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There is No Haecceitic Euthyphro Problem

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Skiles Alexander,
Project Metaphysics as an Explanatory Discipline: Grounding, Essence, and Identity
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Analysis
Volume (Issue) 79(3)
Page(s) 477 - 484
Title of proceedings Analysis
DOI 10.1093/analys/any061

Open Access

Type of Open Access Repository (Green Open Access)


Jason Bowers and Meg Wallace (‘The Haecceitic Euthyphro Problem’, Analysis, 2018) have recently argued that those who hold that every individual instantiates a ‘haecceity’ (or ‘individual essence’) are caught up in a Euthyphro-style dilemma when confronted with familiar cases of fission and fusion. Key to Bowers and Wallace’s dilemma are certain assumptions about the nature of metaphysical explanation and the explanatory commitments of belief in haecceities. However, I argue that the dilemma only arises due to a failure to distinguish between providing a metaphysical explanation of why a fact holds vs. a metaphysical explanation of what it is for a fact to hold. In the process, I also shed light on the explanatory commitments of belief in haecceities.