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Abstract

According to Essentialism, an object’s properties divide into those that are essential and those that are accidental. While being human is commonly thought to be essential to Socrates, being a philosopher plausibly is not. We can motivate the distinction by appealing – as we just did – to examples. However, it is not obvious how best to characterize the notion of essential property, nor is it easy to give conclusive arguments for the essentiality of a given property. In this paper, I elaborate on these issues and explore the way in which essential properties behave in relation to other related properties, like sufficient-for-existence properties and individual essences.