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Tópicos (México)

Print version ISSN 0188-6649


GONZALEZ VARELA, José Edgar. Wiggins' individuative essentialism and the function of de re modality judgements. Tópicos (México) [online]. 2016, n.51, pp.55-82. ISSN 0188-6649.

Quine has promoted a form of scepticism about de re modality judgements that calls into question their theoretical and practical role and suggests, on this basis, their elimination. Wiggins, on his part, has argued that our ordinary judgements of individuation of objects commit us to a certain form of essentialism (to making certain judgements of de re modality). If Wiggins were right, we would have a potential answer to Quinean scepticism about function. However, in this paper I argue that Wiggins' proposal cannot provide a satisfactory response to Quinean scepticism, for it presupposes what is under question: commitment to essentialism follows only after the previous adoption of certain judgements of de re modality, whose role is precisely sub judice. In addition, I argue that the same conclusion can be derived from consideration of some other contemporary theories of individuation that are similar to Wiggins'.

Keywords : Wiggins; Quine; scepticism; de re modality judgements.

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