Essentialists and Essentialism
Della Rocca (Michael)
Source: Journal of Philosophy, 93, 1996, pp. 186-202
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

    Essentialist arguments, based on modal1 intuitions, for claims of nonidentity are pervasive in contemporary philosophy. By explaining how a method for reconstruing certain modal2 intuitions that Saul Kripke and others propose can be applied more broadly than has been recognized, this paper argues that such arguments for nonidentity are question-begging. This criticism of certain essentialist arguments not only leads to an outline of a version of essentialism that is free from such question-begging arguments but also undercuts a widespread motivation for antiessentialism. The paper focuses on the work of Stephen Yablo in addition to that of Kripke.

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