Meaning, Essence, and Necessity

David Charles

in Aristotle on Meaning and Essence

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780199256730
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597183 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Aristotle Studies

 Meaning, Essence, and Necessity

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Aristotle's account of (1) the meaning of natural kind terms and (2) the essence of natural kinds is distinguished from that offered by Saul Kripke and Hilary Putnam. With regard to (1), Aristotle did not require that one who understands a natural kind term and goes on to discover the essence of the kind grasps at the outset that the kind exists or has an essence yet to be discovered. With regard to (2), Aristotle separates essences from necessary properties and connects essences with definition and explanation. (1) is discussed in Part I of the book (Chs. 2–6), (2) in Part II (Chs. 7–13). While the book contains detailed exegesis of Aristotle's text, it also includes a trail for readers mainly interested in grasping his overall philosophical picture (p. 3).

Keywords: Aristotle; essence; essentialism; meaning; natural kind; Putnam

Chapter.  7431 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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