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Summary The interplay of essentialism and modal logic is a major topic in the logic and metaphysics of modality. Quine 1953 argued that quantified modal logic (QML) entails essentialism, the view that an object can have a property essentially, independently of how it is referred to. Since he found essentialism to be unintelligible, Quine concluded by modus tollens that QML should be rejected. Kripke 1963 and Marcus 1967 have contributed to the rehabilitation of QML by showing how it can be made sense of within a suitable semantic framework. Others, such as Parsons 1969 and McKay 1975, have argued that QML is not committed to the thesis of essentialism in the way Quine thought. Now that the intelligibility of QML is no longer at issue, a central problem in the contemporary debate is whether the notion of essence can be understood in modal terms. A classical modalist analysis of essence is due to Moore 1919: x is essentially P iff x is necessarily P (or, in conditional form: iff x is necessarily P, if existent). This reduction of essence to pure QML has been found wanting by Fine 1994. As a consequence, the Moorean definition has been mostly abandoned (but see Cowling 2013). Some proposals have emerged that attempt to understand essence by means of revisions or extensions of standard QML. Zalta 2006 and Wildman 2013 have proposed to reduce essence to a combination of modal and non-modal notions. Correia 2007 has put forward an analysis of essence carried out in a modal logic which is more fine-grained that standard QML. Fine 1995, 2000 has formulated a quantified intensional logic for the notion of essence.
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  1. John Robert Baker (1978). Essentialism and the Modal Semantics of J. Hintikka. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 19 (1):81-91.
  2. John Robert Baker (1973). Quantified Modal Logic and the Problem of Essentialism. Dissertation, Vanderbilt University
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  3. Cleverson Bastos & Paulo de Oliveira (2011). Quine E O “pecado” Da Lógica Modal. Episteme NS: Revista Del Instituto de Filosofía de la Universidad Central de Venezuela 31 (1):1-17.
    O presente trabalho pretende analisar as objeções de Quine à ló­gica modal. O trabalho evidencia que tais objeções dirigem-se às formas proposicionais e também às formas quantificadas. Como o próprio Quine faz, não se pretende aqui apresentar soluções, mas apenas levantar os pro­blemas que o seu trabalho identificou. Este texto apóia-se, sobretudo, no importante estudo de Jaime Nubiola, intitulado El Compromisso Esencialista de La Lógica Modal: Estudio de Quine y Kripke. Inicialmente, serão apresen­tadas as seis objeções de Quine e, em (...)
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  4. Nuel Belnap & Thomas Müller, CIFOL: Case-Intensional First Order Logic. (I) Toward a Theory of Sorts.
    This is Part I of a two-part essay introducing case-intensional first-order logic (CIFOL), an easy-to-use, uniform, powerful, and useful combination of first order logic with modal logic resulting from philosophical and technical modifications of Bressan’s General interpreted modal calculus (Yale University Press 1972). CIFOL starts with a set of cases; each expression has an extension in each case and an intension, which is the function from the cases to the respective case-relative extensions. Predication is intensional; identity is extensional. Definite descriptions (...)
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  5. Alexander Bird (2006). Potency and Modality. Synthese 149 (3):447-52.
    Let us call a property that is essentially dispositional a potency.1 David Armstrong thinks that potencies do not exist. All sparse properties are essentially categorical, where sparse properties are the explanatory properties of the type science seeks to discover. An alternative view, but not the only one, is that all sparse properties are potencies or supervene upon them. In this paper I shall consider the differences between these views, in particular the objections Armstrong raises against potencies.
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  6. Baruch A. Brody (1972). De Re and de Dicto Interpretations of Modal Logic or a Return to an Aristotelean Essentialism. Philosophia 2 (1-2):117-136.
  7. Howard Burdick (1993). Non-Essentialistic Modal Logic or Meaning and Necessity Revisited. Philosophia 22 (1-2):87-93.
    Using the method of ordered pairs proposed in my 'A Logical Form for the Propositional Attitudes', a non-essentialistic modal logic is possible which avoids these oddities.
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  8. Howard Burdick (1982). A Logical Form for the Propositional Attitudes. Synthese 52 (2):185 - 230.
    The author puts forth an approach to propositional attitude contexts based upon the view that one does not have beliefs of ordinary extensional entitiessimpliciter. Rather, one has beliefs of such entities as presented in various manners. Roughly, these are treated as beliefs of ordered pairs — the first member of which is the ordinary extensional entity and the second member of which is a predicate that it satisfies. Such an approach has no difficulties with problems involving identity, such as of (...)
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  9. Fabrice Correia (2007). (Finean) Essence and (Priorean) Modality. Dialectica 61 (1):63–84.
    In Fine 1994, Kit Fine challenges the view that the notion of essence is to be understood in terms of the metaphysical modalities, and he argues that it is not essence which reduces to metaphysical modality, but rather metaphysical modality which reduces to essence. In this paper I put forward a modal account of essence and argue that it is immune from Fine’s objections. The account presupposes a non‐standard, independently motivated conception of the metaphysical modalities which I dub Priorean. Arthur (...)
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  10. Horacio Costa (2012). Quantified Modal Logic. Journal of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research 2.
    The chapter is divided in two parts. The first part gives an introduction to issues in quantified modal logic . We provide an overview of recent work in QML and we presuppose the use of a relational semantics. We discuss models for constant domains, increasing domains and varying domains and present axiomatizations for the corresponding logics. We also discuss philosophical issues related to the interpretation of the quantifiers, terms and identity and we present a first-order quantified intensional logic. A crucial (...)
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  11. M. J. Cresswell (2010). Predicate Wormism a Quinean Account of de Re Modality. Logique Et Analyse 212:449-464.
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  12. W. Stephen Croddy (1988). Quine Against Essentialism and Quantified Modal Logic. Logique Et Analyse 31 (123-124):317-328.
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  13. Kit Fine (2000). Semantics for the Logic of Essence. Journal of Philosophical Logic 29 (6):543-584.
    This paper provides a possible worlds semantics for the system of the author's previous paper 'The Logic of Essence'. The basic idea behind the semantics is that a statement should be taken to be true in virtue of the nature of certain objects just in case it is true in any possible world compatible with the nature of those objects. It is shown that a slight variant of the original system is sound and complete under the proposed semantics.
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  14. Kit Fine (1995). The Logic of Essence. Journal of Philosophical Logic 24 (3):241 - 273.
  15. Kit Fine (1994). Essence and Modality. Philosophical Perspectives 8:1-16.
    It is my aim in this paper to show that the contemporary assimilation of essence to modality is fundamentally misguided and that, as a consequence, the corresponding conception of metaphysics should be given up. It is not my view that the modal account fails to capture anything which might reasonably be called a concept of essence. My point, rather, is that the notion of essence which is of central importance to the metaphysics of identity is not to be understood in (...)
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  16. Frederic B. Fitch (1967). A Theory of Logical Essences. The Monist 51 (1):104-109.
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  17. Vicky Ruth Vicklund Franks (1982). The Definite Description and Quine's Formal Attack on Quantified Modal Logic. Dissertation, University of Washington
    Quine's formal challenge to quantified modal logic involves the dual problems of referential opacity and extensional transparency. Quine's position is that the modal logician is faced with an inescapable dilemma: modal logic is either referentially opaque or extensionally transparent, and, hence, either "quantification into" modal contexts is illegitimate or the distinctions between the necessary, the possible and the actual collapse. Quine himself was convinced that the first horn of the dilemma is true, that modal logic is referentially opaque; however, I (...)
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  18. Dagfinn Føllesdal (2004). Referential Opacity and Modal Logic. Routledge.
    This landmark work provides a systematic introduction to systems of modal logic and stands as the first presentation of what have become central ideas in philosophy of language and metaphysics, from the "new theory of reference" and non-linguistic necessity and essentialism to "Kripke semantics.".
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  19. Dagfinn Føllesdal (1968). Quine on Modality. Synthese 19 (1-2):147 - 157.
    An appraisal of the current status of the modalities and of quine's arguments against them. The author accepts "quine's thesis," that one cannot quantify into referentially opaque contexts, And argues that nobody has succeeded in making sense of such quantification. However, It is shown that modal constructions, Being constructions on general terms and sentences, Can be referentially transparent and extensionally opaque and that consequently the collapse of modal distinctions warned against by quine in "word and object" can be avoided. This (...)
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  20. Alessandro Giordani (2013). A New Semantics for Systems of Logic of Essence. Studia Logica (3):1-30.
    The purpose of the present paper is to provide a way of understanding systems of logic of essence by introducing a new semantic framework for them. Three central results are achieved: first, the now standard Fitting semantics for the propositional logic of evidence is adapted in order to provide a new, simplified semantics for the propositional logic of essence; secondly, we show how it is possible to construe the concept of necessary truth explicitly by using the concept of essential truth; (...)
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  21. Dominic Gregory (2011). Iterated Modalities, Meaning and A Priori Knowledge. Philosophers' Imprint 11 (3).
    Recent work on the philosophy of modality has tended to pass over questions about iterated modalities in favour of constructing ambitious metaphysical theories of possibility and necessity, despite the central importance of iterated modalities to modal logic. Yet there are numerous unresolved but fundamental issues involving iterated modalities: Chandler and Salmon have provided forceful arguments against the widespread assumption that all necessary truths are necessarily necessary, for example. The current paper examines a range of ways in which one might seek (...)
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  22. Lars Gundersen (1995). The Problem of Transworld Identity. Danish Yearbook of Philosophy 30.
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  23. Reina Hayaki (2006). Contingent Objects and the Barcan Formula. Erkenntnis 64 (1):75 - 83.
    It has been argued by Bernard Linsky and Edward Zalta, and independently by Timothy Williamson, that the best quantified modal logic is one that validates both the Barcan Formula and its converse. This requires that domains be fixed across all possible worlds. All objects exist necessarily; some – those we would usually consider contingent – are concrete at some worlds and non-concrete (but still existent) at others. Linsky and Zalta refer to such objects as ‘contingently non-concrete’. I defend the standard (...)
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  24. Reina Hayaki (2002). Actualism and Quantified Modal Logic. Dissertation, Princeton University
    It has been alleged that actualism and quantified modal logic are incompatible. My aim in this dissertation is twofold: to defend thoroughgoing actualism with respect to possible objects, and to present a modified semantics for quantified modal logic that is compatible with such a position. The basic strategy is to draw on the parallels between fictions and possible worlds to develop a hierarchical system of worlds-within-worlds ;Actualists usually take first-order modal statements as being about the right objects, by stipulation. Any (...)
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  25. Philip V. Kargopoulos (1984). Realism, Relativism and Reference. University Microfilms International.
    The central thesis of this dissertation is that the recently proposed Causal Theories of Reference by K. Donnellan, H. Putnam, and especially S. Kripke provide support for Scientific Realism as developed in the theories of J. J. C. Smart, H. Putnam, and especially R. Boyd, on the face of the most serious challenge to scientific objectivity contained in the writings of the Relativists S. Toulmin, N. R. Hanson, T. S. Kuhn, and P. Feyerabend. I have argued accordingly that all the (...)
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  26. Daniel Michael Kervick (1997). The Logic of Contingent Existence. Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Among modal claims, claims that involve the notions of broadly logical possibility and necessity, one that seems almost trivial is this: that if some proposition is possible, then it is possibly true. However, there is an argument, due in its essentials to the medieval philosopher and logician Jean Buridan, to the effect that this seemingly trivial claim is, in fact, untrue. ;Briefly put, the argument is this. Let Q be the proposition that Quine does not exist. Since Quine's existence is (...)
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  27. Antti Keskinen (2013). Quine on Objects and De Re Modality. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 8 (2):4-17.
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  28. Leonard Linsky (1971). Reference and Modality. London,Oxford University Press.
    1. Reference and modality by W. V. O. Quine.--2. Modality and description by A. F. Smullyan.--3. Extensionality by R. B. Marcus.--4. Quantification into causal contexts by D. Føllesdal.--5. Semantical considerations on modal logic by S. A. Kripke.--6. Essentialism and quantified modal logic by T. Parsons.--7. Reference, essentialism, and modality by L. Linsky.--8. Quantifiers and propositional attitudes by W. V. O. Quine.--9. Quantifying in by D. Kaplan.--10. Semantics for propositional attitudes by J. Hintikka.--11. On Carnap's analysis of statements of assertion and (...)
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  29. Joao Marcos (2005). Logics of Essence and Accident. Bulletin of the Section of Logic 34 (1):43-56.
    We say that things happen accidentally when they do indeed happen, but only by chance. In the opposite situation, an essential happening is inescapable, its inevitability being the sine qua non for its very occurrence. This paper will investigate modal logics on a language tailored to talk about essential and accidental statements. Completeness of some among the weakest and the strongest such systems is attained. The weak expressibility of the classical propositional language enriched with the non-normal modal operators of essence (...)
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  30. Ruth Barcan Marcus (1967). Essentialism in Modal Logic. Noûs 1 (1):91-96.
  31. Ruth Barcan Marcus (1961/1993). Modalities: Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press.
    Based on her earlier ground-breaking axiomatization of quantified modal logic, the papers collected here by the distinguished philosopher Ruth Barcan Marcus cover much ground in the development of her thought, spanning from 1961 to 1990. The first essay here introduces themes initially viewed as iconoclastic, such as the necessity of identity, the directly referential role of proper names as "tags", the Barcan Formula about the interplay of possibility and existence, and alternative interpretations of quantification. Marcus also addresses the putative puzzles (...)
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  32. Ruth Barcan Marcus, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Diana Raffman & Nicholas Asher (eds.) (1995). Modality, Morality, and Belief: Essays in Honor of Ruth Barcan Marcus. Cambridge University Press.
    Modality, morality and belief are among the most controversial topics in philosophy today, and few philosophers have shaped these debates as deeply as Ruth Barcan Marcus. Inspired by her work, a distinguished group of philosophers explore these issues, refine and sharpen arguments and develop new positions on such topics as possible worlds, moral dilemmas, essentialism, and the explanation of actions by beliefs. This 'state of the art' collection honours one of the most rigorous and iconoclastic of philosophical pioneers.
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  33. Thomas J. McKay (1975). Essentialism in Quantified Modal Logic. Journal of Philosophical Logic 4 (4):423 - 438.
    This paper mentions several different sorts of "essentialism," and examines various senses in which quantified modal logic is "committed to" the most troublesome kind of essentialism. It is argued that essentialism is neither provable, Nor entailed by any contingently true non-Modal sentence. But quantified modal logic is committed to the meaningfulness of essentialism. This sort of commitment may be made innocuous by requiring that essentialism simply be made logically false; some of the consequences of taking this line are explored.
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  34. Thomas James Mckay (1974). Essentialism and Quantified Modal Logic: Quine's Argument and Kripke's Semantics. Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
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  35. Christopher Menzel (forthcoming). Logic, Essence, and Modality — A Critical Review of Hale's Necessary Beings. Philosophia Mathematica 23.
    Bob Hale’s distinguished record of research places him among the most important and influential contemporary analytic metaphysicians. In his deep, wide ranging, yet highly readable book Necessary Beings, Hale draws upon, but substantially integrates and extends, a good deal his past research to produce a sustained and richly textured essay on — as promised in the subtitle — ontology, modality, and the relations between them. I’ve set myself two tasks in this review: first, to provide a reasonably thorough (if not (...)
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  36. Christopher Menzel (2000). Review of J. Copeland (Ed.), Logic and Reality: Essays on the Legacy of Arthur Prior. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 109 (2):281-286.
  37. Robert Michels (2013). Metaphysical Modality and Essentiality. Dissertation, University of Geneva
    Essentialists claim that we can distinguish between an object's essential and its accidental properties. Following important developments in modal logic during the 1960s and 70s, the orthodox view was that the essential properties of an object are its necessary properties. In his influential 1994 paper "Essence and Modality", Kit Fine argues that the orthodox view is wrong. His two main claims are that first, essentiality cannot be defined in terms of necessity and second, that necessity should instead be defined in (...)
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  38. Ulrich Nortmann (2002). The Logic of Necessity in Aristotle--An Outline of Approaches to the Modal Syllogistic, Together with a General Account of de Dicto - and de Re -Necessity. History and Philosophy of Logic 23 (4):253-265.
    This article investigates the prospect of giving de dicto- and de re-necessity a uniform treatment. The historical starting point is a puzzle raised by Aristotle's claim, advanced in one of the modal chapters of his Prior Analytics, that universally privative apodeictic premises simply convert. As regards the Prior and the Posterior Analytics, the data suggest a representation of propositions of the type in question by doubly modally qualified formulae of modal predicate logic that display a necessity operator in two distinct (...)
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  39. Manuel Perez Otero (1996). Verdad Necesaria Versus Teorema de Lógica Modal (Necessary Truth Versus Theorem of Modal Logic). Theoria 11 (1):185-201.
    En este artículo discuto el supuesto compromiso de la lógica modal cuantificada con el esencialismo. Entre otros argumentos, Quine, el más emblemático de los críticos de la modalidad, ha objetado a la lógica modal cuantificada que ésta se compromete con una doctrina filosófica usualmente considerada sospechosa, el esencialismo: la concepción que distingue, de entre los atributos de una cosa, aquellos que le son esenciales de otros poseidos sólo contingentemente. Examino en qué medida Quine puede tener razón sobre ese punto explorando (...)
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  40. S. H. Parker (1976). Essential Properties and Possible Worlds. Philosophia 6 (2):317-320.
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  41. Terence Parsons (1969). Essentialism and Quantified Modal Logic. Philosophical Review 78 (1):35-52.
  42. Terence Parsons (1967). Grades of Essentialism in Quantified Modal Logic. Noûs 1 (2):181-191.
  43. Richard Patterson (1990). Conversion Principles and the Basis of Aristotle's Modal Logic. History and Philosophy of Logic 11 (2):151-172.
    Aristotle founds his modal syllogistic, like his plain syllogistic, on a small set of ?perfect? or obviously valid sylligisms. The rest he reduces to those, usually by means of modal conversion principles. These principles are open to more than one reading, however, and they are in fact invalid on one traditional reading (de re), valid on the other (de dicto). It is argued here that this way of framing the contrast is not Aristotelian, and that an interpretation involving modal copulae (...)
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  44. Robert John Pauw (1980). The Ontological Foundations of Quantified Tense and Modal Logic. Dissertation, Cornell University
    Finally, in Chapter 5, I present a system of quantified tense and modal logic in harmony with the views of the preceding chapters. The salient features of this system are its commitment not to possible objects, but to essences, and its embodiment of the distinction between simple and complex predicates. ;Chapter 4 is devoted to the problem of possible but non-actual objects. I point out that the ontological commitments to possibilia and to non-present objects can be avoided once we countenance (...)
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  45. M. Perrick & H. de Swart (1993). Quantified Modal Logic, Reference and Essentialism. Logique Et Analyse 143 (143-144):219-231.
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  46. Alvin Plantinga (1992). The Nature of Necessity. Clarendon Press.
    This book, one of the first full-length studies of the modalities to emerge from the debate to which Saul Kripke, David Lewis, Ruth Marcus, and others are contributing, is an exploration and defense of the notion of modality de re, the idea that objects have both essential and accidental properties. Plantinga develops his argument by means of the notion of possible worlds and ranges over such key problems as the nature of essence, transworld identity, negative existential propositions, and the existence (...)
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  47. Lawrence R. Poncinie (1980). The Semantics of Contemporary Essentialism. Dissertation, University of Illinois at Chicago
    The thesis presents and defends an essentialistic semantic theory. The theory has a formal and an informal component. The formal component is the intensional modal logic of Aldo Bressan, a possible worlds system that has certain advantages over better known systems like those of Carnap or Krip.
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  48. W. V. O. Quine (1953). Three Grades of Modal Involvement. In Journal of Symbolic Logic. North-Holland Publishing Co.. 168-169.
    Reprinted in Quine, W. V. O. 1966. The Ways of Paradox. (New York: Random House.).
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  49. Dwayne Raymond (2011). Polarity and Inseparability: The Foundation of the Apodictic Portion of Aristotle's Modal Logic. History and Philosophy of Logic 31 (3):193-218.
    Modern logicians have sought to unlock the modal secrets of Aristotle's Syllogistic by assuming a version of essentialism and treating it as a primitive within the semantics. These attempts ultimately distort Aristotle's ontology. None of these approaches make full use of tests found throughout Aristotle's corpus and ancient Greek philosophy. I base a system on Aristotle's tests for things that can never combine (polarity) and things that can never separate (inseparability). The resulting system not only reproduces Aristotle's recorded results for (...)
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  50. Jun Ren (1994). Two Modal Paradoxes and Their Solutions. Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Chisholm's Paradox and the Four Worlds Paradox are paradoxes about the cross-world identity of artifacts that are made of parts. The paradoxes are described as derivable in S5 modal logic from principles concerning the essentiality of the original matter of an artifact and the Tolerance Principle concerning possible changes in the original matter. On one hand, the original matter is essential to the artifact; on the other hand, bare identity or distinctness with respect to the original matter can be inferred (...)
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