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Colin McGinn

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199251582

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199251584.001.0001

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A Note on the Essence of Natural Kinds

A Note on the Essence of Natural Kinds

(p.49) 3 A Note on the Essence of Natural Kinds
Knowledge and Reality

Colin McGinn (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

In this, his first philosophical publication, McGinn introduces a distinction between epistemic possibility and metaphysical possibility, in order to diagnose the reason for Mackie's misinterpretation of Kripke's essentialism about natural kinds. McGinn then argues—on behalf of Kripke and pace Mackie—that the secondary qualities of natural kind substances (e.g. gold, water) are rigidly identical to the underlying primary qualities.

Keywords:   essentialism, Kripke, Locke, Mackie, natural kinds, necessity, nominal essence, primary qualities, real essence, secondary qualities, substance

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