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Is Essence Essential?

Philosophy Coffees
Date: 
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Time: 
3:30 PM
Location: 
Slayter, University Room

The concept of “essence” plays an important role in the history of philosophical thinking. Are essences actual, or does the term merely act a tool for categorizing the world around us?

The concept of “essence” plays an important role in the history of philosophical thinking—not only among the ancient philosophies of Plato, Aristotle, and the like, but also in more modern works. A distinction between accidental and essential properties, for example, is one way in which many philosophers still try to make sense of the world. But what do we mean when we use this awfully vague term? Is it even right to talk about a thing’s “essence”? Are essences actual, or does the term merely act a tool for categorizing the world around us?

Each semester a series of philosophy coffees is held, with informal discussions among students and faculty, centering on a different question or issue each time.

Topics for philosophy coffees are selected by a student committee, which takes responsibility for these events.

Posted Date: 
Thursday, February 20, 2014