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Michael Della Rocca has recently argued that Kripkean essentialism is subtly self-defeating: to defend it, certain modal intuitions must be reconstrued in terms of similarity, but reconstruing them in this way threatens the principled rejection of similarity comparisons on which Kripke's essentialism depends. Della Rocca holds that Kripke's strategy must assume the necessity of identity, and that the necessity of identity already presupposes essentialism, which renders the defence circular. Against this, I argue that the necessity of identity may be accepted independently; therefore no circularity need arise. I also argue that Della Rocca fails to rebut an objection raised by Stephen Yablo.

Document Type: Discussion

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9213.2006.00442.x

Affiliations: Stockholm University

Publication date: April 1, 2006

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