Constitutive and Consequentialist Essence

Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 8 (3):190-199 (2019)
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Abstract

Recent work on essence describes essence as assimilated to definition. It also posits a plurality of kinds of essence.Howdoes assimilation relate to pluralism? According to one view, a kind of essence is adequate only if it is definitional: something is essential to an item, in the relevant sense, only if it is part of what it is to be that item. In this paper, I argue that assimilation and pluralism are in tension with respect to consequentialist essence. This is problematic given that, as a methodological prescription, some philosophers advise us to work with consequentialist essence. In this paper, I develop a theory of constitutive essence and use it to resolve the problem by defining an adequate notion of consequentialist essence that preserves the methodological prescription.

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Author's Profile

Justin Zylstra
Last affiliation: University of Vermont

Citations of this work

Essence and Thisness.Sungil Han - 2023 - In Dean Zimmerman & Karen Bennett (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics Vol. 13. Oxford University Press.
Metaphysics of Ersatzism about Possible Worlds.Lenart Karol - 2023 - Dissertation, Jagiellonian University

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References found in this work

Essence and modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.
To Be F Is To Be G.Cian Dorr - 2016 - Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):39-134.
Grounding, Essence, And Identity.Fabrice Correia & Alexander Skiles - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (3):642-670.
The logic of essence.Kit Fine - 1995 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 24 (3):241 - 273.
Real Definitions.Fabrice Correia - 2017 - Philosophical Issues 27 (1):52-73.

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