I develop a reduction of grounding to essence. My approach is to think about the relation between grounding and essence on the model of a certain conceptof existential dependence. I extend this concept of existential dependence in a coupleof ways and argue that these extensions provide a reduction of grounding to essenceif we use sorted variables that range over facts and take it that for a fact to obtain is forit to exist. I then use the account to resolve various (...) issues surrounding the concept of grounding and its connection with essence; apply the account to paradigm cases andto the impure logic of grounding; and respond to objections. (shrink)
This paper focuses on the concept of collective essence: that some truths are essential to many items taken together. For example, that it is essential to conjunction and negation that they are truth-functionally complete. The concept of collective essence is one of the main innovations of recent work on the theory of essence. In a sense, this innovation is natural, since we make all sorts of plural predications. It stands to reason that there should be a distinction between essential and (...) accidental plural predications if there is a distinction among singular predications. In this paper I defend the view that the concept of collective essence is governed by the principle of Monotonicity: that something is essential to some items only if it is essential to any items to which they belong. (shrink)
What is it for something to be essential to an item? For some time, it was standard to think that the concept of necessity alone can provide an answer: for something to be essential to an item is for it to be strictly implied by the existence of that item. We now tend to think that this view fails because its analysans is insufficient for its analysandum. In response, some argue that we can supplement the analysis in terms of necessity (...) with a further condition. In this paper I argue that this view is untenable in its current form. I then provide a glimmer of hope to those who think that essence is at least partially analyzable in terms of necessity. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
I argue that dependence is neither necessary nor sufficient for relative fundamentality. I then introduce the notion of 'likeness in nature' and provide an account of relative fundamentality in terms of it and the notion of dependence. Finally, I discuss some puzzles that arise in Aristotle's Categories, to which the theory developed is applied.