Title

Essence, Explanation, and Modality

Publication Date

10-1-2020

Document Type

Article

Department

Philosophy

Publication Title

Philosophy

Volume

95

Issue

4

DOI

10.1017/S0031819120000200

First Page

419

Last Page

445

Abstract

Recently, Kit Fine's (1994) view that modal truths are true in virtue of, grounded in, or explained by essentialist 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 Essentialism and Non-Reductive Finean Essentialism. Engaging the work of Bob Hale on Non-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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