On how (not) to define modality in terms of essence

Philosophical Studies:1-19 (forthcoming)
Authors
Robert Michels
Université de Neuchâtel
Abstract
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 by Correia which is not based on Fine’s primitive essentialist notion. The first main point of the paper is that the singular reading is untenable. The second that given plausible background assumptions, the remaining three definitions are extensionally equivalent. The third is that, this equivalence notwithstanding, Essentialists should adopt Correia’s version of the definition, since both the existential variant, which has de facto been adopted as the standard version of the definition in the literature, and the plural reading suffer from problems connected to Fine’s primitive essentialist notion.
Keywords modality  necessity  possibility  essence  metaphysical modality
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-018-1040-8
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 34,515
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction.Gideon Rosen - 2010 - In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 109-36.
Monism: The Priority of the Whole.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (1):31-76.
Essence and Modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8:1-16.
Unified Foundations for Essence and Ground.Kit Fine - 2015 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (2):296-311.

View all 27 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Metaphysical Modality and Essentiality.Robert Michels - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Geneva
On the Reduction of Necessity to Essence.Fabrice Correia - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (3):639-653.
Essence and Modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8:1-16.
Essence and Modality.Fabrice Correia - 2007 - Dialectica 61 (1):63-84.
In Defence of Modal Essentialism.Jonathan Livingstone-Banks - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (8):816-838.
Essence, Necessity, and Explanation.Kathrin Koslicki - 2012 - In Tuomas E. Tahko (ed.), Contemporary Aristotelian Metaphysics. Cambridge University Press. pp. 187--206.
The Modal View of Essence.Sam Cowling - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (2):248-266.
Speaking of Essence.Alessandro Torza - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly:754-771.
Constitutive Essence and Partial Grounding.Eileen S. Nutting, Ben Caplan & Chris Tillman - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (2):137-161.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-01-25

Total downloads
53 ( #117,177 of 2,268,169 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
17 ( #23,003 of 2,268,169 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature