Abstract: This paper describes motivations for the view that some objects have essential properties: properties which they must have in any world/situation where they exist (without qualification). I raise objections to the motivations for so-called “hardcore essentialism”. And I articulate and defend an alternative theory: explanation-relative essentialism.
Comment: Very useful for an intermediate Metaphysics course. Could be good to include this reading after teaching about modality, as a way to apply possible worlds talk to a new topic: are there certain properties that objects/entities must have in every possible world, in order to be that very object/entity? It could also be useful to teach de re/de dicto necessity first.