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The philosophical tenet that objects and classes of objects have essential and not merely accidental characteristics.

es·sen′tial·ist adj.


1. (Philosophy) philosophy one of a number of related doctrines which hold that there are necessary properties of things, that these are logically prior to the existence of the individuals which instantiate them, and that their classification depends upon their satisfaction of sets of necessary conditions
2. (Education) the doctrine that education should concentrate on teaching basic skills and encouraging intellectual self-discipline
esˈsentialist n


(əˈsɛn ʃəˌlɪz əm)

an educational doctrine advocating the teaching of culturally important concepts, ideals, and skills to all students, regardless of individual ability, needs, etc. Compare progressivism.
es•sen′tial•ist, n., adj.


1. a philosophical theory asserting that metaphysical essences are real and intuitively accessible.
2. a philosophical theory giving priority to the inward nature, true substance, or constitution of something over its existence. Cf. existentialism.essentialist, n.essentialistic, adj.
See also: Philosophy
References in periodicals archive ?
In terms of subject matter for future conversations, the essays call for a more rigorous discussion of key feminist motifs, including, but not limited to, the oft-challenged issue of gender essentialism (86).
Recent work on natural kind essentialism has taken a deflationary turn.
Essentialism -- Greg McKeown The challenge is frequently how to maximize the time and resources available to provide the service your customers expect as quickly and efficiently as possible.
This stance includes both feminist essentialism and feminist care ethics.
As a sequel to Essentialism, he said he plans a workbook that will help people hold a "personal quarterly"--a version of the big-picture review that business executives do every 90 days or so.
Such comparisons grounded in theology between Islam and Christianity not only fuel the perception of a clash of civilization at the popular level but they also add to the rise of essentialism at the academic level.
aims to answer the question of how educators teaching Appalachian studies in the classroom "avoid essentialism and essentialist thinking while still acknowledging that a distinct region and culture exist" by exploring different teaching strategies and topic areas and sometimes by problematizing the categorization of Appalachia and Appalachian studies.
yet] also rejects the notion that all physical properties are solely culturally constructed even as it disavows biological essentialism as summing up the lives of people" (22).
Charlotte Witt's treatise, The Metaphysics of Gender, argues that gender essentialism is true, given specific definitions of "gender" and "essentialism".
For example, Tillotson makes the point that ideas such as postmodernism, social construction, colorblindness, and essentialism have been used in various hegemonic sectors of Eurocentric societies to challenge and curtail the idea of collective agency despite the fact that history in the United States and Europe has revealed, over the years, collective disenfranchisement and discrimination.
Venegas' Joyce is not a modernist; he writes from a postcolonial, explicitly Irish perspective, with a creative aversion to the authority of Western tradition that parallels the struggle for emancipation from England without the nationalist cultural essentialism.
In order to critique the essentialism of the law regarding transsexed individuals, it is first necessary to briefly outline what is meant by the term essentialism and how the law can be shown to operate according to this framework.