Essence and Essentialism

Edited by Kathrin Koslicki and Michael J. Raven and Margaret Cameron
Assistant editor: Esther Rosario (Dartmouth College, University of Alberta)
About this topic
Summary Essentialists hold that at least a certain range of entities can be meaningfully said to have essences or natures independently of how these entities figure in our specifically human activities (e.g., linguistic, mental, social, conventional, explanatory, inferential or other practices).  Anti-essentialists of various stripes (e.g., anti-realists, social constructivists, conventionalists, conferralists, pragmatists, etc.) deny that entities have essences in this sense.  Commonly (at least in non-historical contexts) the essence/accident distinction is drawn in terms of a distinction between the essential and accidental properties of an entity; but the claim that essences should be thought of as properties or collections thereof is by no means uncontroversial.  Following Aristotle, the essence/accident distinction is often characterized in terms of different types of changes that an entity could or could not survive, revealing simultaneously a connection between the notions of essence and substance: while entities can persist through non-substantial changes, i.e., changes with respect to their accidents, no entity can persist through a substantial change, i.e., a change with respect to its essence; a substantial change therefore is one in which an entity comes into or goes out of existence.  Other (often related) characterizations of the essence/accident distinction also exist in the literature: for example, essences are linked with the classification of entities into kinds (especially natural kinds), persistence conditions, modal profiles, individuation, unity, as well as explanation and the formulation of general laws.  Essences and conceptions of essence come in many different flavors: for example, we can distinguish between individual and kind essences; historical (genealogical, origin) essences and non-historical essences; as well as between intrinsic vs. relational/extrinsic essences.  Modalists conceive of essences in modal terms, while non-modalists take facts about essences as basic and hold that necessity in some way “flows” from essence.  While the exact nature of this alleged connection between non-modal essence and necessity still remains to be worked out, candidate proposals include appeals to logical consequence, metaphysical explanation (e.g., as associated with grounding or ontological dependence) or causation (e.g., formal causation).  
Key works Essences have been a central philosophical concern throughout the history of Western philosophy, going back at least to the Socratic practice of asking “What is F?” questions.  In modern times, so-called “Aristotelian essentialism” was famously subjected to criticism by W.V.O. Quine (e.g., in Turquette 1955), but rehabilitated, e.g., by Ruth Barcan Marcus (e.g., in Marcus 1971) and Saul Kripke (e.g., in Kripke 1980).  The recent revival of Aristotelian essentialism in metaphysics can mostly be traced to Kit Fine’s influential defense of a non-modal conception of essence (e.g., in Fine 1994, Fine 1995, Fine 1994, Fine 1995, Fine 2000).  Modal accounts of essence can be found, for example, in Forbes 1985, Lewis 1986, Mackie 2006, Plantinga 1974.  
Introductions Robertson & Atkins 2013, Roca-Royes 2011, Roca-Royes 2011
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1068 found
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Essentialism and Quantified Modal Logic
  1. In Defence of Hybrid Contingentism.Lukas Skiba - 2022 - Philosophers' Imprint 22 (4):1-30.
    Hybrid contingentism combines first-order contingentism, the view that it is contingent what individuals there are, with higher-order necessitism, the view that it is non-contingent what properties and propositions there are (where these are conceived as entities in the range of appropriate higher-order quantifiers). This combination of views avoids the most delicate problems afflicting alternative contingentist positions while preserving the central contingentist claim that ordinary, concrete entities exist contingently. Despite these attractive features, hybrid contingentism is usually faced with rejection. The main (...)
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  2. Existence and Modality in Kant: Lessons From Barcan.Andrew Stephenson - forthcoming - Philosophical Review.
    This essay considers Kant’s theory of modality in light of a debate in contemporary modal metaphysics and modal logic concerning the Barcan formulas. The comparison provides a new and fruitful perspective on Kant’s complex and sometimes confusing claims about possibility and necessity. Two central Kantian principles provide the starting point for the comparison: that the possible must be grounded in the actual and that existence is not a real predicate. Both are shown to be intimately connected to the Barcan formulas, (...)
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  3. Counterparts, Essences and Quantified Modal Logic.Tomasz Bigaj - forthcoming - Logic and Logical Philosophy:1-14.
    It is commonplace to formalize propositions involving essential properties of objects in a language containing modal operators and quantifiers. Assuming David Lewis’s counterpart theory as a semantic framework for quantified modal logic, I will show that certain statements discussed in the metaphysics of modality de re, such as the sufficiency condition for essential properties, cannot be faithfully formalized. A natural modification of Lewis’s translation scheme seems to be an obvious solution but is not acceptable for various reasons. Consequently, the only (...)
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  4. Some Remarks on the Role of Essence in Kripke's “Naming and Necessity”.Kit Fine - 2022 - Theoria 88 (2):403-405.
    Theoria, Volume 88, Issue 2, Page 403-405, April 2022.
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  5. Counterfactual Similarity, Nomic Indiscernibility, and the Paradox of Quidditism.Andrew D. Bassford & C. Daniel Dolson - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Aristotle is essentially human; that is, for all possible worlds metaphysically consistent with our own, if Aristotle exists, then he is human. This is a claim about the essential property of an object. The claim that objects have essential properties has been hotly disputed, but for present purposes, we can bracket that issue. In this essay, we are interested, rather, in the question of whether properties themselves have essential properties (or features) for their existence. We call those who suppose they (...)
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  6. Aristotle's Modal Syllogistic.Marko Malink - 2013 - Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press.
    Aristotle was the founder not only of logic but also of modal logic. In the Prior Analytics he developed a complex system of modal syllogistic which, while influential, has been disputed since antiquity--and is today widely regarded as incoherent. Combining analytic rigor with keen sensitivity to historical context, Marko Malink makes clear that the modal syllogistic forms a consistent, integrated system of logic, one that is closely related to other areas of Aristotle's philosophy. Aristotle's modal syllogistic differs significantly from modern (...)
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  7. Essence and Existence: Selected Essays.Bob Hale - 2020 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    Essays on Existence and Essence presents a series of writings--including several previously unpublished--by Bob Hale on the topics of ontology and modality. The essays develop and consolidate a number of themes central to his work and to contemporary metaphysics, logic, and philosophy of language. They display Hale's innovative approach to some of the most fundamental issues in philosophy, in dialogue with other leading philosophers. The notion of a definition is examined as it applies both to words--verbal definitions-and to things--real definitions--and (...)
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  8. Ruth Barcan Marcus and Quantified Modal Logic.Frederique Janssen-Lauret - forthcoming - Tandf: British Journal for the History of Philosophy:1-31.
  9. Essence and Necessity.Andreas Ditter - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-38.
    What is the relation between metaphysical necessity and essence? This paper defends the view that the relation is one of identity: metaphysical necessity is a special case of essence. My argument consists in showing that the best joint theory of essence and metaphysical necessity is one in which metaphysical necessity is just a special case of essence. The argument is made against the backdrop of a novel, higher-order logic of essence (HLE), whose core features are introduced in the first part (...)
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  10. Modal paradox II: essence and coherence.Nathan Salmón - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3237-3250.
    Paradoxes of nested modality, like Chisholm’s paradox, rely on S4 or something stronger as the propositional logic of metaphysical modality. Sarah-Jane Leslie’s objection to the resolution of Chisholm’s paradox by means of rejection of S4 modal logic is investigated. A modal notion of essence congenial to Leslie’s objection is clarified. An argument is presented in support of Leslie’s crucial but unsupported assertion that, on pain of inconsistency, an object’s essence is the same in every possible world. A fallacy in the (...)
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  11. One Modal Logic to Rule Them All?Wesley H. Holliday & Tadeusz Litak - 2018 - In Guram Bezhanishvili, Giovanna D'Agostino, George Metcalfe & Thomas Studer (eds.), Advances in Modal Logic, Vol. 12. London: College Publications. pp. 367-386.
    In this paper, we introduce an extension of the modal language with what we call the global quantificational modality [∀p]. In essence, this modality combines the propositional quantifier ∀p with the global modality A: [∀p] plays the same role as the compound modality ∀pA. Unlike the propositional quantifier by itself, the global quantificational modality can be straightforwardly interpreted in any Boolean Algebra Expansion (BAE). We present a logic GQM for this language and prove that it is complete with respect to (...)
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  12. Essence and Existence: Selected Essays by Bob Hale.Jessica Leech & Bob Hale (eds.) - 2020 - Oxford University Press.
    This book is a collection of essays written by Bob Hale (three co-authored), with a critical introduction from Kit Fine. They comprise Hale’s final years of work, adding to and extending beyond his landmark monograph Necessary Beings: An Essay on Ontology, Modality, and the Relations Between Them (OUP, 2013, 2nd edition 2015). The essays develop and consolidate several key themes in Hale’s work, most notably the notion of definition, especially as it extends beyond definition of a word to definition of (...)
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  13. Essence As A Modality: A Proof-Theoretic and Nominalist Analysis.Preston Stovall - 2021 - Philosophers' Imprint 21 (7).
    Inquiry into the metaphysics of essence tends to be pursued in a realist and model-theoretic spirit, in the sense that metaphysical vocabulary is used in a metalanguage to model truth conditions for the object-language use of essentialist vocabulary. This essay adapts recent developments in proof-theoretic semantics to provide a nominalist analysis for a variety of essentialist vocabularies. A metalanguage employing explanatory inferences is used to individuate introduction and elimination rules for atomic sentences. The object-language assertions of sentences concerning essences are (...)
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  14. Contingent Objects, Contingent Propositions, and Essentialism.Jonas Werner - forthcoming - Mind.
    Trevor Teitel has recently argued that combining the assumption that modality reduces to essence with the assumption that possibly some objects contingently exist leads to problems if one wishes to uphold that the logic of metaphysical modality is S5. In this paper I will argue that there is a way for the essentialist to evade the problem described by Teitel. The proposed solution crucially involves the assumption that some propositions possibly fail to exist. I will show how this assumption affords (...)
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  15. A Little Puzzle About a Piece and a Puddle.Mahrad Almotahari - forthcoming - In Karen Bennett & Dean Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, Volume 12. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 231-261.
    A new puzzle about material constitution is presented and its implications are discussed. The moral of the story is that familiar intuitions supporting a neo-Aristotelian view of the material world are contradictory. To accommodate these intuitions is to embrace inconsistency. Therefore, neo-Aristotelianism is worse off for its intuitive appeal. Furthermore, the puzzle is used to argue for an account of ordinary modal thought and language that’s reconstructive, or ameliorative.
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  16. A Note on Logics of Essence and Accident.David R. Gilbert & Giorgio Venturi - 2020 - Logic Journal of the IGPL 28 (5):881-891.
    In this paper, we examine the logics of essence and accident and attempt to ascertain the extent to which those logics are genuinely formalizing the concepts in which we are interested. We suggest that they are not completely successful as they stand. We diagnose some of the problems and make a suggestion for improvement. We also discuss some issues concerning definability in the formal language.
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  17. A Modal Account of Essence.Michael De - 2020 - Metaphysics 3 (1):17-32.
    According to the simple modal account of essence, an object has a property essentially just in case it has it in every world in which it exists. As many have observed, the simple modal account is implausible for a number of reasons. This has led to various proposals for strengthening the account, for example, by adding a restriction to the intrinsic or sparse properties. I argue, however, that these amendments to the simple modal account themselves fail. Drawing on lessons from (...)
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  18. Essence, Modality and Identity.Samuel Elgin - manuscript
    Many metaphysicians maintain that there is a close connection between essence and modality; if an object a necessarily bears property F , then it is metaphysically necessary that Fa (or, perhaps, it is metaphysically necessary that Fa if a exists). Recently, Leech (Forthcoming) has argued that this connection lacks an adequate explanation. In particular, she argues that identity doesn't explain the link between essence and modality. In contrast, I argue that identity provides the resources to undermine Leech’s explanatory demand.
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  19. Continuants, Identity and Essentialism.Nicholas Unwin - 2020 - Synthese 197 (8):3375-3394.
    The question of whether it is permissible to quantify into a modal context is re-examined from an empiricist perspective. Following Wiggins, it is argued that an ontology of continuants implies essentialism, but it is also argued, against Wiggins, that the only conception of necessity that we need to start out with is that of analyticity. Essentialism, of a limited kind, can then be actually generated from this. An exceptionally fine-grained identity criterion for continuants is defended in this context. The debate (...)
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  20. A Classical Logic of Existence and Essence.Sergio Galvan & Alessandro Giordani - 2020 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 29 (4):541-570.
    The purpose of this paper is to provide a new system of logic for existence and essence, in which the traditional distinctions between essential and accidental properties, abstract and concrete objects, and actually existent and possibly existent objects are described and related in a suitable way. In order to accomplish this task, a primitive relation of essential identity between different objects is introduced and connected to a first order existence property and a first order abstractness property. The basic idea is (...)
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  21. In Defense of the Possibilism–Actualism Distinction.Christopher Menzel - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):1971-1997.
    In Modal Logic as Metaphysics, Timothy Williamson claims that the possibilism-actualism (P-A) distinction is badly muddled. In its place, he introduces a necessitism-contingentism (N-C) distinction that he claims is free of the confusions that purportedly plague the P-A distinction. In this paper I argue first that the P-A distinction, properly understood, is historically well-grounded and entirely coherent. I then look at the two arguments Williamson levels at the P-A distinction and find them wanting and show, moreover, that, when the N-C (...)
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  22. The Reduction of Necessity to Essence.Andreas Ditter - 2020 - Mind 129 (514):351-380.
    In `Essence and Modality', Kit Fine proposes that for a proposition to be metaphysically necessary is for it to be true in virtue of the nature of all objects whatsoever. Call this view Fine's Thesis. This paper is a study of Fine's Thesis in the context of Fine's logic of essence (LE). Fine himself has offered his most elaborate defense of the thesis in the context of LE. His defense rests on the widely shared assumption that metaphysical necessity obeys the (...)
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  23. Toward a Scotistic Modal Metaphysics.Woosuk Park - 1998 - The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 9:48-54.
    The problem I tackle in this article is: Do we have in Scotus a modal logic or a counterpart theory? We need to take a rather roundabout path to handle this problem. This is because, whether it be in Lewis's original formulation or in others' applications, the crucial concept of 'counterpart' has never been clearly explicated. In section two, I shall therefore examine the recent controversy concerning Leibniz's views on modalities which centers around the counterpart relation. By fully exploiting the (...)
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  24. A Response to Chisholm’s Paradox.Andrew Dennis Bassford - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (4):1137-1155.
    Essentialists suppose that for every individual, if that individual exists at any possible world, then necessarily that individual exemplifies some non-trivial qualitative property essential to it, as such. Anti-essentialists deny this. One important argument leveled by some anti-essentialists against essentialism takes the form of a thought experiment, one originally introduced by Roderick Chisholm, sometimes referred to as Chisholm's Paradox (CP). In this essay, I defend essentialism against CP. I begin by presenting the argument and showing how it leads to a (...)
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  25. The Essence of Grounding.Justin Zylstra - 2019 - Synthese 196 (12):5137-5152.
    I develop a reduction of grounding to essence. My approach is to think about the relation between grounding and essence on the model of a certain conceptof existential dependence. I extend this concept of existential dependence in a coupleof ways and argue that these extensions provide a reduction of grounding to essenceif we use sorted variables that range over facts and take it that for a fact to obtain is forit to exist. I then use the account to resolve various (...)
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  26. Collective Essence and Monotonicity.Justin Zylstra - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (5):1087-1101.
    This paper focuses on the concept of collective essence: that some truths are essential to many items taken together. For example, that it is essential to conjunction and negation that they are truth-functionally complete. The concept of collective essence is one of the main innovations of recent work on the theory of essence. In a sense, this innovation is natural, since we make all sorts of plural predications. It stands to reason that there should be a distinction between essential and (...)
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  27. Essence and Explanation: A Logical Mismatch.Aaron Segal & Noga Gratvol - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (10):1038-1050.
    Let Essentialism be the view that at least some object has at least some property essentially. And let Relative Essentialism be the view that Essentialism is true, but that for any object that has any property essentially, it has it essentially only relative to the value of some parameter. Meghan Sullivan has recently put forward a promising new version of Relative Essentialism, according to which the relevant parameter is an explanatory framework. We argue that despite its promise, Sullivan's version unfortunately (...)
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  28. Essence and Logical Properties.Hashem Morvarid - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (11):2897-2917.
    Since Kit Fine presented his counter-examples to the standard versions of the modal view, many have been convinced that the standard versions of the modal view are not adequate. However, the scope of Fine's argument has not been fully appreciated. In this paper, I aim to carry Fine’s argument to its logical conclusion and argue that once we embrace the intuition underlying his counter-examples, we have to hold that properties obtained, totally or partially, by application of logical operations are not (...)
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  29. Constitutive and Consequentialist Essence.Justin Zylstra - 2019 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 8 (3):190-199.
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  30. Strong Noncontingency: On the Modal Logics of an Operator Expressively Weaker Than Necessity.Jie Fan - 2019 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 60 (3):407-435.
    Operators can be compared in at least two respects: expressive strength and deductive strength. Inspired by Hintikka’s treatment of question embedding verbs, the variations of noncontingency operator, and also the various combinations of modal operators and Boolean connectives, we propose a logic with strong noncontingency operator as the only primitive modality. The novel operator is deductively but not expressively stronger than both noncontingency operator and essence operator, and expressively but not deductively weaker than the necessity operator. The frame-definability power of (...)
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  31. Relativized Metaphysical Modality: Index and Context.Benj Hellie, Adam Russell Murray & Jessica Wilson - 2020 - In Otávio Bueno & Scott Shalkowski (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Modality. New York: Routledge.
    Relativized Metaphysical Modality (RMM: Murray and Wilson, 'Relativized metaphysical modality', Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, 2012; Murray, Perspectives on Modal Metaphysics, 2017) exploits 'two-dimensionalist' resources to metaphysical, rather than epistemological, ends: the second dimension offers perspective-dependence without contingency, diverting attacks on 'Classical' analyses of modals (in effect, analyses validating S5 and the Barcan Formulae). Here, we extend the RMM program in two directions. First, we harvest resources for RMM from Lewis's 1980 'Context--Index' (CI) framework: (a) the ban in CI on binding (...)
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  32. Aristotle's Modal Logic: Essence and Entailment in the Organon. [REVIEW]Leo J. Elders - 1997 - Review of Metaphysics 50 (4):915-915.
    Quite a number of contemporary students of logic tend to consider Aristotle's logic mainly from a formal point of view. Richard Patterson, on the other hand, attempts to show that Aristotle's system of logic as well as his modal logic must be studied in the light of his fundamental theory of syntax and his metaphysics. Even if all of Aristotle's modal logic has not been accepted in the West, the ideas underpinning it are those of his syllogistic logic. Patterson observes (...)
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  33. Is Self-Identity Essential to Objects?Nicola Spinelli - 2019 - Synthese (2):1-17.
    A common view is that self-identity is essential to objects if anything is. Itself a substantive metaphysical view, this is a position of some import in wider debates, particularly in connection with such problems as physicalism and personal identity. In this article I challenge the view. I distinguish between two accounts of essence, the modal and the definitional, and argue that self-identity is essential to objects on the former but not on the latter. After laying out my case, I deal (...)
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  34. On How (Not) to Define Modality in Terms of Essence.Robert Michels - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (4):1015-1033.
    In his influential article ‘Essence and Modality’, Fine proposes a definition of necessity in terms of the primitive essentialist notion ‘true in virtue of the nature of’. Fine’s proposal is suggestive, but it admits of different interpretations, leaving it unsettled what the precise formulation of an Essentialist definition of necessity should be. In this paper, four different versions of the definition are discussed: a singular, a plural reading, and an existential variant of Fine’s original suggestion and an alternative version proposed (...)
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  35. Automating Leibniz’s Theory of Concepts.Paul Edward Oppenheimer, Jesse Alama & Edward N. Zalta - 2015 - In Amy P. Felty & Aart Middeldorp (eds.), Automated Deduction – CADE 25: Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Automated Deduction (Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence: Volume 9195), Berlin: Springer. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 73-97.
    Our computational metaphysics group describes its use of automated reasoning tools to study Leibniz’s theory of concepts. We start with a reconstruction of Leibniz’s theory within the theory of abstract objects (henceforth ‘object theory’). Leibniz’s theory of concepts, under this reconstruction, has a non-modal algebra of concepts, a concept-containment theory of truth, and a modal metaphysics of complete individual concepts. We show how the object-theoretic reconstruction of these components of Leibniz’s theory can be represented for investigation by means of automated (...)
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  36. Contingent Existence and the Reduction of Modality to Essence.Trevor Teitel - 2019 - Mind 128 (509):39-68.
    This paper first argues that we can bring out a tension between the following three popular doctrines: (i) the canonical reduction of metaphysical modality to essence, due to Fine, (ii) contingentism, which says that possibly something could have failed to be something, and (iii) the doctrine that metaphysical modality obeys the modal logic S5. After presenting two such arguments (one from the theorems of S4 and another from the theorems of B), I turn to exploring various conclusions we might draw (...)
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  37. Making Semantics for Essence.Justin Zylstra - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (8):859-876.
    ABSTRACTIn this paper, I develop a truthmaker semantics for essence and use the semantics to investigate the explanatory role of essence.
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  38. Grounding, Essence, And Identity.Fabrice Correia & Alexander Skiles - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (3):642-670.
    Recent metaphysics has turned its focus to two notions that are—as well as having a common Aristotelian pedigree—widely thought to be intimately related: grounding and essence. Yet how, exactly, the two are related remains opaque. We develop a unified and uniform account of grounding and essence, one which understands them both in terms of a generalized notion of identity examined in recent work by Fabrice Correia, Cian Dorr, Agustín Rayo, and others. We argue that the account comports with antecedently plausible (...)
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  39. Modality is Not Explainable by Essence.Carlos Romero - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (274):121-141.
    Some metaphysicians believe that metaphysical modality is explainable by the essences of objects. In §II, I spell out the definitional view of essence, and in §III, a working notion of metaphysical explanation. Then, in §IV, I consider and reject five natural ways to explain necessity by essence: in terms of the principle that essential properties can't change, in terms of the supposed obviousness of the necessity of essential truth, in terms of the logical necessity of definitions, in terms of Fine's (...)
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  40. The Broadest Necessity.Andrew Bacon - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (5):733-783.
    In this paper the logic of broad necessity is explored. Definitions of what it means for one modality to be broader than another are formulated, and it is proven, in the context of higher-order logic, that there is a broadest necessity, settling one of the central questions of this investigation. It is shown, moreover, that it is possible to give a reductive analysis of this necessity in extensional language. This relates more generally to a conjecture that it is not possible (...)
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  41. Knowing How Things Might Have Been.Mark Jago - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 8):1-19.
    I know that I could have been where you are right now and that you could have been where I am right now, but that neither of us could have been turnips or natural numbers. This knowledge of metaphysical modality stands in need of explanation. I will offer an account based on our knowledge of the natures, or essencess, of things. I will argue that essences need not be viewed as metaphysically bizarre entities; that we can conceptualise and refer to (...)
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  42. The Epistemology of Modality and the Problem of Modal Epistemic Friction.Anand Jayprakash Vaidya & Michael Wallner - 2021 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 8):1909-1935.
    There are three theories in the epistemology of modality that have received sustained attention over the past 20 years: conceivability-theory, counterfactual-theory, and deduction-theory. In this paper we argue that all three face what we call the problem of modal epistemic friction. One consequence of the problem is that for any of the three accounts to yield modal knowledge, the account must provide an epistemology of essence. We discuss an attempt to fend off the problem within the context of the internalism (...)
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  43. Essence and Mere Necessity.Jessica Leech - 2018 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82:309-332.
    Recently, a debate has developed between those who claim that essence can be explained in terms of de re modality (modalists), and those who claim that de re modality can be explained in terms of essence (essentialists). The aim of this paper is to suggest that we should reassess. It is assumed that either necessity is to be accounted for in terms of essence, or that essence is to be accounted for in terms of necessity. I will argue that we (...)
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  44. Essence with Ground.Justin Zylstra - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (2):193-207.
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  45. Essential Bundle Theory and Modality.Mark Jago - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 6):1-16.
    Bundle theories identify material objects with bundles of properties. On the traditional approach, these are the properties possessed by that material object. That view faces a deep problem: it seems to say that all of an object’s properties are essential to it. Essential bundle theory attempts to overcome this objection, by taking the bundle as a specification of the object’s essential properties only. In this paper, I show that essential bundle theory faces a variant of the objection. To avoid the (...)
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  46. Modalities: Philosophical Essays. [REVIEW]Robert Kraut - 1996 - Journal of Philosophy 93 (5):243.
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  47. The New Aristotelian Essentialists.Harold W. Noonan - 2018 - Metaphysica 19 (1):87-93.
    In recent years largely due to the seminal work of Kit Fine and that of Jonathan Lowe there has been a resurgence of interest in the concept of essence and the project of explaining de re necessity in terms of it. Of course, Quine rejected what he called Aristotelian essentialism in his battle against quantified modal logic. But what he and Kripke debated was a notion of essence defined in terms of de re necessity. The new Aristotelian essentialists regard essence (...)
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  48. Essential Properties - Analysis and Extension.Nathan Wildman - 2011 - Dissertation, Cambridge
  49. Modeling Unicorns and Dead Cats: Applying Bressan’s ML Ν to the Necessary Properties of Non-Existent Objects.Tyke Nunez - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (1):95–121.
    Should objects count as necessarily having certain properties, despite their not having those properties when they do not exist? For example, should a cat that passes out of existence, and so no longer is a cat, nonetheless count as necessarily being a cat? In this essay I examine different ways of adapting Aldo Bressan’s MLν so that it can accommodate an affirmative answer to these questions. Anil Gupta, in The Logic of Common Nouns, creates a number of languages that have (...)
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  50. Essence and Definition by Abstraction.Bob Hale - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 8):2001-2017.
    We may define words or concepts, and we may also, as Aristotle and others have thought, define the things for which words stand and of which concepts are concepts. Definitions of words or concepts may be explicit or implicit, and may seek to report preexisting synonymies, as Quine put it, but they may instead be wholly or partly stipulative. Definition by abstraction, of which Hume’s principle is a much discussed example, seek to define a term-forming operator, such as the number (...)
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