Why Settle for Anything Less than Good Old-Fashioned Aristotelian Essentialism
Brody (Baruch)
Source: Nous, Vol. 7, No. 4, Nov., 1973, pp. 351-365
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    In this paper, I defend a theory of essentialism based upon Aristotle's distinction between mere alterations and substantial changes. A substance has a property accidentally if its losing it would be a mere alteration while it has it essentially if its losing it would mean its going out of existence. I defend this theory of essentialism against the various recent criticisms of essentialism, especially the one based upon the problem of identity through possible worlds. I show that it offers a more intuitively satisfactory account of what are essential properties than the accounts offered by Plantinga and Kaplan. Finally, I discuss the problems involved in constructing a theory of natural kinds1 based upon this theory of essentialism.

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