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in philosophy, the nature of a thing. Aristotle maintained that there is a distinction between the form of a thing—its intelligible, verbally formulable character—and the essence of a thing, i.e., what it is in itself, which is not common to anything else. The essence of a thing is what is formulated as a universal in the mind and in language. St. Thomas Aquinas distinguished between the essence of a thing and the fact of its being, or its existence. In modern existentialist thought Jean-Paul Sartre made use of Aquinas's distinction between essence and existence but reversed them by insisting that existence precedes essence. By this he asserted that people do not have predetermined natures; what a person is follows from the choices he or she makes.


1. Philosophy
a. the unchanging and unchangeable nature of something which is necessary to its being the thing it is; its necessary properties
b. the properties in virtue of which something is called by its name
c. the nature of something as distinct from, and logically prior to, its existence
2. Theol an immaterial or spiritual entity
a. the constituent of a plant, usually an oil, alkaloid, or glycoside, that determines its chemical or pharmacological properties
b. an alcoholic solution of such a substance
4. a substance, usually a liquid, containing the properties of a plant or foodstuff in concentrated form
References in periodicals archive ?
As these modifiers typically refer to essential properties, herbs are construed as natural kinds: the modifiers typically refer to perceptual, environmental and other essential properties.
Even when a work of art is defined by its fictionality, a certain share of essential properties remain: a great portion of dialogue, for instance, points to the fictionality of a text and is not expected in a work of astronomy or economics, and the same is true for interior monologue, irony of the narrator, structural symmetries, etc.
where E stands for the substance and S stands for the substratum that instantiates the substantial form and the relevant accidental forms; the uppercase Greek letters between the round brackets stand for essential properties that make up the substantial form and the lowercase Greek letters stand for accidental properties of the substance.
For example it seems that Kripke discussing essential properties sometimes mixes the question of possibility with the problem of diachronic identity (1980, p.
Some of the most basic of all kinds possess extrinsic essential properties that are a direct result of fundamental laws of nature.
If, however, it is a possibility that entities can go on existing when all their original material has been replaced, then their origin is not one of their essential properties, because no thing can go on existing without its essence, i.
He argues that the necessitarian can do at least as well as the most tenable best-system type approach on this front: the advocate of a super-grounded best-system approach must accept either that there is no difference in the actual world between regularities born of metaphysical and physical necessity, or that there are non-modal essential properties which ground such differences.
The level of contamination decides the quality of yarn and its essential properties such as length, strength, fineness.
Latifi said that the country's Southeastern Chabahar Free trade Zone enjoys essential properties for the transit of goods to the member states of the ECO.
The essential properties of a thing form a proper subset of its metaphysically necessary properties.
Of course, being tired is the most obvious meaning but others are salient as well: to be used up; to be emptied by drawing out the contents; to deprive wholly of useful or essential properties, possessions, resources, etc.
10) In this important contribution to analytic jurisprudence, Shapiro accepts the modern view that only the essential properties of law can explain its nature and that the use (or threat) of force, not being strictly essential, is thereby not a component of the idea of legality.

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