Synthese https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-018-1828-2 S.I. : NEW DIRECTIONS IN THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF MODALITY Putting modal metaphysics ﬁrst Antonella Mallozzi Received: 4 March 2018 / Accepted: 22 May 2018 © Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018 Abstract I propose that we approach the epistemology of modality by putting modal metaphysics ﬁrst and, speciﬁcally, by investigating the metaphysics of essence. Fol- lowing a prominent Neo-Aristotelian view, I hold that metaphysical necessity depends on the nature of things, namely their essences. I further clarify that essences are core properties having distinctive superexplanatory powers. In the case of natural kinds, which is my focus in the paper, superexplanatoriness is due to the fact that the essence of a kind is what causes all the many properties and behaviors that are typically shared by all the instances of the kind. Accordingly, we know what is necessarily true of kinds by knowing what is essential to them in the sense of actually playing such causal-explanatory roles. Modal reasoning aimed at discovering metaphysical neces- sity thus proceeds via essentialist deduction: we move from essentialist truths to reach necessary truths. Keywords Modal epistemology · Essentialism · Natural kinds · Kripke · Apriori knowledge 1 Introduction I
Synthese – Springer Journals
Published: May 29, 2018
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