Journal of Philosophical Logic 26 (5):521-544 (1997)
|Abstract||De re modality is eliminable if there is an effective translation of all wffs into non-de re equivalents. We cannot have logical equivalence unless logic has odd theses, but we can have material equivalence by banning all essences, something the non-de re facts let us do, or by giving everything such humdrum essences as self-identity and banning the more interesting ones. Eliminability cannot be got from weaker assumptions, nor independent ones of even modest generality. The net philosophical import is that, quite apart from the merits of essentialism, de re language has scant utility.|
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