more from Alvin Plantinga

Single Idea 14661

[catalogued under 9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 9. Essence and Properties]

Full Idea

E is an essence if and only if (a) 'has E essentially' is instantiated in some world or other, and (b) for any world W and property P, E entails 'has P in W' or 'does not have P in W'.

Gist of Idea

Essences are instantiated, and are what entails a thing's properties and lack of properties


Alvin Plantinga (World and Essence [1970], IV)

Book Reference

Plantinga,Alvin: 'Essays in the Metaphysics of Modality' [OUP 2003], p.69

A Reaction

'Entail' strikes me as a very odd word when you are talking about the structure of the physical world (or are we??). Why would a unique self-identity (his candidate for essence) do the necessary entailing?