essentialism

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essentialism

the view that philosophy or science is able to reach and represent absolute TRUTH(S), e.g. the necessary or essential properties, or ‘essences’, of objects. PLATO's theory of ideal forms is an example of essentialism.

Today the term is often a negative one, used by philosophers who oppose essentialism and emphasize the provisional or conventional nature of knowledge (see also CONVENTIONALISM, NOMINALISM, OPERATIONALISM OR OPERATIONISM, RELATIVISM, POSTEMPIRICISM, DECONSTRUCTION, REALISM).

References in periodicals archive ?
Moreover, I noted (as Ahlberg admits) that at least two major analytic aestheticians (Beardsley and Danto) are in some way essentialist. Why does such an informed reader as Ahlberg so badly misconstrue my treatment of anti-essentialism?
Unlike either Marcus Garvey or Malcolm X, Locke was not a racial essentialist - that is, he did not think in terms of an undifferentiated, singular Negro.
The way of the Essentialist isn't about setting New Year's resolutions to say "no" more, or about pruning your in-box, or about mastering some new strategy in time management.
He talks about the underlying principles that guide the mindset of an essentialist. First is individual choice, each one of us has free will, the right to choose how to spend our energy and time and life, I would add.
In sum, the hard essentialists see hormones and their receptors as primary agents in the construction of gender identity.
Essentialists venerate a pantheon of heroes; organicists emphasize "forced" and "forgotten" founders, telling their stories, resurrecting their perspectives, and lauding their contributions.
An essentialist is able to explore widely, ask tough and searching questions, and then select carefully very few things, based on deep understanding and conviction.
Grounded in the scriptural foundation for intrinsic human dignity classically summarized as humanity's creation as imago Dei (Gn 1:27), many attempts to provide a comprehensive theological anthropology have reduced the effort to understand better the meaning of imago Dei to an explication of so-called "human nature." (1) This focus on the nature of the human person, rooted as it is in the Christian appropriation of Hellenistic philosophical traditions, can rightly be described as essentialist. Over the centuries of Christian history, this focus has resulted in numerous expressions of theological reflection that emphasize the substantial quality of humanity over and against the dignity and inherent value of the particular, individual human person.
Dispositional essentialists have done much to articulate the relation between fundamental dispositional properties (e.g., the spin and charge of an electron) and laws of nature, but relatively little investigation has been done on the relation of dispositions to causes.
The essentialist tradition maintains that there are concerned citizens who believe the public schools have declined and that they need to return to stricter discipline and to a study of the "basics." Since the 1930s, the essentialists have advanced efforts to warn the American public of progressive notions (for example, "life-adjustment education" and child-centered education) and the continuing erosion of education or learning in the United States.
Its defenders maintain that the rest of us are "essentialists"--those of us who believe that Jonathan was in love with David, as the Old Testament tells us; that Achilles really was mad for Patroclus, as the Iliad makes clear; and that Simon Rhodes, T.
In 11 chapters devoted to programmatic and methodological issues and scholarly dialogue, they reinterpret such constructs as nationalism, assimilation, and even antisemitism as more fluid than essentialists present them.