Essence and modality

Mind 115 (459):659-693 (2006)
Abstract
Some recently-proposed counterexamples to the traditional definition of essential property do not require a separate logic of essence. Instead, the examples can be analysed in terms of the logic and theory of abstract objects. This theory distinguishes between abstract and ordinary objects, and provides a general analysis of the essential properties of both kinds of object. The claim ‘x has F necessarily’ becomes ambiguous in the case of abstract objects, and in the case of ordinary objects there are various ways to make the definition of ‘F is essential to x’ more fine-grained. Consequently, the traditional definition of essential property for abstract objects in terms of modal notions is not correct, and for ordinary objects the relationship between essential properties and modality, once properly understood, addresses the counterexample.
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DOI 10.1093/mind/fzl659
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Constitutive Essence and Partial Grounding.Eileen S. Nutting, Ben Caplan & Chris Tillman - forthcoming - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-25.
Essential Properties and Individual Essences.Sonia Roca-Royes - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (1):65-77.
In Defence of Modal Essentialism.Jonathan Livingstone-Banks - 2017 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (8):816-838.
Essence in Abundance.Alexander Skiles - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (1):100-112.
The Essence of Dispositional Essentialism.David Yates - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):93-128.

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