Kris McDaniel. "The Essence of Being." Free and open to all. Reception follows.
"A rough characterization of Ontology is as the discipline of philosophy that studies being. But what is it to study being? In previous work, I took the study of being to consist in determining the nature of being: whether being comes in degrees, whether there are modes of being, and whether being itself is more fundamental than its degrees or modes. But an alternative interpretation of the study of being is that it consists in determining the essence of being. Here, I assess this alternative. Specifically, I assess whether construing the study of being in this way requires taking being to itself be a being, whether being even has an essence, and to what extent one can use the notion of essence to characterize degrees or modes of being."
Kris McDaniel is professor of philosophy at Syracuse University. He works mainly in metaphysics, but also has research interests in ethics and the history of philosophy. You can read more about him on his website, http://www.krismcdaniel.com/, where you can also read most of his published and forthcoming papers. His new book, The Fragmentation of Being, is scheduled to be published by Oxford University Press in October.
Part of the Sapientia Lecture Series, funded by The Mark J. Byrne 1985 Fund in Philosophy.
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