Real v Nominal Essence - Grade: 90 The Idealist: Real v....

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Grade: 90 The Idealist: Real v. Nominal Essence Nominal essences are those that rely on the five senses: sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing. In other words, they “make use of secondary qualities” (Worldly Wisdom 238). One nominal essence, for example, is the smell of a specific perfume. The smell is a nominal essence because it does not define the perfume, and is a mere opinion of the person who smells it. This essence is dependent on the mind. One person may say the perfume has a fruity smell to it, while another may say it has a subtle powder-like smell. Locke notes, “nominal essences are the abstract ideas for which general terms stand” (239). People may create their own ideas of any particular substance or object. These distinctions do not alter the object’s definition by any means. Whether the perfume smells like a fruit or like a flower, it is still perfume. Real essences, however, are the exact opposite. Primary qualities are what define a real essence. These are mind-independent.
Background image of page 1
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This essay was uploaded on 03/19/2008 for the course PHL 301 taught by Professor Bonevac during the Fall '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online