Of the three kinds of essential property those individuals may be thought to possess — essential physical characteristics, substance-type, and origin — it is the third, origin, that has been the most active subject of debate in recent years. As with many other philosophical debates over the last twenty-five years, the discussion of origins began with Kripke. Kripke asks, how could a person originating from a different sperm and egg from the one she actually came from, be that person? The implication is that she could not, and that it is consequently essential, for every person x, that x should originate from the very sperm and egg that x actually originates from.
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