Chapter

Sortal Concepts and Essential Properties I: Substance Sortals and Essential Sortals

Penelope Mackie

in How Things Might Have Been

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780199272204
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191604034 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199272204.003.0007
 Sortal Concepts and Essential Properties I: Substance Sortals and Essential Sortals

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This chapter examines versions of so-called ‘sortal essentialism’. This is the view that some sortal concepts (roughly, concepts that provide criteria of identity or principles of individuation) represent essential properties of the things to which they apply. This chapter argues against Baruch Brody’s version of sortal essentialism, which appeals to a version of an ‘overlap requirement’ on de re possibilities, in order to argue that substance sortals — sortal concepts that must apply to an object throughout its existence if they apply to it at all — are essential sortals.

Keywords: Brody; criterion of identity; essential properties; essential sortal; overlap requirement; sortal concept; sortal essentialism; substance sortal

Chapter.  4891 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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