This chapter characterizes essentialism, and distinguishes essentialism about individuals from essentialism about natural kinds, arguing that the first does, but the second need not, involve de re (as opposed to de dicto) modality. It is argued that given certain plausible assumptions, essentialism about individuals involves a commitment to necessary a posteriori truth, although the commitment is not inevitable. The implications of the concepts of possible worlds and identity across possible worlds (‘transworld identity’) are discussed.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.