Ideas from 'What is the Source of Knowledge of Modal Truths?' by E.J. Lowe [2013], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Mind' (ed/tr -) [- ,]].

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2. Reason / D. Definition / 6. Definition by Essence
Defining an ellipse by conic sections reveals necessities, but not the essence of an ellipse
An essence is what an entity is, revealed by a real definition; this is not an entity in its own right
A definition of a circle will show what it is, and show its generating principle
2. Reason / D. Definition / 11. Ostensive Definition
Simple things like 'red' can be given real ostensive definitions
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / c. Statue and clay
The essence of lumps and statues shows that two objects coincide but are numerically distinct
The essence of a bronze statue shows that it could be made of different bronze
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 4. Essence as Definition
Grasping an essence is just grasping a real definition
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 8. Essence as Explanatory
Explanation can't give an account of essence, because it is too multi-faceted
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 14. Knowledge of Essences
If we must know some entity to know an essence, we lack a faculty to do that
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 3. Types of Necessity
Logical necessities, based on laws of logic, are a proper sub-class of metaphysical necessities
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 5. Metaphysical Necessity
'Metaphysical' necessity is absolute and objective - the strongest kind of necessity
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 2. Epistemic possibility
'Epistemic' necessity is better called 'certainty'
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
Metaphysical necessity is either an essential truth, or rests on essential truths
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 1. Possible Worlds / e. Against possible worlds
We could give up possible worlds if we based necessity on essences
12. Knowledge Sources / E. Direct Knowledge / 1. Intuition
'Intuitions' are just unreliable 'hunches'; over centuries intuitions change enormously
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 1. Concepts / a. Concepts
A concept is a way of thinking of things or kinds, whether or not they exist
19. Language / D. Theories of Reference / 3. Direct Reference / a. Direct reference
Direct reference doesn't seem to require that thinkers know what it is they are thinking about
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / e. Anti scientific essentialism
H2O isn't necessary, because different laws of nature might affect how O and H combine