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Croatian Journal of Philosophy

Volume 14, Issue 1, 2014

Moti Mizrahi
Pages 65-72

Essentialism: Metaphysical or Psychological?

In this paper, I argue that Psychological Essentialism (PE), the view that essences are a heuristic or mental shortcut, is a better explanation for modal intuitions than Metaphysical Essentialism (ME), the view that objects have essences, or more precisely, that (at least some) objects have (at least some) essential properties. If this is correct, then the mere fact that we have modal intuitions is not a strong reason to believe that objects have essential properties.

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