Essence, Modality, and Identity

Mind:fzab017 (forthcoming)
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In a recent article forthcoming in *Mind*, Leech (2020) presents a challenge for essentialist accounts of metaphysical modality: why should it be that essences imply corresponding necessities? Leech’s main focus is to argue that one cannot overcome the challenge by utilizing an account of essence in terms of generalized identity due to Correia and Skiles (2019), on pain of circularity. In this reply, we will show how to use identity-based essentialism to bridge ‘epistemic’ and ‘explanatory’ understandings of this alleged essence-to-necessity gap without circularity, Leech’s arguments notwithstanding. We do so by first presenting a novel proof that generalized identities imply corresponding necessities. We then propose several substantive identity-based explanations of how it is, exactly, that essences imply necessities.
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First archival date: 2020-09-05
Latest version: 3 (2021-02-27)
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