Natural Kinds and the Problem of Complex Essences

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (4):619-634 (2010)
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Abstract

Natural-kind essentialism faces an important but neglected difficulty: the problem of complex essences (PCE). This is the question of how to account for the unity of an instantiated kind-essence when that essence consists of multiple distinct properties, some of which lack an inherent necessary connection between them. My central goal here is to propose an essentialism-friendly solution to this problem. Along the way I also employ some points from that solution to argue for the necessary truth of essentialism (necessary, that is, in all possible worlds in which there are material objects), and to support the essentialist ontology of laws over and against a major rival

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Travis Dumsday
Concordia University of Edmonton

Citations of this work

The Epistemology of Essence.Tuomas Tahko - 2018 - In Alexander Carruth, S. C. Gibb & John Heil (eds.), Ontology, Modality, Mind: Themes from the Metaphysics of E. J. Lowe. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 93-110.
Laws of Nature.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2024 - In A. R. J. Fisher & Anna-Sofia Maurin (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Properties. Abingdon: Routledge. pp. 337-346.
New powers for Dispositionalism.Giacomo Giannini - 2021 - Synthese 199:2671-2700.

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References found in this work

What is a Law of Nature?D. M. Armstrong - 1983 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Sydney Shoemaker.
Essence and modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.
Scientific Essentialism.Brian Ellis - 2001 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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