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Kit Fine (1995). The Logic of Essence.

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  1.  23
    Priority Monism, Dependence and Fundamentality.Claudio Calosi - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-20.
    Priority monism is roughly the view that the universe is the only fundamental object, that is, a concrete object that does not depend on any other concrete object. Schaffer, the main advocate of PM, claims that PM is compatible with dependence having two different directions: from parts to wholes for subcosmic wholes, and from whole to parts for the cosmic whole. Recently it has been argued that this position is untenable. Given plausible assumptions about dependence, PM entails that dependence has (...)
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  2. Against the Iterative Conception of Set.Edward Ferrier - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-23.
    According to the iterative conception of set, each set is a collection of sets formed prior to it. The notion of priority here plays an essential role in explanations of why contradiction-inducing sets, such as the Russell set, do not exist. Consequently, these explanations are successful only to the extent that a satisfactory priority relation is made out. I argue that attempts to do this have fallen short: understanding priority in a straightforwardly constructivist sense threatens the coherence of the empty (...)
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  3.  21
    Why It Matters Whether You Are a Contingentist.Stephan Leuenberger - forthcoming - Analysis:anz005.
    Karen Bennett’s Making Things Up starts with the claim that despite all the differences between them, analytic philosophers share an interest in ‘claims about what builds – or fails to build – what’. Be that as it may, there is another candidate for a shared interest: in generalizing, and identifying common patterns in ostensibly different domains. It is that interest that Bennett pursues in the book, by developing a general theory of building relations.
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  4.  68
    On How (Not) to Define Modality in Terms of Essence.Robert Michels - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-19.
    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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  5.  39
    Essence and Logical Properties.Hashem Morvarid - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    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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  6.  72
    Against the Reduction of Modality to Essence.Nathan Wildman - forthcoming - Synthese:1-17.
    It is a truth universally acknowledged that a claim of metaphysical modality, in possession of good alethic standing, must be in want of an essentialist foundation. Or at least so say the advocates of the reductive-essence-first view, according to which all modality is to be reductively defined in terms of essence. Here, I contest this bit of current wisdom. In particular, I offer two puzzles—one concerning the essences of non-compossible, complementary entities, and a second involving entities whose essences are modally (...)
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  7.  33
    Collective Essence and Monotonicity.Justin Zylstra - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-15.
    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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  8.  93
    The Essence of Grounding.Justin Zylstra - forthcoming - Synthese.
    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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11.  74
    Essence, Necessity, and Definition.Justin Zylstra - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (2):339-350.
    What is it for something to be essential to an item? For some time, it was standard to think that the concept of necessity alone can provide an answer: for something to be essential to an item is for it to be strictly implied by the existence of that item. We now tend to think that this view fails because its analysans is insufficient for its analysandum. In response, some argue that we can supplement the analysis in terms of necessity (...)
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  12.  18
    Essentialism and Nonnaturalist Normative Supervenience.Antonella Corradini - 2018 - Topoi 37 (4):631-643.
    In this essay I defend a kind of nonnaturalist normative supervenience, grounded in the essences of things. Essentialist theories, in fact, give us the tools to treat the nexus of normative supervenience as a nexus of metaphysical necessity, holding between the normative and the natural. In this context, essentialist grounding provides an explanation of normative supervenience that allows us to keep together both supervenience and nonnaturalism. Moreover, to achieve this significant result, I do not make use of hybrid properties, which (...)
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  13.  79
    Towards a Hylomorphic Solution to the Grounding Problem.Kathrin Koslicki - 2018 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplements to Philosophy 82:333-364.
    Concrete particular objects (e.g., living organisms) figure saliently in our everyday experience as well as our in our scientific theorizing about the world. A hylomorphic analysis of concrete particular objects holds that these entities are, in some sense, compounds of matter (hūlē) and form (morphē or eidos). The Grounding Problem asks why an object and its matter (e.g., a statue and the clay that constitutes it) can apparently differ with respect to certain of their properties (e.g., the clay’s ability to (...)
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  14.  64
    An Object‐Based Truthmaker Semantics for Modals.Friederike Moltmann - 2018 - Philosophical Issues 28 (1):255-288.
    Possible worlds semantics faces a range of difficulties for at least certain types of modals, especially deontic modals with their distinction between heavy and light permissions and obligations. This paper outlines a new semantics of modals that aims to overcome some of those difficulties. The semantics is based on an a novel ontology of modal objects, entities like obligations, permissions, needs, as well as epistemic states, abilities, and essences. Moreover, it is based on truthmaking, in the sense of Fine’s recent (...)
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  15.  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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  16.  96
    Constitutive Essence and Partial Grounding.Eileen S. Nutting, Ben Caplan & Chris Tillman - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (2):137-161.
    Kit Fine and Gideon Rosen propose to define constitutive essence in terms of ground-theoretic notions and some form of consequential essence. But we think that the Fine–Rosen proposal is a mistake. On the Fine–Rosen proposal, constitutive essence ends up including properties that, on the central notion of essence, are necessary but not essential. This is because consequential essence is closed under logical consequence, and the ability of logical consequence to add properties to an object’s consequential essence outstrips the ability of (...)
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  17. Intrinsic Properties and Relations.Jan Plate - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (8):783-853.
    This paper provides an analysis of the intrinsic/extrinsic distinction, as applied both to properties and to relations. In contrast to other accounts, the approach taken here locates the source of a property’s intrinsicality or extrinsicality in the manner in which that property is ‘logically constituted’, and thus – plausibly – in its nature or essence, rather than in e.g. its modal profile. Another respect in which the present proposal differs from many extant analyses lies in the fact that it does (...)
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  18.  49
    Laws for Metaphysical Explanation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2018 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82:1-22.
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  19.  59
    Brute Necessity.James Van Cleve - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (9):e12516.
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  20. Essentialist Explanation.Martin Glazier - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2871-2889.
    Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in metaphysical explanation, and philosophers have fixed on the notion of ground as the conceptual tool with which such explanation should be investigated. I will argue that this focus on ground is myopic and that some metaphysical explanations that involve the essences of things cannot be understood in terms of ground. Such ‘essentialist’ explanation is of interest, not only for its ubiquity in philosophy, but for its being in a sense an ultimate (...)
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  21.  55
    Potentiality.Jessica Leech - 2017 - Analysis 77 (2):457-467.
    Vetter's Potentiality is an exposition and development of a new account of possibility and necessity, given in terms of potentialities. In this critical notice, I give an outline of some of the key claims of the book. I then raise some issues for the extent to which Vetter's view can accommodate genuine de re modalities, especially those of possible existence and non-existence.
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  22.  45
    The Nature of Necessity.Brian Leftow - 2017 - Res Philosophica 94 (3):359-383.
    I give an account of the nature of absolute or metaphysical necessity. Absolute-necessarily P, I suggest, just if it is always the case that P and there never is or was a power with a chance to bring it about, bring about a power to bring it about, etc., that not P. I display both advantages and a cost of this sort of definition.
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  23. In Defence of Modal Essentialism.Jonathan Livingstone-Banks - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (8):816-838.
    Kit Fine’s arguments in Essence and Modality are widely accepted as being a decisive blow against modal essentialism. A selection of replies exist that have done little to counter the general view that modally construed essence is out of touch with what we really mean when we make essentialist claims. I argue that Fine’s arguments fail to strike a decisive blow, and I suggest a new interpretation of the debate that shows why Fine’s arguments fall short of achieving their goal.
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  24. Ground by Law.Gideon Rosen - 2017 - Philosophical Issues 27 (1):279-301.
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  25.  88
    Laws for Metaphysical Explanation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2017 - Philosophical Issues 27 (1):302-321.
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  26.  49
    Sophisticated Modal Primitivism.Tobias Wilsch - 2017 - Philosophical Issues 27 (1):428-448.
    Summary: The paper provides an argument for modal primitivism, the view that necessity is not defined and is therefore part of the structure of reality. It then raises the explanation-challenge for primitivists: how can modal truths be explained by hyper-intensional truths, if necessity is not defined in terms of hyper-intensional phenomena? To address the challenge, the paper introduces 'sophisticated modal primitivism' which gives a substantive analysis of the notion of a 'source of necessity'. The final part of the paper offers (...)
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  27.  79
    On Williamson and Simplicity in Modal Logic.Theodore Sider - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):683-698.
    According to Timothy Williamson, we should accept the simplest and most powerful second-order modal logic, and as a result accept an ontology of "bare possibilia". This general method for extracting ontology from logic is salutary, but its application in this case depends on a questionable assumption: that modality is a fundamental feature of the world.
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  28. Unified Foundations for Essence and Ground.Kit Fine - 2015 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (2):296-311.
  29. Logic, Essence, and Modality — Review of Bob Hale's Necessary Beings. [REVIEW]Christopher Menzel - 2015 - Philosophia Mathematica 23 (3):407-428.
    Bob Hale’s distinguished record of research places him among the most important and influential contemporary analytic metaphysicians. In his deep, wide ranging, yet highly readable book Necessary Beings, Hale draws upon, but substantially integrates and extends, a good deal his past research to produce a sustained and richly textured essay on — as promised in the subtitle — ontology, modality, and the relations between them. I’ve set myself two tasks in this review: first, to provide a reasonably thorough (if not (...)
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  30. Real Definition.Gideon Rosen - 2015 - Analytic Philosophy 56 (3):189-209.
  31. Speaking of Essence.Alessandro Torza - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly:754-771.
    Classical modalism about essence is the view that essence can be analysed in modal terms. Despite Kit Fine's influential critique, no general refutation of classical modalism has yet been given. In the first part of the paper, I provide such a refutation by showing that the notion of essence cannot be analysed in terms of any sentential operator definable in the language of standard quantified modal logic. As a reaction to Fine's critique, some have defended sophisticated modalism, which attempts to (...)
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  32. A New Semantics for Systems of Logic of Essence.Alessandro Giordani - 2014 - Studia Logica 102 (3):411-440.
    The purpose of the present paper is to provide a way of understanding systems of logic of essence by introducing a new semantic framework for them. Three central results are achieved: first, the now standard Fitting semantics for the propositional logic of evidence is adapted in order to provide a new, simplified semantics for the propositional logic of essence; secondly, we show how it is possible to construe the concept of necessary truth explicitly by using the concept of essential truth; (...)
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  33. Priority and Particle Physics: Ontic Structural Realism as a Fundamentality Thesis.Kerry McKenzie - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (2):353-380.
    In this article, I address concerns that the ontological priority claims definitive of ontic structural realism are as they stand unclear, and I do so by placing these claims on a more rigorous formal footing than they typically have been hitherto. I first of all argue that Kit Fine’s analysis of ontological dependence furnishes us with an ontological priority relation that is particularly apt for structuralism. With that in place, and with reference to two case studies prominent within the structuralist (...)
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  34. From Combinatorialism to Primitivism.Jennifer Wang - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):535-554.
    Many are reluctant to accept primitive modality into their fundamental picture of the world. The worry often traces to this thought: we shouldn't adopt any more primitive - that is, unexplained - notions than we need in order to explain all the features of the world, and primitive modal notions are not needed. I examine one prominent rival to modal primitivism, combinatorialism, and show that in order to account for all the modal features of the world the combinatorialist must adopt (...)
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  35. The Essence of Dispositional Essentialism.David Yates - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):93-128.
    Dispositional essentialists argue that physical properties have their causal roles essentially. This is typically taken to mean that physical properties are identical to dispositions. I argue that this is untenable, and that we must instead say that properties bestow dispositions. I explore what it is for a property to have such a role essentially. Dispositional essentialists argue for their view by citing certain epistemological and metaphysical implications, and I appeal to these implications to place desiderata on the concept of essence (...)
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  36. Modal Skepticism and Counterfactual Knowledge.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (3):605-623.
    Abstract Timothy Williamson has recently proposed to undermine modal skepticism by appealing to the reducibility of modal to counterfactual logic ( Reducibility ). Central to Williamson’s strategy is the claim that use of the same non-deductive mode of inference ( counterfactual development , or CD ) whereby we typically arrive at knowledge of counterfactuals suffices for arriving at knowledge of metaphysical necessity via Reducibility. Granting Reducibility, I ask whether the use of CD plays any essential role in a Reducibility-based reply (...)
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  37. On the Reduction of Necessity to Essence.Fabrice Correia - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (3):639-653.
    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 (...)
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  38. The Conventional and the Analytic.Manuel García-Carpintero & Manuel Pérez Otero - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (2):239-274.
    Empiricist philosophers like Carnap invoked analyticity in order to explain a priori knowledge and necessary truth. Analyticity was “truth purely in virtue of meaning”. The view had a deflationary motivation: in Carnap’s proposal, linguistic conventions alone determine the truth of analytic sentences, and thus there is no mystery in our knowing their truth a priori, or in their necessary truth; for they are, as it were, truths of our own making. Let us call this “Carnapian conventionalism”, conventionalismC and cognates for (...)
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  39. Ontological Dependence.Fabrice Correia - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (5):1013-1032.
    'Ontological dependence' is a term of philosophical jargon which stands for a rich family of properties and relations, often taken to be among the most fundamental ontological properties and relations. Notions of ontological dependence are usually thought of as 'carving reality at its ontological joints', and as marking certain forms of ontological 'non-self-sufficiency'. The use of notions of dependence goes back as far as Aristotle's characterization of substances, and these notions are still widely used to characterize other concepts and to (...)
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  40. Essence and Being.Scott A. Shalkowski - 2008 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 62:49-63.
    In ‘Two Notions of Being: Entity and Essence’ E. J. Lowe defends “serious essentialism”. Serious essentialism is the position that (a) everything has an essence, (b) essences are not themselves things, and (c) essences are the ground for metaphysical necessity and possi- bility. Lowe’s defence of serious essentialism is both metaphysical and epistemological. In what follows I use Lowe’s discussion as a point of departure for, first, adding some considerations for the plausi- bility of essentialismand, second, somework onmodal epistemology.
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  41.  8
    Essence and Modality.Fabrice Correia - 2007 - Dialectica 61 (1):63-84.
    In Fine 1994, Kit Fine challenges the view that the notion of essence is to be understood in terms of the metaphysical modalities, and he argues that it is not essence which reduces to metaphysical modality, but rather metaphysical modality which reduces to essence. In this paper I put forward a modal account of essence and argue that it is immune from Fine’s objections. The account presupposes a non‐standard, independently motivated conception of the metaphysical modalities which I dub Priorean. Arthur (...)
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  42. (Finean) Essence and (Priorean) Modality.Fabrice Correia - 2007 - Dialectica 61 (1):63–84.
    In Fine 1994, Kit Fine challenges the view that the notion of essence is to be understood in terms of the metaphysical modalities, and he argues that it is not essence which reduces to metaphysical modality, but rather metaphysical modality which reduces to essence. In this paper I put forward a modal account of essence and argue that it is immune from Fine’s objections. The account presupposes a non‐standard, independently motivated conception of the metaphysical modalities which I dub Priorean. Arthur (...)
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  43.  20
    A Non-Modal Conception of Secondary Properties.Manuel Garcia-Carpintero - 2007 - Philosophical Papers 36 (1):1-33.
    There seems to be a distinction between primary and secondary properties; some philosophers defend the view that properties like colours and values are secondary, while others criticize it. The distinction is usually introduced in terms of essence; roughly, secondary properties essentially involve mental states, while primary properties do not. In part because this does not seem very illuminating, philosophers have produced different reductive analyses in modal terms, metaphysic or epistemic. Here I will argue, firstly, that some well-known examples fail, and (...)
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  44.  43
    Free Choiceness and Non-Individuation.Jacques Jayez & Lucia M. Tovena - 2005 - Linguistics and Philosophy 28 (1):1 - 71.
    . Fresh evidence from Free Choice Items (FCIs) in French question the current perception of the class. The role of some standard distinctions found in the literature is weakened or put in a new perspective. The distinction between universal and existential is no longer an intrinsic property of FCIs. Similarly, the opposition between variation-based vs intension-based analyses is relativized. We show that the regime of free choiceness can be characterized by an abstract constraint, that we call Non-Individuation (NI), and which (...)
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  45.  82
    Propositional Logic of Essence.Fabrice Correia - 2000 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 29 (3):295-313.
    This paper presents a propositional version of Kit Fine's (quantified) logic for essentialist statements, provides it with a semantics, and proves the former adequate (i.e. sound and complete) with respect to the latter.
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  46. Semantics for the Logic of Essence.Kit Fine - 2000 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 29 (6):543-584.
    This paper provides a possible worlds semantics for the system of the author's previous paper 'The Logic of Essence '. The basic idea behind the semantics is that a statement should be taken to be true in virtue of the nature of certain objects just in case it is true in any possible world compatible with the nature of those objects. It is shown that a slight variant of the original system is sound and complete under the proposed semantics.
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