Finean essence, local necessity, and pure logical properties

Synthese 195 (11):4997-5005 (2018)
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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.



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Hashem Morvarid
Johns Hopkins University

Citations of this work

Essence and logical properties.Hashem Morvarid - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (11):2897-2917.
Avicenna on common natures and the ground of the categories.Hashem Morvarid - forthcoming - British Journal for the History of Philosophy:1-32.

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References found in this work

Essence and modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.
The logic of essence.Kit Fine - 1995 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 24 (3):241 - 273.
Senses of Essence.Kit Fine - 1995 - In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Diana Raffman & Nicholas Asher (eds.), Modality, Morality and Belief. Essays in Honor of Ruth Barcan Marcus. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 53-73.
Modality, Sparsity, and Essence.Nathan Wildman - 2013 - Philosophical Quarterly 63 (253):760-782.
Essence and modality.Edward N. Zalta - 2006 - Mind 115 (459):659-693.

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