i have for years had a difficult time expressing my “person philosophy” having cobbled it together from many different belief systems and philosophies. but i had randomly picked up a audiobook and my life was changed.
Essentialism: the disciplined pursuit of less, has really given one of the most complete set of beliefs that reflects my personal philosophy.
Essentialism is the view that every entity has a set of attributes that are necessary to its identity and function. In early Western thought Plato’s idealism held that all things have such an “essence”—an “idea” or “form”. In Categories, Aristotle similarly proposed that all objects have a substance that, as George Lakoff put it “make the thing what it is, and without which it would be not that kind of thing”. The contrary view—non-essentialism—denies the need to posit such an “essence'”.
Essentialism has been controversial from its beginning. Plato, in the Parmenides Dialogue, depicts Socrates questioning the notion, suggesting that if we accept the idea that every beautiful thing or just action partakes of an essence to be beautiful or just, we must also accept the “existence of separate essences for hair, mud, and dirt” . In biology and other natural sciences, essentialism provided the rationale for taxonomy at least until the time of Charles Darwin; the role and importance of essentialism in biology is still a matter of debate. In gender studies the essentialist idea that men and women are fundamentally different continues to be a matter of contention.
Truly, i now have a book that i can hand someone when they ask how i live my life. it is not perfect but it is the belief system that really come close to giving an idea of what i live everyday. it is systematized and formal in it’s approach and execution. but doesn’t beggar the believer into rejecting all material things. it simply forces you to ask the usefulness of each decision and acquisition before going ahead. give it a chance and maybe you’ll accept it or not, but you will not leave without being challenged in some way.