Real Essentialism

1st Edition

David S. Oderberg

Routledge
Published April 29, 2009
Reference - 318 Pages
ISBN 9780415872126 - CAT# Y104661
Series: Routledge Studies in Contemporary Philosophy

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Summary

Real Essentialism presents a comprehensive defence of neo-Aristotelian essentialism. Do objects have essences? Must they be the kinds of things they are in spite of the changes they undergo? Can we know what things are really like – can we define and classify reality? Many, if not most, philosophers doubt this, influenced by centuries of empiricism, and by the anti-essentialism of Wittgenstein, Quine, Popper, and other thinkers. Real Essentialism reinvigorates the tradition of realist, essentialist metaphysics, defending the reality and knowability of essence, the possibility of objective, immutable definition, and its relevance to contemporary scientific and metaphysical issues such as whether essence transcends physics and chemistry, the essence of life, the nature of biological species, and the nature of the person.

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