agent Causation
Regularity theories of causation cannot give an account of human agency
22. Metaethics / C. Sources of Ethics / 2. Human Nature
Essentialism fits in with Darwinism, but not with extreme politics of left or right
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 6. Natural Kinds / a. Natural kinds
Natural kinds are of objects/substances, or events/processes, or intrinsic natures
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 6. Natural Kinds / d. Source of kinds
Essentialism says natural kinds are fundamental to nature, and determine the laws
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 6. Natural Kinds / e. Necessity of kinds
For essentialists two members of a natural kind must be identical
The whole of our world is a natural kind, so all worlds like it necessarily have the same laws
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 3. General Causation / d. Causal necessity
Essentialists regard inanimate objects as genuine causal agents
Essentialists believe causation is necessary, resulting from dispositions and circumstances
A general theory of causation is only possible in an area if natural kinds are involved
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 1. Laws of Nature
For 'passivists' behaviour is imposed on things from outside
The laws of nature imitate the hierarchy of natural kinds
Laws of nature tend to describe ideal things, or ideal circumstances
We must explain the necessity, idealisation, ontology and structure of natural laws
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 4. Regularities / a. Regularity theory
Causal relations cannot be reduced to regularities, as they could occur just once
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / a. Scientific essentialism
Essentialists say dispositions are basic, rather than supervenient on matter and natural laws
The essence of uranium is its atomic number and its electron shell
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / b. Scientific necessity
For essentialists, laws of nature are metaphysically necessary, being based on essences of natural kinds
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / d. Knowing essences
Essentialism requires a clear separation of semantics, epistemology and ontology