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

Authors
Carlos Romero
National Autonomous University of Mexico
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

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Modal Logic as Metaphysics.Timothy Williamson - 2013 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
New Work for a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.

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Citations of this work BETA

Essential Vs. Accidental Properties.Teresa Robertson & Philip Atkins - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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.

View all 15 citations / Add more citations

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Essence and Modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.
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