On the Reduction of Necessity to Essence

In his influential paper ‘‘Essence and Modality’’, Kit Fine argues that no account of essence framed in terms of metaphysical necessity is possible, and that it is rather metaphysical necessity which is to be understood in terms of essence. On his account, the concept of essence is primitive, and for a proposition to be metaphysically necessary is for it to be true in virtue of the nature of all things. Fine also proposes a reduction of conceptual and logical necessity in the same vein: a conceptual necessity is a proposition true in virtue of the nature of all concepts, and a logical necessity a proposition true in virtue of the nature of all logical concepts. I argue that the plausibility of Fine's view crucially requires that certain apparent explanatory links between essentialist facts be admitted and accounted for, and I make a suggestion about how this can be done. I then argue against the reductions of conceptual and logical necessity proposed by Fine and suggest alternative reductions, which remain nevertheless Finean in spirit
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2010.00436.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,658
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Kit Fine (1994). Essence and Modality. Philosophical Perspectives 8:1-16.
Kit Fine (1995). The Logic of Essence. Journal of Philosophical Logic 24 (3):241 - 273.
Bob Hale (1996). Absolute Necessities. Philosophical Perspectives 10:93 - 117.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Ross P. Cameron (2010). The Grounds of Necessity. Philosophy Compass 5 (4):348-358.
Kit Fine (1994). Essence and Modality. Philosophical Perspectives 8:1-16.
Sundar Sarukkai (2011). Possible Ideas of Necessity in Indian Logic. Journal of Philosophical Logic 40 (5):563-582.
Kit Fine (2002). Varieties of Necessity. In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford Up 253-281.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

286 ( #3,837 of 1,726,181 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

35 ( #30,859 of 1,726,181 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.