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Essence and Being

  • Scott A. Shalkowski


In ‘Two Notions of Being: Entity and Essence’ E. J. Lowe defends “serious essentialism”. Serious essentialism is the position that (a) everything has an essence, (b) essences are not themselves things, and (c) essences are the ground for metaphysical necessity and possibility. Lowe's defence of serious essentialism is both metaphysical and epistemological. In what follows I use Lowe's discussion as a point of departure for, first, adding some considerations for the plausibility of essentialism and, second, some work on modal epistemology.



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Fine, Kit 1994. Philosophical Perspectives, 8: Logic and Language: 116.
Fine, Kit 1995. The Logic of Essence. Journal of Philosophical Logic 24: 241273.
Lowe, E. J. 2008. Two Notions of Being: Entity and Essence. This volume: 2348.
McGinn, C. 2000: Logical Properties: Identity, Existence, Predication, Necessity, Truth. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Quine, W. V. 1951: Ontology and Ideology, Philosophical Studies 2: 1115.
Van Cleve, James 1985. Three Versions of the Bundle Theory. Philosophical Studies 47: 95107.
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Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplements
  • ISSN: 1358-2461
  • EISSN: 1755-3555
  • URL: /core/journals/royal-institute-of-philosophy-supplements
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