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Metaphysica

International Journal for Ontology and Metaphysics

Managing Editor: Koridze, Georg

Ed. by Hüntelmann, Rafael / Meixner, Uwe / Tegtmeier, Erwin

Editorial Board: Addis, Laird / Davies, Brian / Hochberg, Herbert / Johansson, Ingvar / Kanzian, Christian / Klima, Gyula / Koons, Robert C / Künne, Wolfgang / Löffler, Winfried / Mulligan, Kevin / Nef, Frederic / Oaklander, Nathan / Oderberg, David / Orilia, Francesco / Plantinga, Alvin / Potrc, Matjaz / Rapp, Christof / Reicher-Marek, Maria Elisabeth / Schantz, Richard / Scholz, Oliver R. / Seibt, Johanna / Simons, Peter / Smith, Barry / Stoecker, Ralf / Strobach, Niko / Trettin, Käthe / Wachter, Daniel


CiteScore 2018: 0.29

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.257
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.369

Online
ISSN
1874-6373
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De Re Essentialism, Species, and Modal Ambiguity

Ross Inman
Published Online: 2014-03-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mp-2014-0003

Abstract

I offer a concise critique of a recurring line of reasoning advanced by Joseph LaPorte and Samir Okasha that all modern species concepts render the view that biological organisms essentially belong to their species empirically untenable. The argument, I claim, trades on a crucial modal ambiguity that collapses the de re/de dicto distinction. Contra their claim that the continued adherence of such a view on behalf of contemporary metaphysicians stems from the latter’s ignorance of developments in modern biology, the modal ambiguity reveals the need to retrain in modal metaphysics.

Keywords: de re essentialism; modality; biological essentialism; species

References

  • LaPorte, J. 1997. “Essential Membership.” Philosophy of Science 64:96–112.Google Scholar

  • LaPorte, J. 2009. Natural Kinds and Conceptual Change. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Okasha, S. 2002. “Darwinian Metaphysics: Species and the Question of Essentialism.” Synthese 131:191–213.Google Scholar

  • Plantinga, A. 1974. The Nature of Necessity. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar

  • Wiggins, D. 1980. Sameness and Substance. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2014-03-13

Published in Print: 2014-04-01


Citation Information: Metaphysica, Volume 15, Issue 1, Pages 43–46, ISSN (Online) 1874-6373, ISSN (Print) 1437-2053, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mp-2014-0003.

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©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin / Boston.Get Permission

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