Sources of Essence

Midwest Studies in Philosophy 11 (1):379-389 (1986)
Almost everyone believes in modality de dicto. Necessarily, puppies are young dogs. The necessity here derives from the meaning of “puppy.” The term means young dog. Essentialism is belief in a more exotic sort of modality, one that does not derive from meaning in this direct and simple way. In the first two sections of this paper, I consider indexical and nonindexical kind terms and the sort of modality applicable to each. In the last section, I consider individuals and proper names.
Keywords essentialism  kind terms  indexicality  proper names  modality  individuals
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DOI 10.1111/j.1475-4975.1986.tb00504.x
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