Teleological Essentialism

Cognitive Science 43 (4):e12725 (2019)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Placeholder essentialism is the view that there is a causal essence that holds category members together, though we may not know what the essence is. Sometimes the placeholder can be filled in by scientific essences, such as when we acquire scientific knowledge that the atomic weight of gold is 79. We challenge the view that placeholders are elaborated by scientific essences. On our view, if placeholders are elaborated, they are elaborated Aristotelian essences, a telos. Utilizing the same kinds of experiments used by traditional essentialists—involving superficial change (study 1), transformation of insides (study 2), acquired traits (study 3) and inferences about offspring (study 4)—we find support for the view that essences are elaborated by a telos. And we find evidence (study 5) that teleological essences may generate category judgments.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2019-03-01
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Naming and Necessity.Kripke, Saul A.
Water Is and Is Not H2O.Tobia, Kevin P.; Newman, George & Knobe, Joshua
The Essential Moral Self.Strohminger, Nina & Nichols, Shaun
Beliefs About the True Self Explain Asymmetries Based on Moral Judgment.Newman, George E.; De Freitas, Julian & Knobe, Joshua

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
238 ( #13,538 of 41,492 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
238 ( #1,501 of 41,492 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.