Philosophy Colloquium Guest Speakers: C. Tillman & A. Murray


May. 10, 2019, 3pm to 5pm

Campus Location

Office/Remote Location

BEH 217


"E -/-> N"
Chris Tillman and Adam Murray, Department of Philosophy, University of Manitoba 

This talk is based on work done with Joshua Spencer of UW-Milwaukee. What is the relationship between essence and necessity? A popular thought was that they amount to the same thing, or are, at least, materially equivalent. But Kit Fine (1994) convinced many that this isn't so; there can be necessary facts pertaining to you (e.g., you're a member of your singleton), that aren't correspondingly essence facts (supposing your essence is silent on whether there are sets). In slogan form, we can think of Fine as arguing for N -/-> E.
We want to argue that the relationship between essence and necessity is even more complicated: we argue for E -/-> N. That is, there can be essence facts pertaining to a thing that aren't correspondingly necessary facts. Some x can figure into the essence of y, but without it being the case that, necessarily, y exists only if x does. We consider a range of metaphysical views that we see as committed to E -/-> N. But the bigger point, for us, is that E -/-> N should be endorsed regardless of your stance on those metaphysical views. For an account of essence should not decide seemingly independent and substantive metaphysical debates by fiat. 



Admission Information

Open to All

Contact Information

Event Sponsor

UNLV Department of Philosophy

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