On the Reduction of Necessity to Essence

Abstract
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 the same vein: a conceptual necessity is a proposition true in virtue of the nature of all concepts, and a logical necessity a proposition true in virtue of the nature of all logical concepts. I argue that the plausibility of Fine's view crucially requires that certain apparent explanatory links between essentialist facts be admitted and accounted for, and I make a suggestion about how this can be done. I then argue against the reductions of conceptual and logical necessity proposed by Fine and suggest alternative reductions, which remain nevertheless Finean in spirit
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy of Mind
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ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2010.00436.x
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References found in this work BETA
Essence and Modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8:1-16.
The Logic of Essence.Kit Fine - 1995 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 24 (3):241 - 273.
Essence and Modality.Edward N. Zalta - 2006 - Mind 115 (459):659-693.
The Essential and the Accidental.Michael Gorman - 2005 - Ratio 18 (3):276–289.
Semantics for the Logic of Essence.Kit Fine - 2000 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 29 (6):543-584.

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