Ideas from 'Senses of Essence' by Kit Fine [1995], by Theme Structure

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2. Reason / D. Definition / 6. Definition by Essence
The essence or definition of an essence involves either a class of properties or a class of propositions
                        Full Idea: If each object has a unique essence or definition, this may be identified with either the class of properties that it essentially has, or with the class of propositions that are true in virtue of what it is.
                        From: Kit Fine (Senses of Essence [1995], 8)
                        A reaction: Elsewhere Fine says that it is easier to work with the propositions view, but that the properties (or predicates) view is probably more fundamental. He goes on here to raise the question of whether either view makes the essence unique.
5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 2. Logical Connectives / a. Logical connectives
Logical concepts rest on certain inferences, not on facts about implications
                        Full Idea: The nature of the logical concepts is given, not by certain logical truths, but by certain logical inferences. What properly belongs to disjunction is the inference from p to (p or q), rather than the fact that p implies (p or q).
                        From: Kit Fine (Senses of Essence [1995], 3)
                        A reaction: Does this mean that Fine is wickedly starting with the psychology, rather than with the pure truth of the connection? Frege is shuddering. This view seems to imply that the truth table for 'or' is secondary.
5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 3. Property (λ-) Abstraction
The property of Property Abstraction says any suitable condition must imply a property
                        Full Idea: According to the principle of Property Abstraction, there is, for any suitable condition, a property that is possessed by an object just in case it conforms to the condition. This is usually taken to be a second-order logical truth.
                        From: Kit Fine (Senses of Essence [1995], 4)
                        A reaction: Fine objects that it is implied that if Socrates is essentially a man, then he essentially has the property of being a man. Like Fine, I think this conclusion is distasteful. A classification is not a property, at least the way most people use 'property'.
5. Theory of Logic / I. Semantics of Logic / 3. Logical Truth
A logical truth is true in virtue of the nature of the logical concepts
                        Full Idea: One wants to define a logical truth as one that is true in virtue of the nature of the logical concepts.
                        From: Kit Fine (Senses of Essence [1995], 3)
                        A reaction: This is part of Fine's project to give a revised account of essence, which includes the essence of concepts as well as the essence of objects. Everyone should pay close attention to this project.
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 1. Essences of Objects
Can the essence of an object circularly involve itself, or involve another object?
                        Full Idea: Can the essence of an object (ineliminably) involve that object itself (perhaps through self-identity, giving a direct circularity), or have an indirect circularity involving two or more objects (such as admiration between Watson and Holmes).
                        From: Kit Fine (Senses of Essence [1995], 7)
                        A reaction: [compressed] This looks like one of the basic questions which any theory of essentialism must address.
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 3. Individual Essences
Being a man is a consequence of his essence, not constitutive of it
                        Full Idea: If we distinguish 'constitutive' from 'consequential' essence, ..then the essence of Socrates will, in part, be constituted by his being a man. But being a man (or a mountain) will merely be consequential upon, and not constitutive of, his essence.
                        From: Kit Fine (Senses of Essence [1995], 3)
                        A reaction: Yes yes yes. I think it is absurd to say that the class to which something belongs is part of its essential nature, given that it presumably can only belong to the class if it already has a certain essential nature. What did Frankenstein construct?
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 4. Essence as Definition
If there are alternative definitions, then we have three possibilities for essence
                        Full Idea: If there are alternative definitions for an essence, we must distinguish three notions. There is the essence as the manifold (the combined definitions), or as the range of alternative definitions (with component essences), or there is the common essence.
                        From: Kit Fine (Senses of Essence [1995], 8)
                        A reaction: Fine opts for the third alternative (what the definitions all have in common) as the best account. He says (p.68) 'definitive' properties come from one definition, and 'essential' properties from every possible definition.