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The Nature of Necessity

Alvin Plantinga


This book is a study of the concept of necessity. In the first three chapters, I clarify and defend the distinction between modality de re and modality de dicto. Also, I show how to explain de re modality in terms of de dicto modality. In Ch. 4, I explicate the concept of a possible world and define what it is for an object x to have a property P essentially. I then use the concept of an essential property to give an account of essences and their relationship to proper names. In Ch. 6, I argue that the Theory of Worldbound Individuals—even when fortified with Counterpart Theory—is false. Chapt ... More

Keywords: Counterpart Theory, de dicto, de re, essence, essentialism, free will, modal logic, modality, necessity, ontological argument, Plantinga, possible worlds, proper name

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1978 Print ISBN-13: 9780198244141
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003 DOI:10.1093/0198244142.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Alvin Plantinga, author
University of Notre Dame
Author Webpage