The Context of Essence
Paul (L.A.)
Source: Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 82.1, March 2003, pp. 170-184
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. I address two related questions:
    1. First, what is the best theory of how objects have de re modal1 properties?
    2. Second, what is the best defense of essentialism given the variability of our modal2 intuitions?
  2. I critically discuss several theories of how objects have their de re modal3 properties and address the most threatening antiessentialist objection to essentialism: the variability of our modal4 intuitions.
  3. Drawing on linguistic treatments of vagueness and ambiguity, I show how essentialists can accommodate the variability of modal5 intuitions while holding that objects have their modal6 properties independently of contexts.

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