Knowing how things might have been

Jago, Mark (2018) Knowing how things might have been. Synthese . ISSN 1573-0964

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Abstract

I know that I could have been where you are right now and that you could have been where I am right now, but that neither of us could have been turnips or natural numbers. This knowledge of metaphysical modality stands in need of explanation. I will offer an account based on our knowledge of the natures, or essences, of things. I will argue that essences need not be viewed as metaphysically bizarre entities; that we can conceptualise and refer to essences; and that we can gain knowledge of them. We can know about which properties are, and which properties are not, essential to a given entity. This knowledge of essence offers a route to knowledge of the ways those entities must be or could be.

Item Type: Article
RIS ID: https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/931344
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Arts > School of Humanities > Department of Philosophy
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-018-1869-6
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2018 10:47
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 19:35
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/53057

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