more from Graeme Forbes

Single Idea 13806

[catalogued under 9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 7. Essence and Necessity / c. Essentials are necessary]

Full Idea

The main groups of trivially essential properties are (a) existence, self-identity, or their consequences in S5; and (b) properties possessed in virtue of some de dicto necessary truth.


S5 is the normal modal logic for metaphysics; 'de dicto' truths are of propositions, not things

Gist of Idea

Trivially essential properties are existence, self-identity, and de dicto necessities


Graeme Forbes (In Defense of Absolute Essentialism [1986], 2)

Book Reference

'Midwest Studs XI:Essentialism', ed/tr. French,Uehling,Wettstein [Minnesota 1986], p.4

A Reaction

He adds 'extraneously essential' properties, which also strike me as being trivial, involving relations. 'Is such that 2+2=4' or 'is such that something exists' might be necessary, but they don't, I would say, have anything to do with essence.

Related Ideas

Idea 13805 Properties are trivially essential if they are not grounded in a thing's specific nature [Forbes,G]

Idea 13804 A property is essential iff the object would not exist if it lacked that property [Forbes,G]

Idea 13807 A property is 'extraneously essential' if it is had only because of the properties of other objects [Forbes,G]