more from Brian Ellis

Single Idea 13581

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / a. Scientific essentialism]

Full Idea

Scientific essentialism is less concerned with questions of identity, and more with questions of explanation, than is the essentialism of Aristotle or of Kripke. It is closest to the kind of essentialism described by Locke.

Gist of Idea

Scientific essentialism is more concerned with explanation than with identity (Locke, not Kripke)


Brian Ellis (Scientific Essentialism [2001], 1.12)

Book Reference

Ellis,Brian: 'Scientific Essentialism' [CUP 2007], p.55

A Reaction

Locke is popularly held to be anti-essentialist, but that is only because of his epistemological problems. I think Ellis is here misreading Aristotle, and I would ally Aristotle, Locke (cautiously), Leibniz, Ellis and Fine against Kripkeans on this one.