Spring 2019 Colloquium Series - 5 April
Anat Schechtman, University of Wisconsin-Madison :: Modality and Essence in Early Modern Philosophy
Friday, April 5 2019
Abstract: This talk explores debates about the ground or explanation of modality in the early modern period. I defend two theses. First, for philosophers in the period (Descartes, Malebranche, and Locke, among others), essences ground a range of important modal facts and properties. Second, as the period progresses, we witness increased skepticism about certain modal facts, due to a growing skepticism about the scope or existence of essences.