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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.Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format
Sullivan, Meghan. Are There Essential Properties? No.
2016, in Elizabeth Barnes (ed.) Current Controversies in Metaphysics (Routledge)): 45-61.
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