Essence always of concept or also of existent?

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59 minutes ago, regi said:

I'd be more blunt if I could be.

Living things are moving targets, not "existent" in the sense that a pound of lead is all lead, a quart of mercury is all mercury.

Brant implied the problem of error and moral turpitude. Volitional beings have fatal outcomes accordingly, typically by cowardice or heroism, but some times as innocent bystanders, too young to have a moral sphere worth talking about, collateral damage. Existents do not blink out of existence. Many men can die, or lead unremarkable, meaningless lives, by 'man' the concept cannot die, and for that reason we need to discuss the essential defining characteristics of human life ('man'). Item One: mortal. Item 2: adults are capable of rational thought. Item 3. capable of deflecting the burden of thought, denying evidence. Genus: animal.

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  • 7 months later...

On ‎7‎/‎1‎/‎2017 at 9:26 AM, mpp said:

Does the term essence always pertain to a concept, hence implying a fundamental, distinguishing characterizing that is similar among many units?

Or can we have an essence of a single existent?

e.g. What's the essence of man? Rational animal. What's the essence of that person? We wouldn't say rational animal, maybe we would say something about his beliefs, or gene distribution or upbringing...?

Can we even speak of essences of existents or is essence reserved for concepts only? How does the essence of man and the essence of that person relate? Essence makes the thing that which it is. But the concept "man" doesn't exist, so essence cannot make the concept what it is. Essence can only make man, as in that person, what he is. But how could we then say what makes him him is his rationality? 

I am confused between the relationship of essence, what is the essence of, when we speak of an essence of a concept and can there be an essence of something that isn't a concept?

Thank you. 


If you were Aristotle you'd say that you could have an essence of a single existent (by itself) - Metaphysical.  But for Rand essence are things viewed in a certain relationship, essence is Epistemological not Metaphysical.  

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