By Benedikt Paul Göcke (auth.)
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Intuitively, on the deep essentialist picture, an ordinary object has essential properties, and it must have its essential properties in order for it to exist. ) about the object, and truths about such properties are absolute truths. Shallow essentialists oppose deep essentialists: they reject the view that objects can be said to have essential properties independently of contexts of description or evaluation, and so substitute context-dependent truths for the deep essentialist’s context-independent ones.
5 On the first option, existence is not a property like the property of being a Dominican. Existence is not a first-order property of particulars. According to the second option, the problem concerns the very nature of proper names and the way they denote. 2 Concepts of existence Let us deal with the first option first. If existence is not a first-order property of particulars, then what is it? Again two options are available: Existence and Individual Essences 39 Either existence is not a property at all, or existence is a second-order property.
Given this distinction between different kinds of ontological possibility, one might object to the account of possible worlds developed in this chapter that it cannot differentiate sufficiently among them: there is no clear distinction between logical and metaphysical possibility on the one hand, and between metaphysical and nomological possibility on the other. To deal with this objection, I first reject the distinction between logical and metaphysical possibility and then show that the framework developed can readily account for nomological possibility.