Combining Philosophers

Ideas for Barry Smith, E.J. Lowe and Rosalind Hursthouse

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2 ideas

10. Modality / C. Sources of Modality / 6. Necessity from Essence
If an essence implies p, then p is an essential truth, and hence metaphysically necessary [Lowe]
     Full Idea: If we can truly affirm that it is part of the essence of some entity that p is the case, then p is an essential truth and so a metaphysically necessary truth.
     From: E.J. Lowe (What is the Source of Knowledge of Modal Truths? [2013], 6)
     A reaction: This feels too quick. He is trying to expound the idea (which I like) that necessity derives from essences, and not vice versa. Is it a metaphysical necessity that there are no moths in my wardrobe, because mothballs have driven them away? Maybe.
Metaphysical necessity is either an essential truth, or rests on essential truths [Lowe]
     Full Idea: A metaphysically necessary truth is a truth which is either an essential truth or a truth that obtains in virtue of the essences of two or more distinct things. Hence all metaphysical necessity is grounded in essence.
     From: E.J. Lowe (What is the Source of Knowledge of Modal Truths? [2013], 6)
     A reaction: Lowe is endeavouring to give an exposition of the approach advocated by Kit Fine. I divide necessities 'because of' things (such as essences) from necessities 'for' things, such as situations or events.