By Benedikt Paul Göcke (auth.)

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For instance, there is some point of time t where Peter is married to Susanne. Suddenly, Susanne dies at t1, making Peter a widow. Although nothing in Peter changed, he now exemplifies another property, namely the property of being a widow. Given my assumption that a property of an individual is anything true of that particular, it follows that I have to include Cambridge properties as properties of individual essences because they are necessary and sufficient for anything’s being the particular it is.

If we deploy this approach to the putative non-existence of Santa Claus, prima facie we dissolve the contradiction: the assertion that Santa Claus does not exist no longer means that there exists an object which exemplifies non-existence. Rather, 40 A Theory of the Absolute it means that it is not the case that there is at least one object in the universe of discourse, which is identical with Santa Claus: ‫׌¬ڿ‬x (x=s)‫ۀ‬. This, it seems, is certainly true because the universe of discourse does not include an object that is Santa Claus.

Intuitively, on the deep essentialist picture, an ordinary object has essential properties, and it must have its essential properties in order for it to exist. ) about the object, and truths about such properties are absolute truths. Shallow essentialists oppose deep essentialists: they reject the view that objects can be said to have essential properties independently of contexts of description or evaluation, and so substitute context-dependent truths for the deep essentialist’s context-independent ones.

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