Philosophy colloquium, Alexander Skiles

“Essence, Modality, and Identity”

By Alexander Skiles (MIT, Linguistics and Philosophy/ University of Gothenburg, Philosophy)

Date: Friday, 22nd February, 2019 

Time: 1100-1230 

Place: H-232 

Abstract:  In this talk, I defend an essentialist account of metaphysical necessity and possibility against several recent challenges. The account differs from other essentialist approaches in the literature in two key respects. First, it is non-objectualist in that it denies that the source of metaphysical necessity and possibility ultimately resides in the essences of particular things. Second, it is non-primitivist in that it reductively analyzes facts about what is essential to what in terms of facts about higher-order identity. 

About the speaker: Alex Skiles is Swiss National Science Foundation ‘Advanced Postdoc.Mobility’ postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation postdoctoral researcher at the University of Gothenburg. Most of his research focuses on the following four topics: (i) non-causal explanation in metaphysics and the physical sciences, (ii) the logic of identity, essence, and individuation, (iii) the nature of existence, and (iv) logical and metaphysical issues in classical Hindu and Buddhist thought. He completed his PhD and MA in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He has published in journals such as Philosophy and Phenomenological ResearchAustralasian Journal of PhilosophyAnalysis, The Philosophical Quarterly, and Erkenntnis. 




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