more from Brian Ellis

Single Idea 13570

[catalogued under 10. Modality / C. Sources of Modality / 6. Necessity from Essence]

Full Idea

There are necessities grounded in the individual real essences of things, and necessities grounded in the natural kind essences of things. In the first case, without the property it isn't that individual, and in the second it isn't a member of that kind.

Gist of Idea

Individual essences necessitate that individual; natural kind essences necessitate kind membership


Brian Ellis (Scientific Essentialism [2001], Intro)

Book Reference

Ellis,Brian: 'Scientific Essentialism' [CUP 2007], p.11

A Reaction

This is the distinction we must hang onto to avoid a huge amount of confusion in this territory. I just say that ceasing to be that individual will presumably entail ceasing to be that kind, but not necessarily vice versa, so individual essences rule.