Essence, Explanation, and Modality

Philosophy 95 (4):419-445 (2020)
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Recently, Kit Fine's (1994) view that modal truths aretrue in virtue of,grounded in, orexplained byessentialist truths has been under attack. In what follows we offer two responses to the wave of criticism against his view. While the first response is pretty straightforward, the second is based on the distinction between, what we call,Reductive Finean EssentialismandNon-Reductive Finean Essentialism. Engaging the work of Bob Hale onNon-Reductive Finean Essentialism, we aim to show that the arguments against Fine's view are unconvincing, while we acknowledge the presence of a deep standoff between the two views.

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Author Profiles

Michael Wallner
University of Graz
Anand Vaidya
San Jose State University

Citations of this work

The Epistemology of Essence.Antonella Mallozzi - 2024 - In Kathrin Koslicki & Michael J. Raven (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Essence in Philosophy. New York, NY: Routledge.
The Structure of Essentialist Explanations of Necessity.Michael Wallner - 2020 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (1):4-13.
On Explaining Necessity by the Essence of Essence.Carlos Romero - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
On the necessity of essence.Gaétan Bovey - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (7):2167-2185.

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References found in this work

New work for a theory of universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
Essence and modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.
New Work For a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1997 - In David Hugh Mellor & Alex Oliver (eds.), Properties. New York: Oxford University Press.
The Ground Between the Gaps.Jonathan Schaffer - 2017 - Philosophers' Imprint 17.
An introduction to grounding.Kelly Trogdon - 2013 - In Benjamin Schnieder, Miguel Hoeltje & Alex Steinberg (eds.), Varieties of Dependence: Ontological Dependence, Grounding, Supervenience, Response-Dependence (Basic Philosophical Concepts). Munich: Philosophia Verlag. pp. 97-122.

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