Essence and modality

Authors
Kit Fine
New York University
Abstract
It is my aim in this paper to show that the contemporary assimilation of essence to modality is fundamentally misguided and that, as a consequence, the corresponding conception of metaphysics should be given up. It is not my view that the modal account fails to capture anything which might reasonably be called a concept of essence. My point, rather, is that the notion of essence which is of central importance to the metaphysics of identity is not to be understood in modal terms or even to be regarded as extensionally equivalent to a modal notion. The one notion is, if I am right, a highly refined version of the other; it is like a sieve which performs a similar function but with a much finer mesh.
Keywords essence modality necessity
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DOI 10.2307/2214160
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No Work for a Theory of Grounding.Jessica Wilson - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):535–579.
Real Definition.Gideon Rosen - 2015 - Analytic Philosophy 56 (3):189-209.
Grounding: Necessary or Contingent?Kelly Trogdon - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (4):465-485.
Ground.Michael J. Raven - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (5):322-333.

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