from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The metaphysical theory that the essential properties of an object can be distinguished from those that are accidental to it.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The view that objects have properties that are essential to them.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Be wary of those who ask you to blame your hormones/biology: essentialism is not required here.


  • Thus the theoretical rejection of essentialism is matched by an attitudinal embrace of it.

    Feminism's Identity Crisis

  • Now finally I understand where those nagging thoughts were stemming from - "essentialism" - an entirely false construct when viewing evolution and certainly either an original or assimilated part of the christian meme.

    AvaxHome RSS:

  • WE can make BABIES and YOU CAN’T neener neener uhhh not that that means we’re essentialist because essentialism is bad mkay mumblesomething about socialization. anyway, you CAN’T COME IN, you jealous jealousertons!

    An open letter to cis feminists

  • Pushed to such an extreme degree, and culminating in the profound question that ponders if” the French, in short, will continue to be the French,” essentialism is another name for a temptation to which it is surprising to see such apparently respectable minds succumb: racism.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Anti-French “Racism”

  • Known as essentialism, this was the idea of an essential maleness or femaleness, and against it all three writers united.


  • Under one view, termed essentialism, health care law is a distinctive academic field because the particular attributes of medicine and treatment relationships matter fundamentally, not just incidentally, to how law governs this field.

    Archive 2008-02-01

  • "essentialism" - a belief that there's a deeper nature to things that makes them what they are.


  • (at least) two pitfalls to this interest: one, it erodes the basis of feminist political action; and two, it implicitly risks making the mistake of essentialism, that is, of assuming that all women share an essential trait or set of traits that define them as such.

    Continental Feminism

  • But while it's not hard to see that Belgian chocolates are also a vital source of sugar and fats, or that tenpin bowling is simply war by other means, Bloom argues that these preferences are the result of what he calls "essentialism"? an awareness of what lies beneath the basic properties of things.

    How Pleasure Works by Paul Bloom


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