Essence, Modality, and the Master Craftsman

Part of the Philosophers in Depth book series (PID)


According to Aristotle, the notion of essence has two interrelated roles: one definitional, the other explanatory. On the one hand, it specifies what it is for something to belong to a particular natural kind of thing,1 the specification being, of necessity, both necessary and sufficient for membership of the kind;2 while, on the other, it explains3 not just why members of such kinds have certain further properties, but also ultimately why they must have such properties.4


Natural Kind Definitional Role Explanatory Role Natural Kind Term Posterior Analytics 
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© Stephen Williams and David Charles 2013

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