On the Genealogy of Modality: The Necessity of Origin and the Origin of Necessity


ABSTRACTIn this article I contrast two opposing forms of essentialism, definitional and transcendental versus productivist and historical, and trace both forms back to Kripke's Naming and Necessity. Definitional essentialism, as developed by Fine, centers on kind-membership. Historical essentialism, as anticipated by Prior and developed by Almog, puts origin at its center. The article focuses on the fundamentally distinct manners in which these two views handle the necessity of origin thesis. In the final section of the article, inspired by a Nietzschean genealogical methodology, I pursue a naturalization strategy and conclude that rather than origin being necessary, it is essentialist necessity that reduces to origin.

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Roberta Ballarin
University of British Columbia

References found in this work

Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Willard V. O. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.
Essence and Modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.
Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
Identity and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1971 - In Milton Karl Munitz (ed.), Identity and Individuation. New York: New York University Press. pp. 135-164.

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