How to reconcile essence with contingent existence

Ratio 21 (3):314-328 (2008)
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To reconcile true claims of de re necessity with the supposedly contingent existence of the concrete objects those claims are typically about, Kripkean essentialists invoke weak necessity. The claim that a is necessarily F is held to be equivalent to the claim that necessarily, if a exists then a is F. This strategy faces a barrage of serious objections a proper subset of which shows that the strategy fails to achieve its intended purpose. Relief can be provided via recourse to a markedly non-Kripkean version of essentialism.1.

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Stephen K. McLeod
University of Liverpool


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