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How Things Might Have Been – Individuals, Kinds, and Essential Properties - Oxford Scholarship Online
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How Things Might Have Been: Individuals, Kinds, and Essential Properties

Penelope Mackie


What are the essential properties of ordinary individuals such as people, cats, trees, and tables? The question is notoriously difficult, yet must be answered to obtain a satisfying account of the ways in which such individuals could and could not have been different from the way that they are. The book provides a novel treatment of this issue, in the context of a set of debates initiated by the revival of interest in essentialism and de re modality generated by the work of Kripke and others in the 1970s. Via a critical examination of rival theories, it argues for ‘minimalist essentialism’: an ... More

Keywords: bare identities, counterpart theory, de re, essentialism, haecceitism, identity, individual essence, natural kind, necessity of origin, possible world

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780199272204
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006 DOI:10.1093/0199272204.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Penelope Mackie, author
University of Nottingham
Author Webpage