Results for 'essentialism'

196 found
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  1. Teleological Essentialism.David Rose & Shaun Nichols - 2019 - Cognitive Science 43 (4):e12725.
    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 (...)
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  2. An Essentialist Theory of the Meaning of Slurs.Eleonore Neufeld - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.
    In this paper, I develop an essentialist model of the semantics of slurs. I defend the view that slurs are a species of kind terms: slur concepts encode mini-theories which represent an essence-like element that is causally connected to a set of negatively-valenced stereotypical features of a social group. The truth-conditional contribution of slur nouns can then be captured by the following schema: For a given slur S of a social group G and a person P, S is true of (...)
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  3. Essentialism in Biology.John S. Wilkins - manuscript
    Essentialism in philosophy is the position that things, especially kinds of things, have essences, or sets of properties, that all members of the kind must have, and the combination of which only members of the kind do, in fact, have. It is usually thought to derive from classical Greek philosophy and in particular from Aristotle’s notion of “what it is to be” something. In biology, it has been claimed that pre-evolutionary views of living kinds, or as they are sometimes (...)
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  4. Natural Kind Essentialism Revisited.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2015 - Mind 124 (495):795-822.
    Recent work on Natural Kind Essentialism has taken a deflationary turn. The assumptions about the grounds of essentialist truths concerning natural kinds familiar from the Kripke-Putnam framework are now considered questionable. The source of the problem, however, has not been sufficiently explicated. The paper focuses on the Twin Earth scenario, and it will be demonstrated that the essentialist principle at its core (which I call IDENT)—that necessarily, a sample of a chemical substance, A, is of the same kind as (...)
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  5. Cultural Appropriation Without Cultural Essentialism?Erich Hatala Matthes - 2016 - Social Theory and Practice 42 (2):343-366.
    Is there something morally wrong with cultural appropriation in the arts? I argue that the little philosophical work on this topic has been overly dismissive of moral objections to cultural appropriation. Nevertheless, I argue that philosophers working on epistemic injustice have developed powerful conceptual tools that can aid in our understanding of objections that have been levied by other scholars and artists. I then consider the relationship between these objections and the harms of cultural essentialism. I argue that focusing (...)
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  6. The Essence of Dispositional Essentialism.David Yates - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):93-128.
    Dispositional essentialists argue that physical properties have their causal roles essentially. This is typically taken to mean that physical properties are identical to dispositions. I argue that this is untenable, and that we must instead say that properties bestow dispositions. I explore what it is for a property to have such a role essentially. Dispositional essentialists argue for their view by citing certain epistemological and metaphysical implications, and I appeal to these implications to place desiderata on the concept of essence (...)
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  7. The Philosophical Limits of Scientific Essentialism.George Bealer - 1987 - Philosophical Perspectives 1:289-365.
    Scientific essentialism is the view that some necessities can be known only with the aid of empirical science. The thesis of the paper is that scientific essentialism does not extend to the central questions of philosophy and that these questions can be answered a priori. The argument is that the evidence required for the defense of scientific essentialism is reliable only if the intuitions required by philosophy to answer its central questions is also reliable. Included is an (...)
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  8. Aristotelian Essentialism: Essence in the Age of Evolution.Christopher Austin - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2539-2556.
    The advent of contemporary evolutionary theory ushered in the eventual decline of Aristotelian Essentialism (Æ) – for it is widely assumed that essence does not, and cannot have any proper place in the age of evolution. This paper argues that this assumption is a mistake: if Æ can be suitably evolved, it need not face extinction. In it, I claim that if that theory’s fundamental ontology consists of dispositional properties, and if its characteristic metaphysical machinery is interpreted within the (...)
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  9. Kinship Past, Kinship Present: Bio-Essentialism in the Study of Kinship.Robert A. Wilson - 2016 - American Anthropologist 118 (3).
    In this article, I reconsider bio-essentialism in the study of kinship, centering on David Schneider’s influential critique that concluded that kinship was “a non-subject” (1972:51). Schneider’s critique is often taken to have shown the limitations of and problems with past views of kinship based on biology, genealogy, and reproduction, a critique that subsequently led those reworking kinship as relatedness in the new kinship studies to view their enterprise as divorced from such bio-essentialist studies. Beginning with an alternative narrative connecting (...)
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  10. What's Left of Human Nature? A Post-Essentialist, Pluralist and Interactive Account of a Contested Concept.Maria Kronfeldner - forthcoming - Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    Human nature has always been a foundational issue for philosophy. What does it mean to have a human nature? Is the concept the relic of a bygone age? What is the use of such a concept? What are the epistemic and ontological commitments people make when they use the concept? In What’s Left of Human Nature? Maria Kronfeldner offers a philosophical account of human nature that defends the concept against contemporary criticism. In particular, she takes on challenges related to social (...)
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  11. The Epistemology of the Question of Authenticity, in Place of Strategic Essentialism.Emily S. Lee - 2011 - Hypatia 26 (2):258--279.
    The question of authenticity centers in the lives of women of color to invite and restrict their representative roles. For this reason, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Uma Narayan advocate responding with strategic essentialism. This paper argues against such a strategy and proposes an epistemic understanding of the question of authentic- ity. The question stems from a kernel of truth—the connection between experience and knowledge. But a coherence theory of knowledge better captures the sociality and the holism of experience and (...)
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  12. Scientific Essentialism in the Light of Classification Practice in Biology – a Case Study of Phytosociology.Adam P. Kubiak & Rafał R. Wodzisz - 2012 - Zagadnienia Naukoznawstwa 48 (194):231-250.
    In our paper we investigate a difficulty arising when one tries to reconsiliateessentialis t’s thinking with classification practice in the biological sciences. The article outlinessome varieties of essentialism with particular attention to the version defended by Brian Ellis. Weunderline the basic difference: Ellis thinks that essentialism is not a viable position in biology dueto its incompatibility with biological typology and other essentialists think that these two elementscan be reconciled. However, both parties have in common metaphysical starting point and (...)
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  13. Essentialism: Metaphysical or Psychological?Moti Mizrahi - 2014 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 14 (1):65-72.
    In this paper, I argue that Psychological Essentialism (PE), the view that essences are a heuristic or mental shortcut, is a better explanation for modal intuitions than Metaphysical Essentialism (ME), the view that objects have essences, or more precisely, that (at least some) objects have (at least some) essential properties. If this is correct, then the mere fact that we have modal intuitions is not a strong reason to believe that objects have essential properties.
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  14. Essentialism Vis-À-Vis Possibilia, Modal Logic, and Necessitism.Sonia Roca-Royes - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (1):54-64.
    Pace Necessitism – roughly, the view that existence is not contingent – essential properties provide necessary conditions for the existence of objects. Sufficiency properties, by contrast, provide sufficient conditions, and individual essences provide necessary and sufficient conditions. This paper explains how these kinds of properties can be used to illuminate the ontological status of merely possible objects and to construct a respectable possibilist ontology. The paper also reviews two points of interaction between essentialism and modal logic. First, we will (...)
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  15. Essentialism, History, and Biological Taxa.Makmiller Pedroso - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):182-190.
    de Queiroz (1995), Griffiths (1999) and LaPorte (2004) offer a new version of essentialism called "historical essentialism". According to this version of essentialism, relations of common ancestry are essential features of biological taxa. The main type of argument for this essentialism proposed by Griffiths (1999) and LaPorte (2004) is that the dominant school of classification, cladism, defines biological taxa in terms of common ancestry. The goal of this paper is to show that this argument for historical (...)
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  16. Topological Essentialism.Roberto Casati & Achille C. Varzi - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 100 (3):217-236.
    Considering topology as an extension of mereology, this paper analyses topological variants of mereological essentialism (the thesis that an object could not have different parts than the ones it has). In particular, we examine de dicto and de re versions of two theses: (i) that an object cannot change its external connections (e.g., adjacent objects cannot be separated), and (ii) that an object cannot change its topological genus (e.g., a doughnut cannot turn into a sphere). Stronger forms of structural (...)
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  17. Why Essentialism Requires Two Senses of Necessity.Stephen K. McLeod - 2006 - Ratio 19 (1):77–91.
    I set up a dilemma, concerning metaphysical modality de re, for the essentialist opponent of a ‘two senses’ view of necessity. I focus specifically on Frank Jackson's two-dimensional account in his From Metaphysics to Ethics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998). I set out the background to Jackson's conception of conceptual analysis and his rejection of a two senses view. I proceed to outline two purportedly objective (as opposed to epistemic) differences between metaphysical and logical necessity. I conclude that since one (...)
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  18. Legal Fictions and the Essence of Robots: Thoughts on Essentialism and Pragmatism in the Regulation of Robotics.Fabio Fossa - 2018 - In Mark Coeckelbergh, Janina Loh, Michael Funk, Joanna Seibt & Marco Nørskov (eds.), Envisioning Robots in Society – Power, Politics, and, Public Space. Amsterdam: pp. 103-111.
    The purpose of this paper is to offer some critical remarks on the so-called pragmatist approach to the regulation of robotics. To this end, the article mainly reviews the work of Jack Balkin and Joanna Bryson, who have taken up such ap- proach with interestingly similar outcomes. Moreover, special attention will be paid to the discussion concerning the legal fiction of ‘electronic personality’. This will help shed light on the opposition between essentialist and pragmatist methodologies. After a brief introduction (1.), (...)
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  19. Biological Essentialism and the Tidal Change of Natural Kinds.John S. Wilkins - 2013 - Science & Education 22 (2):221-240.
    The vision of natural kinds that is most common in the modern philosophy of biology, particularly with respect to the question whether species and other taxa are natural kinds, is based on a revision of the notion by Mill in A System of Logic. However, there was another conception that Whewell had previously captured well, which taxonomists have always employed, of kinds as being types that need not have necessary and sufficient characters and properties, or essences. These competing views employ (...)
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  20. Essentialism.Matthew J. Barker - 2013 - In Byron Kaldis (ed.), Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Social Sciences.
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  21. Real Essentialism, by David S. Oderberg.: Book Reviews. [REVIEW]M. Eddon - 2010 - Mind 119 (476):1210-1212.
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  22. Induction and Scientific Realism: Einstein Versus Van Fraassen: Part Two: Aim-Oriented Empiricism and Scientific Essentialism.Nicholas Maxwell - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (1):81-101.
    In this paper I argue that aim-oriented empiricism provides decisive grounds for accepting scientific realism and rejecting instrumentalism. But it goes further than this. Aim-oriented empiricism implies that physicalism is a central part of current (conjectural) scientific knowledge. Furthermore, we can and need, I argue, to interpret fundamental physical theories as attributing necessitating physical properties to fundamental physical entities.
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  23. De Re Essentialism, Species, and Modal Ambiguity.Ross Inman - 2014 - Metaphysica 15 (1).
    I offer a concise critique of a recurring line of reasoning advanced by Joseph LaPorte and Samir Okasha that all modern species concepts render the view that biological organisms essentially belong to their species empirically untenable. The argument, I claim, trades on a crucial modal ambiguity that collapses the de re/de dicto distinction. Contra their claim that the continued adherence of such a view on behalf of contemporary metaphysicians stems from the latter’s ignorance of developments in modern biology, the modal (...)
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  24. Essentialism and Human Nature.Elisabeth A. Lloyd & Stephen Crowley - 2002 - Encyclopedia of Life Sciences.
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  25. Knowledge of Necessity: Logical Positivism and Kripkean Essentialism.Stephen K. Mcleod - 2008 - Philosophy 83 (2):179-191.
    By the lights of a central logical positivist thesis in modal epistemology, for every necessary truth that we know, we know it a priori and for every contingent truth that we know, we know it a posteriori. Kripke attacks on both flanks, arguing that we know necessary a posteriori truths and that we probably know contingent a priori truths. In a reflection of Kripke's confidence in his own arguments, the first of these Kripkean claims is far more widely accepted than (...)
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  26. Essentialist Explanation.Martin Glazier - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2871-2889.
    Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in metaphysical explanation, and philosophers have fixed on the notion of ground as the conceptual tool with which such explanation should be investigated. I will argue that this focus on ground is myopic and that some metaphysical explanations that involve the essences of things cannot be understood in terms of ground. Such ‘essentialist’ explanation is of interest, not only for its ubiquity in philosophy, but for its being in a sense an ultimate (...)
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  27. Dion and Theon: An Essentialist Solution to an Ancient Puzzle.Michael B. Burke - 1994 - Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):129-139.
    Dion is a full-bodied man. Theon is that part of him which consists of all of him except his left foot. What becomes of Dion and Theon when Dion’s left foot is amputated? Employing the doctrine of sortal essentialism, I defend a surprising answer last defended by Chrysippus: that Dion survives while the seemingly unscathed Theon perishes. For replies to critics, see my publications of 1997 and (especially) 2004.
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  28. Essentialism and Anti-Essentialism in Feminist Philosophy.Alison Stone - 2004 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 1 (2):135-153.
    This article revisits the ethical and political questions raised by feminist debates over essentialism, the belief that there are properties essential to women and which all women share. Feminists’ widespread rejection of essentialism has threatened to undermine feminist politics. Re-evaluating two responses to this problem—‘strategic’ essentialism and Iris Marion Young’s idea that women are an internally diverse ‘series’—I argue that both unsatisfactorily retain essentialism as a descriptive claim about the social reality of women’s lives. I argue (...)
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  29.  64
    Beyond the Search for the Subject: An Anti-Essentialist Ontology for Liberal Democracy.Samuel Bagg - forthcoming - European Journal of Political Theory:147488511876388.
    Reading Foucault’s work on power and subjectivity alongside “developmentalist” approaches to evolutionary biology, this article endorses poststructuralist critiques of political ideals grounded in the value of subjective agency. Many political theorists embrace such critiques, of course, but those who do are often skeptical of liberal democracy, and even of normative theory itself. By contrast, those who are left to theorize liberal democracy tend to reject or ignore poststructuralist insights, and have continued to employ dubious ontological assumptions regarding human agents. Against (...)
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  30. Lange on Essentialism, Counterfactuals, and Explanation.Toby Handfield - 2005 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (1):81 – 85.
    Marc Lange objects to scientific essentialists that they can give no better account of the counterfactual invariance of laws than Humeans. While conceding this point succeeds ad hominem against some essentialists, I show that it does not undermine essentialism in general. Moreover, Lange's alternative account of the relation between laws and counterfactuals is - with minor modification - compatible with essentialism.
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  31. Dispositional Essentialism and the Laws of Nature.Barbara Vetter - 2012 - In Alexander Bird, Brian Ellis & Howard Sankey (eds.), Properties, Powers, and Structures: Issues in the Metaphysics of Realism. Routledge.
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  32.  32
    Essentialist Modal Rationalism.Philip Goff - forthcoming - Synthese.
    In my recent book Consciousness and Fundamental Reality, I proposed a principle linking rational coherence and metaphysical possibility, as part of an argument against physicalism. Although it was not the focus of concern in this book, I had hoped that that principle might undergird a generalised account of our knowledge of modality. I have subsequently realised, however, that that principle has limited application, in a way that conflicts with these broader ambitions. In this paper I will outline these limitations and (...)
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  33. Mothers and Independent Citizens: Making Sense of Wollstonecraft's Supposed Essentialism.Sandrine Berges - 2013 - Philosophical Papers 42 (3):259 - 284.
    Mary Wollstonecraft argues that women must be independent citizens, but that they cannot be that unless they fulfill certain duties as mothers. This is problematic in a number of ways, as argued by Laura Brace in a 2000 article. However, I argue that if we understand Wollstonecraft's concept of independence in a republican, rather than a liberal context, and at the same time pay close attention to her discussion of motherhood, a feminist reading of Wollstonecraft is not only possible but (...)
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  34. Aristotelianism, Apriorism, Essentialism.Barry Smith - 1994 - In Peter Boettke (ed.), The Elgar Companion to Austrian Economics. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgard. pp. 33-37.
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  35. Mechanism and Essentialism in Locke's Thought.Lisa Downing - 2013 - In Stewart Duncan & Antonia LoLordo (eds.), Debates in Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings and Contemporary Responses. Routledge. pp. 159.
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  36. AI, Concepts, and the Paradox of Mental Representation, with a Brief Discussion of Psychological Essentialism.Eric Dietrich - 2001 - J. Of Exper. And Theor. AI 13 (1):1-7.
    Mostly philosophers cause trouble. I know because on alternate Thursdays I am one -- and I live in a philosophy department where I watch all of them cause trouble. Everyone in artificial intelligence knows how much trouble philosophers can cause (and in particular, we know how much trouble one philosopher -- John Searle -- has caused). And, we know where they tend to cause it: in knowledge representation and the semantics of data structures. This essay is about a recent case (...)
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  37.  44
    Essentialism.Stephen Yablo - 1996 - In Edwards (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Philosophy Supplement.
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  38.  44
    Between Ultra-Essentialism and Post-Essentialism: Kierkegaard as Transitional and Contemporary.Richard Colledge - 2002 - Contretemps: An Online Journal of Philosophy 3.
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  39. Putting Modal Metaphysics First.Antonella Mallozzi - 2018 - Synthese:1-20.
    I propose that we approach the epistemology of modality by putting modal metaphysics first and, specifically, by investigating the metaphysics of essence. Following a prominent Neo-Aristotelian view, I hold that metaphysical necessity depends on the nature of things, namely their essences. I further clarify that essences are core properties having distinctive superexplanatory powers. In the case of natural kinds, which is my focus in the paper, superexplanatoriness is due to the fact that the essence of a kind is what causes (...)
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  40. Preserving the Principle of One Object to a Place: A Novel Account of the Relations Among Objects, Sorts, Sortals, and Persistence Conditions.Michael B. Burke - 1994 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (3):591-624.
    This article offers a novel, conservative account of material constitution, one that incorporates sortal essentialism and features a theory of dominant sortals. It avoids coinciding objects, temporal parts, relativizations of identity, mereological essentialism, anti-essentialism, denials of the reality of the objects of our ordinary ontology, and other departures from the metaphysic implicit in ordinary ways of thinking. Defenses of the account against important objections are found in Burke 1997, 2003, and 2004, as well as in the often (...)
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  41. Why Standpoint Matters.Alison Wylie - 2003 - In Robert Figueroa & Sandra G. Harding (eds.), Science and Other Cultures: Issues in Philosophies of Science and Technology. Routledge. pp. 26--48.
    Feminist standpoint theory has been marginal to mainstream philosophical analyses of science–indeed, it has been marginal to science studies generally–and it has had an uneasy reception among feminist theorists. Critics of standpoint theory have attributed to it untenable foundationalist assumptions about the social identities that can underpin an epistemically salient standpoint, and implausible claims about the epistemic privilege that should be accorded to those who occupy subdominant social locations. I disentangle what I take to be the promising core of feminist (...)
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  42. Mental Imagery and Fiction.Dustin Stokes - forthcoming - Canadian Journal of Philosophy:1-24.
    Fictions evoke imagery, and their value consists partly in that achievement. This paper offers analysis of this neglected topic. Section I identifies relevant philosophical background. II offers a working definition of imagery. III identifies empirical work on visual imagery. IV and V criticize imagery essentialism, through the lens of genuine fictional narratives. This outcome, though, is not wholly critical. The expressed spirit of imagery essentialism is to encourage philosophers to "put the image back into the imagination." The weakened (...)
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  43. Tropes – The Basic Constituents of Powerful Particulars?Markku Keinänen - 2011 - Dialectica 65 (3):419-450.
    This article presents a trope bundle theory of simple substances, the Strong Nuclear Theory[SNT] building on the schematic basis offered by Simons's (1994) Nuclear Theory[NT]. The SNT adopts Ellis's (2001) dispositional essentialist conception of simple substances as powerful particulars: all of their monadic properties are dispositional. Moreover, simple substances necessarily belong to some natural kind with a real essence formed by monadic properties. The SNT develops further the construction of substances the NT proposes to obtain an adequate trope bundle theory (...)
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  44. Feminist Philosophy of Science: Standpoint Matters.Alison Wylie - 2012 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophy Association 86 (2):47-76.
    Standpoint theory is an explicitly political as well as social epistemology. Its central insight is that epistemic advantage may accrue to those who are oppressed by structures of domination and discounted as knowers. Feminist standpoint theorists hold that gender is one dimension of social differentiation that can make such a difference. In response to two longstanding objections I argue that epistemically consequential standpoints need not be conceptualized in essentialist terms, and that they do not confer automatic or comprehensive epistemic privilege (...)
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  45. Do We Need a Device to Acquire Ethnic Concepts?Adam Hochman - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):994-1005.
    Francisco Gil-White argues that the ubiquity of racialism—the view that so-called races have biological essences—can be explained as a by-product of a shared mental module dedicated to ethnic cognition. Gil-White’s theory has been endorsed, with some revisions, by Edouard Machery and Luc Faucher. In this skeptical response I argue that our developmental environments contain a wealth, rather than a poverty of racialist stimulus, rendering a nativist explanation of racialism redundant. I also argue that we should not theorize racialism in isolation (...)
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  46. Essential Properties and Individual Essences.Sonia Roca-Royes - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (1):65-77.
    According to Essentialism, an object’s properties divide into those that are essential and those that are accidental. While being human is commonly thought to be essential to Socrates, being a philosopher plausibly is not. We can motivate the distinction by appealing—as we just did—to examples. However, it is not obvious how best to characterize the notion of essential property, nor is it easy to give conclusive arguments for the essentiality of a given property. In this paper, I elaborate on (...)
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  47. The Emperor's New Metaphysics of Powers.Stephen Barker - 2013 - Mind 122 (487):605-653.
    This paper argues that the new metaphysics of powers, also known as dispositional essentialism or causal structuralism, is an illusory metaphysics. I argue for this in the following way. I begin by distinguishing three fundamental ways of seeing how facts of physical modality — facts about physical necessitation and possibility, causation, disposition, and chance — are grounded in the world. The first way, call it the first degree, is that the actual world or all worlds, in their entirety, are (...)
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  48. Propositions.George Bealer - 1998 - Mind 107 (425):1-32.
    Recent work in philosophy of language has raised significant problems for the traditional theory of propositions, engendering serious skepticism about its general workability. These problems are, I believe, tied to fundamental misconceptions about how the theory should be developed. The goal of this paper is to show how to develop the traditional theory in a way which solves the problems and puts this skepticism to rest. The problems fall into two groups. The first has to do with reductionism, specifically attempts (...)
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  49. Who Counts as a Muslim? Identity, Multiplicity and Politics.Saba Fatima - 2011 - Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 31 (3):339-353.
    My aim in this paper is to carve out a political understanding of the Muslim identity. The Muslim identity is shaped within a religious mold. Inseparable from this religious understanding is a political one that is valuable in its own right in order to secure any sustainable possibility of participating politically as Muslims within a democratic liberal democracy, such as the United States. Here I explore not the historical or theological formation of the Muslim identity, rather a metaphysical understanding of (...)
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  50. Logic, Essence, and Modality — Review of Bob Hale's Necessary Beings. [REVIEW]Christopher Menzel - 2015 - Philosophia Mathematica 23 (3):407-428.
    Bob Hale’s distinguished record of research places him among the most important and influential contemporary analytic metaphysicians. In his deep, wide ranging, yet highly readable book Necessary Beings, Hale draws upon, but substantially integrates and extends, a good deal his past research to produce a sustained and richly textured essay on — as promised in the subtitle — ontology, modality, and the relations between them. I’ve set myself two tasks in this review: first, to provide a reasonably thorough (if not (...)
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