Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (1):100-112 (2015)

Authors
Alexander Skiles
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
Abstract
Fine is widely thought to have refuted the simple modal account of essence, which takes the essential properties of a thing to be those it cannot exist without exemplifying. Yet, a number of philosophers have suggested resuscitating the simple modal account by appealing to distinctions akin to the distinction Lewis draws between sparse and abundant properties, treating only those in the former class as candidates for essentiality. I argue that ‘sparse modalism’ succumbs to counterexamples similar to those originally posed by Fine, and fails to capture paradigmatic instances of essence involving abundant properties and relations
Keywords essence  modality  essentialism  sparse vs. abundant properties  Kit Fine  David Lewis
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DOI 10.1080/00455091.2015.1013173
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References found in this work BETA

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
New Work for a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
Essence and Modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.

View all 37 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

In Defence of Modal Essentialism.Jonathan Livingstone-Banks - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (8):816-838.
Essential Vs. Accidental Properties.Teresa Robertson & Philip Atkins - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
On How (Not) to Define Modality in Terms of Essence.Robert Michels - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (4):1015-1033.
Essence and Mere Necessity.Jessica Leech - 2018 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82:309-332.

View all 17 citations / Add more citations

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