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Knowledge and RealitySelected Essays$
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Colin McGinn

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199251582

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199251584.001.0001

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On the Necessity of Origin

On the Necessity of Origin

Chapter:
(p.57) 4 On the Necessity of Origin
Source:
Knowledge and Reality
Author(s):

Colin McGinn (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199251584.003.0005

McGinn contests Mackie's reductive explanation of Kripke's claim that the origin of a thing constitutes a de re necessity (i.e. that a thing's origin is essential to it). On McGinn's non‐reductive alternative, a biological entity's origin is essential because its developmental continuity (e.g. from gametes to zygote to foetus to infant to child to adult) is. Moreover, the necessity of a biological organism's developmental continuity is distinct from the necessity of an artefact's constitution (e.g. this chair's being made of that particular bit of wood).

Keywords:   de dicto, de re, Dummett, essence, essentialism, identity, Kripke, Mackie, necessity, necessity of origin, origin, species

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