In Essential vs. Accidental Properties (SEP) https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/essential-accidental/index.html, in the context of natural kinds essentialism, one finds:

Notice that one may hold that cats are essentially animals in the sense that there is a necessary a posteriori connection between the property of being a cat and the property of being an animal, without holding that any particular cat is essentially an animal.

Which is paraphrased as:

In other words, from the fact that it is necessary that every individual that is a cat is an animal, it does not follow that every individual that is in fact a cat is such that necessarily it is an animal. In still other words, this type of essentialism about natural kinds does not entail sortal essentialism.

By sortal essentialism is meant that “the object [cat] could not have been of a radically different kind.” The article goes on to say that:

…similar remarks apply to the case of a necessary a priori connection between properties. [For instance] it is a necessary a priori truth that all bachelors are unmarried. It does not follow that Michael, who is in fact a bachelor, could not be married.

Is all of this not a pretty good example of Wittgensteinian linguistic bewitchment [or conversely is the cited analysis meant as a cure to bewitchment by natural language]?? For instance, why does it not follow “from the fact that it is necessary that every individual that is a cat is an animal” that “every individual that is in fact a cat is such that necessarily it is an animal.”

Are we talking something like the possibility of non-organic-cyborg [or ET]- kitties (akin to non H2O water on planet Zargon, that look/taste like cats/water? But is not an [in fact] cat an [animal]-cat? Is not the term “cat” shorthand for “[animal]-cat?” For that matter, what is a married bachelor, or what exactly does it mean to say that an “in fact” bachelor X is [in fact] married? In which direction does the [linguistic turn's] bewitchment flow? Or are we simply dealing with Kantian critical idealism (i.e. simply as a noumena/phenomena inference issue)?

  • Could they be assuming some sort of transworld identity in which a given named individual might have different properties in different worlds, including one world where that individual exists (according to the notion of transworld identity being adopted) but is neither a cat nor an animal? Like "in our world Felix is a cat, from which it necessarily follows that Felix is an animal in our world, but it is not necessary that Felix is an animal, there is a possible world where Felix is a freight train". – Hypnosifl Nov 30 '20 at 20:56

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