Essentialism and human nature

Sheeler, Richard


Sheeler, Richard (1983) Essentialism and human nature.

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A naturalistic or real essence conception of men and persons is developed and defended, and the inadequacies of alternative nominal essence conceptions, especially those which specify psychological or social criteria of personhood, are demonstrated.

Part One of the thesis develops a version of Leibnizian essentialism. The attribution of de re necessary properties to objects is clarified and defended, and certain conceptual constraints on such attributions are argued for. The thesis that the origin of a material object confers essential properties on it is considered and rejected.

Part Two uses the theoretical framework of natural-kind or substance based essentialism in considering such issues as personal identity, euthanasia, abortion, free will and moral obligation. The conceptions of personhood implicit in the works of Aristotle, Kant, Marx and others, and some conceptions of personal responsibility, are also considered in relation to this essentialism.

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This is a Accepted version
This version's date is: 1983
This item is not peer reviewed

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Item TypeThesis (Doctoral)
TitleEssentialism and human nature
AuthorsSheeler, Richard
Uncontrolled KeywordsPhilosophy; Philosophy, Religion And Theology; Essentialism; Essentialism; Human; Nature



Deposited by () on 01-Feb-2017 in Royal Holloway Research Online.Last modified on 01-Feb-2017


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