How to reconcile essence with contingent existence

Ratio 21 (3):314-328 (2008)
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Abstract

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.

Author's Profile

Stephen K. McLeod
University of Liverpool

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