Against the reduction of modality to essence

Synthese:1-17 (forthcoming)
Authors
Nathan Wildman
Tilburg University
Abstract
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a claim of metaphysical modality, in possession of good alethic standing, must be in want of an essentialist foundation. Or at least so say the advocates of the reductive-essence-first view, according to which all modality is to be reductively defined in terms of essence. Here, I contest this bit of current wisdom. In particular, I offer two puzzles—one concerning the essences of non-compossible, complementary entities, and a second involving entities whose essences are modally ‘loaded’—that together strongly call into question the possibility of reducing modality to essence.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-017-1667-6
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References found in this work BETA

Essence and Modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8:1-16.
Guide to Ground.Kit Fine - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37--80.
Unified Foundations for Essence and Ground.Kit Fine - 2015 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (2):296-311.
Finkish Dispositions.David Lewis - 1997 - Philosophical Quarterly 47 (187):143-158.

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