-Essence : existence :: the order that the parts of an artifact have to each other : the assembled parts.
In this sense, chance can be a cause of the existence of a thing but not its essence. Chance, random change, good or bad luck, tinkering, improvisation etc. can explain that something is but not what it is, where “what it is” includes the notion of intrinsic order of one thing to another.
-Even if the elements formed by chance (say, if we figured out that the forces working in dying stars were random) the periodic table would still be just what it is.
-The monkeys could make the manuscript but not the meaning.
-Existence is what accounts for the difference between the world and thought.
-The manuscript is no more or less probable than any other given string of gibberish. The improbability, strictly speaking, consists in falling into an order given in advance. This is essence. Thus, an essence formed by chance is a contradiction, for it is given in advance.
-We can spot Kant all of his observations about existence as adding nothing to the concept and still conceptualize existence positively and as real by way of negation. For that matter, it might be better to conceptualize the concept by way of negation.
-Anselm conceived the concept by way of negation: it would be better to exist in reality than only in thought.
-Anselm protests to Kant: “but I don’t think that existence is contained in a concept – my whole proof rests on this! If existence were just another conceptual modification, then it wouldn’t be any better to exist in reality!”
-Anselm protest to Kant again “you’re confusing the concept with the essence. The first is a sign for the second, and both are divided from existence, but the concept is not made real by existence whereas essence is. True, concepts have the same content as essences do, but we cannot add existence to the first though we can obviously add it to the second.”
(Pause to hear response)
“Oh, so that’s where the problem is. you don’t allow for essences in themselves apart from concepts.”
-Look at any good thing, say, a book on the shelf. It’s better that it be that then a mere thought, but its not the thought of teh book that exists, even if a thought was a paradigm that was necessary for it to exist.
-Plato had an idea of being as similar to letters that are compatible with each other (Sophist). This is an account of essence.