more from Brian Ellis

Single Idea 5483

[catalogued under 10. Modality / C. Sources of Modality / 5. Modality from Actuality]

Full Idea

Essentialists are modal realists; ..what is really possible, they say, is what is compatible with the natures of things in this world (and this does not commit them to the existence of any world other than the actual world).


'Modal realists' believe in possibilities as actual things

Gist of Idea

Essentialists deny possible worlds, and say possibilities are what is compatible with the actual world


Brian Ellis (The Philosophy of Nature: new essentialism [2002], Ch.7)

Book Reference

Ellis,Brian: 'The Philosophy of Nature: new essentialism' [Acumen 2002], p.131

A Reaction

This introduces something like 'compatibilities' into our ontology. That must rest on some kind of idea of a 'natural contradiction'. We can discuss the possibilities resulting from essences, but what are the possible variations in the essences?

Related Idea

Idea 12469 Possible worlds semantics gives little insight into modality [Jacobs]