Finean essence, local necessity, and pure logical properties

Synthese:1-9 (forthcoming)
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 by the very intuition underlying Fine’s counter-examples, which are not accommodated by Correia’s account. If my argument is sound, then Correia has not been successful in his defense of modalism. An important corollary of my argument will be that Fine’s consequential conception of essence needs to be modified if it is to capture his own intuitive notion of essence.
Keywords Essence  Modality  Local Necessity  Pure Logical Properties
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-017-1441-9
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