Philosophical Studies 177 (4):1137-1155 (2020)

Andrew Dennis Bassford
University of Texas at Austin
Essentialists suppose that for every individual, if that individual exists at any possible world, then necessarily that individual exemplifies some non-trivial qualitative property essential to it, as such. Anti-essentialists deny this. One important argument leveled by some anti-essentialists against essentialism takes the form of a thought experiment, one originally introduced by Roderick Chisholm, sometimes referred to as Chisholm's Paradox (CP). In this essay, I defend essentialism against CP. I begin by presenting the argument and showing how it leads to a contradiction of the essentialist thesis. I then consider one of the most popular solutions to CP to date, that given by Nathan Salmon. Next, I critique Salmon's proposal and show that it is an insufficient response on behalf of the essentialist. And finally, I propose a novel solution to the paradox and discuss why it is that many metaphysician in the past have found CP plausible, despite being fallacious.
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-019-01238-8
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References found in this work BETA

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
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Two Morals About a Modal Paradox.Alexander Roberts - 2020 - Synthese 198 (10):9873-9896.

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