On the Necessity of Origin

Colin McGinn

in Knowledge and Reality

Published in print February 2002 | ISBN: 9780199251582
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598012 | DOI:
 On the Necessity of Origin

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McGinn contests Mackie's reductive explanation of Kripke's claim that the origin of a thing constitutes a de re necessity (i.e. that a thing's origin is essential to it). On McGinn's non‐reductive alternative, a biological entity's origin is essential because its developmental continuity (e.g. from gametes to zygote to foetus to infant to child to adult) is. Moreover, the necessity of a biological organism's developmental continuity is distinct from the necessity of an artefact's constitution (e.g. this chair's being made of that particular bit of wood).

Keywords: de dicto; de re; Dummett; essence; essentialism; identity; Kripke; Mackie; necessity; necessity of origin; origin; species

Chapter.  4218 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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