Philosophical Quarterly 69 (274):121-141 (2019)

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Abstract
Some metaphysicians believe that metaphysical modality is explainable by the essences of objects. In §II, I spell out the definitional view of essence, and in §III, a working notion of metaphysical explanation. Then, in §IV, I consider and reject five natural ways to explain necessity by essence: in terms of the principle that essential properties can't change, in terms of the supposed obviousness of the necessity of essential truth, in terms of the logical necessity of definitions, in terms of Fine's logic of essence, and in terms of the theory of real definitions. I will conclude that the present evidence favours rejecting the hypothesis that modality is explainable by essence.
Keywords Necessity  Essentialism  Metaphysical Explanation  Grounding  Real definitions
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Reprint years 2019
DOI 10.1093/pq/pqy043
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References found in this work BETA

Modal Logic as Metaphysics.Timothy Williamson - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
To Be F Is To Be G.Cian Dorr - 2016 - Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):39-134.

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Citations of this work BETA

Essence and Explanation.Albert Casullo - 2020 - Metaphysics 2 (1):88-96.
The Structure of Essentialist Explanations of Necessity.Michael Wallner - 2020 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (1):4-13.
Making Semantics for Essence.Justin Zylstra - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (8):859-876.

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