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9/07/2017 6:12 pm  #1


Is Origins Essentialism Correct?

If any reader has a moment of his/her time free I would most appreciate their participating in this poll (I'm anxious to get a survey of the standard theist modal intuitions on this subject).

Origins Essentialism is a metaphysical thesis popularized by Saul Kripke in his famous Naming and Necessity. It states that every particular being has its origins i.e. the material out of which it was made and/or the casual process which brought it about essentially. To give the text-book example it would be impossible for you to have been born to parents other than you actually were born to. Do you think this claim is correct, false or correct only in some cases?

Here is a short article elaborating on it, along with discussion of the positive argument Kripke gives (ignore the first paragraph - that just gives the thesis of normal essentialism).

https://1000wordphilosophy.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/origin-essentialism/


Is Origins Essentialism Correct?







 

9/08/2017 9:58 pm  #2


Re: Is Origins Essentialism Correct?

Would this essentialism imply that atemporal beings don't have essences? For instance, God.

Last edited by RomanJoe (9/08/2017 9:58 pm)

 

9/09/2017 4:38 am  #3


Re: Is Origins Essentialism Correct?

A further article detailing the main arguments for and against Origins Essentialism.
 
http://rintintin.colorado.edu/~vancecd/phil375/origins.pdf
 
Thoughts: the Uniqueness Argument begs the question in that it seems to imply there couldn't have been anything aside from the origin that guarantees uniqueness.
 
However both the Recycled and the Tolerant Zygote counter-examples face difficulties in that they imply a living thing is nothing more than an arrangement of matter (this is also a good opportunity to point out the problem with Dennet's quip about Life having a ‘secret ingredient’ - whilst it's silly to assume that living organisms have an additional mereological part all but eliminativists must admit that they have an additional ontological part, the question then being whether this part is irreducible to or emergent on mere physical composition).
 
Another problem from an Aristotelean perspective is that many of the examples used by Kripke and Salmon - chairs, sculptures - are aggregates rather than substances, strictly speaking they are reducible to their components. (So chairs qua chairs do not actually exist)
 

RomanJoe wrote:

Would this essentialism imply that atemporal beings don't have essences? For instance, God.

 
No, it only implies that beings which have origins have those origins of necessity. The same would apply to any atemporal being (though this is rendered trivial by the fact that likely it's only God that possesses the power to create atemporal beings anyway)

Last edited by DanielCC (9/09/2017 4:53 am)

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9/10/2017 5:58 pm  #4


Re: Is Origins Essentialism Correct?

A very interesting crop of responses.

Here is one of the problems, or at least counter-intuitive consequences, Origins Essentialism leaves the theist with. If that account is true then it is not possible for God to create ex nihilo most the contingent beings with which we are acquainted (since these beings have there origins necessarily they could not have came about any other way - hence it is impossible for God to create Socrates for instance). Any thoughts on this?

Last edited by DanielCC (9/10/2017 5:59 pm)

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