Article/Publication Details

Essence and Lowe’s Regress

(Essence and Lowe’s Regress)
Organon F, 2018, vol. 25, No 3, pp. 410-428.
File to download: PDF
BibTex EndNote Tagged EndNote XML RIS
Some philosophers believe that entities have essences. What are we to make of the view that essences are themselves entities? E.J. Lowe has put forward an infinite regress argument against it. In this paper I challenge that argument. First, drawing on work by J.W. Wieland, I give a general condition for the obtaining of a vicious infinite regress. I then argue that in Lowe’s case the condition is not met. In making my case, I mainly (but not exclusively) consider definitionalist accounts of essence. I make a requirement to which definitionalists such as Lowe are committed and which, I venture, should also be palatable to non-naïve modalists. I call it the Relevance Principle. The defence trades on it, as well as on the distinction, due to K. Fine, between mediate and immediate essence.

Contact

Institute of Philosophy
Slovak Academy of Sciences
Klemensova 19
813 64 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Tel.: (+4212) 5292 1215
Fax: (+4212) 5292 1215
E-mail: filosekr@savba.sk
Home page

Journal Filozofia

Institute of philosophy
Slovak Academy of Sciences
Klemensova 19
813 64 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Tel.: (+4212) 5296 4886
Fax: (+4212) 5292 1215
E-Mail: filofilo@savba.sk
Home page

Journal Organon F

Institute of Philosophy
Slovak Academy of Sciences
Klemensova 19
813 64 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Tel.:(+4212) 5292 1215
Fax: (+4212) 5292 1215
E-mail: organonf@gmail.com
Home page