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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 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 1920: 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. A general argument against modal characterizations of essence has been proposed by Torza 2015. 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. 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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  2. 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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  3. Ruth Barcan Marcus. Modalities. Philosophical essays.C. O. Hill - forthcoming - Revue Internationale de Philosophie.
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  4. Self-Authentication, and Modality De Re: A Prolegomenon'.Robert Oakes & Religious Experience - forthcoming - American Philosophical Quarterly, Vi.
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  5. On Explaining Necessity by the Essence of Essence.Carlos Romero - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    There has been much debate recently on the question whether essence can explain modality. Here, I examine two routes to an essentialist account of modality. The first is Hale's argument for the necessity of essence, which I will argue is — notwithstanding recent attempted defences of it — invalid by its very structure. The second is the proposal that it is essential to essential truth that it is necessary. After offering three possible versions of the view, I will argue that (...)
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  6. In memoriam: Ruth Barcan Marcus 1921-2012.Timothy Williamson - forthcoming - Association for Symbolic Logic: The Bulletin of Symbolic Logic.
    Timothy Williamson The Bulletin of Symbolic Logic, Volume 19, Issue 1, Page 123-126, March 2013.
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  7. Counterfactual Similarity, Nomic Indiscernibility, and the Paradox of Quidditism.Andrew D. Bassford & C. Daniel Dolson - 2024 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 67 (1):230-261.
    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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  8. Modal Conceptions of Essence.Alessandro Torza - 2024 - In Kathrin Koslicki & Michael J. Raven (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Essence in Philosophy. Routledge.
    Philosophers distinguish between having a property essentially and having it accidentally. The way the distinction has been drawn suggests that it is modal in character, and so that it can be captured in terms of necessity, or cognate notions. The present chapter takes the suggestion at face value by considering a number of modal characterizations of the essential/accidental distinction that have been articulated and discussed since the early 20th century, as well as some of the challenges that they face.
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  9. Are there iterated essentialist truths?Andreas Ditter - 2023 - Analysis 84 (1):3-12.
    Let an iterated essentialist statement be a statement of the form 'It lies in the nature of x1,x2,... that it lies in the nature of y1,y2,... that φ'. Let Iteration be the thesis that there are true iterated essentialist statements. Iteration has recently been disputed by Dasgupta (2014) and Glazier (2017). Both authors take the falsity of Iteration to be central to the explanatory role of essentialist truths. An important consequence that is not explicitly noted by them is that the (...)
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  10. Ruth Barcan Marcus and Minimal Essentialism.Jessica Leech - 2023 - Ratio 36 (4):289-305.
    Since the publication of Kit Fine's “Essence and Modality”, there has been lively debate over how best to think of essence in relation to necessity. The present aim is to draw attention to a definition of essence in terms of modality that has not been given sufficient attention. This neglect is perhaps unsurprising, since it is not a proposal made in response to Fine's 1994 paper and ensuing discussion, but harks back to Ruth Barcan Marcus's earlier work in the 1960s (...)
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  11. Existence and Modality in Kant: Lessons from Barcan.Andrew Stephenson - 2023 - Philosophical Review 132 (1):1-41.
    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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  12. Essence and Necessity.Andreas Ditter - 2022 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 51 (3):653-690.
    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, whose core features are introduced in the first part of (...)
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  13. Ruth Barcan Marcus and quantified modal logic.Frederique Janssen-Lauret - 2022 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 30 (2):353-383.
    ABSTRACT Analytic philosophy in the mid-twentieth century underwent a major change of direction when a prior consensus in favour of extensionalism and descriptivism made way for approaches using direct reference, the necessity of identity, and modal logic. All three were first defended, in the analytic tradition, by one woman, Ruth Barcan Marcus. But analytic philosophers now tend to credit them to Kripke, or Kripke and Carnap. I argue that seeing Barcan Marcus in her historical context – one dominated by extensionalism (...)
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  14. Modalitäten und der Raum der Möglichkeiten.Ulrich Metschl - 2022 - Philosophisches Jahrbuch 129 (2):352-362.
    With the comeback of metaphysics on the agenda of analytical philosophy a renewed interest for modalities and their specific properties was not lagging far behind. Yet, their indispensability in debates, say for example on identity and essence, stands in marked contrast to the explanatory meagerness when modalities are introduced by reference to ‘possible worlds’. However, what is required for an appropriate understanding of modalities is not, or so I try to argue, a philosophical account in any ambitious sense of the (...)
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  15. Aristotelian essentialism in David Lewis's theory.Cristina Nencha - 2022 - Philosophical Inquiries 10 (2):9-37.
    David Lewis is usually thought to reject what Quine called “Aristotelian essentialism”. The starting point of this paper is to define and explain Aristotelian essentialism and locate it in the context of the criticism that Quine made of quantified modal logic. Indeed, according to Quine, Aristotelian essentialism would be one of the consequences of accepting quantified modal logic. After having explained Lewis’s stance in the Quinean debate against quantified modal logic, this paper will deal with the question as to whether (...)
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  16. Some Remarks on the Role of Essence in Kripke's “Naming and Necessity”.Kit Fine - 2021 - Theoria 88 (2):403-405.
    Theoria, Volume 88, Issue 2, Page 403-405, April 2022.
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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. Essence As A Modality: A Proof-Theoretic and Nominalist Analysis.Preston Stovall - 2021 - Philosophers' Imprint 21 (7):1-28.
    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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  20. 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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  21. Contingent Objects, Contingent Propositions, and Essentialism.Jonas Werner - 2021 - Mind 130 (520):1283-1294.
    Trevor Teitel (2017) 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 (...)
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  22. A Little Puzzle about a Piece and a Puddle.Mahrad Almotahari - 2020 - In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics Volume 12. 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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  23. 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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  24. Spinozian Model Theory.Justin Bledin & Yitzhak Y. Melamed - 2020 - Advances in Modern Logic 13:133-147.
    his paper is an excerpt from a larger project that aims to open a new pathway into Spinoza's Ethics by formally reconstructing an initial fragment of this text. The semantic backbone of the project is a custom-made Spinozian model theory that lays out some of the formal prerequisites for more ne-grained investigations into Spinoza's fundamental ontology and modal metaphysics. We implement Spinoza's theory of attributes using many-sorted models with a rich system of identity that allows us to clarify the puzzling (...)
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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. 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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  28. 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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  29. 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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  30. 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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  31. 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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  32. 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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  33. 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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  34. 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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  35. 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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  36. 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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  37. 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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  38. 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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  39. 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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  40. 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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  41. 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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  42. Constitutive and Consequentialist Essence.Justin Zylstra - 2019 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 8 (3):190-199.
    Recent work on essence describes essence as assimilated to definition. It also posits a plurality of kinds of essence.Howdoes assimilation relate to pluralism? According to one view, a kind of essence is adequate only if it is definitional: something is essential to an item, in the relevant sense, only if it is part of what it is to be that item. In this paper, I argue that assimilation and pluralism are in tension with respect to consequentialist essence. This is problematic (...)
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  43. 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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  44. 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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  45. Relativized metaphysical modality: Index and context.Benj Hellie, Adam Russell Murray & Jessica Wilson - 2018 - In Otávio Bueno & Scott A. 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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  46. 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. 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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  47. 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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  48. 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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  49. 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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  50. Finean essence, local necessity, and pure logical properties.Hashem Morvarid - 2018 - Synthese 195 (11):4997-5005.
    Since Kit Fine published his famous counter-examples to the modal account of essence, numerous modalists have proposed to avoid the counter-examples by revising the modal account. A sophisticated revision has been put forward by Fabrice Correia. Drawing on themes from Prior’s modality, Correia has introduced a nonstandard conception of metaphysical modality and has proposed to analyze essence in its terms. He has claimed that the analysis is immune to Fine’s counter-examples. In this paper, I argue that there are counter-examples supported (...)
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