Hi all-- I am interested in getting some feedback on the following issues. I am really not that good at reasoning through certain issues, and it would help to see what everyone thinks of the following. So the issue is about contingent beings and the essential properties that contingent beings have. Furthermore, I am interested in writing a paper on this issue. So, if you guys think that this is not a philosophically interesting issue let me know. So, I don't waste my time. Here are some basic definitions:
(C) A being x is a contingent being if x exists at least one possible world and not in all possible worlds.
(E1) A property P is an essential property of x just in case x has P in every possible world.
(E2) A property P is an essential property of x just in case x has P in every world in which x exists.
I think (E2) is the better definition of an essential property. Primarily becuase there are many properties that an object has in every possible world that have nothing to do with the kind of thing it is . In addition, I don't know how to square (C) and (E1). If (E1) holds then there are no contingent beings with essential properties, but that seems false. In addition, there is another issue here floating around. There are certain semantical tricks one can use to make it true that an entitiy has a property in a world in which it does not exist. However, this does not square with the ontological notion of exemplfying a property. For an object to exemplify a property in a world it would have to exist in the world. That is different from a proposition or sentence being true in a world, even when the object does not exist in the world. Okay last bit--
I am worried that certain views of of possible worlds lead to the following odd result:
If any contingent being has an essential property, then there are no contingent beings that exist in just one possible world, and so it is necessary that nothing exists in just one possible world. Quasi-proof: If you are a contingent being and have an essential property, then you have to exist in more than one possible world in order to distinguish the accidental properties from the essential properties, but you cannot exist in all possible worlds, for then you would be a necessary being. But then it seems to follow that it is necessary that nothing exists in just one possible world, since necessary being exist in all worlds, and contingent beings have essential properties. This is odd because prima facie it is possible that something exists in just one possible world. Furthermore, if it is true that nothing can exist in just one possible world, and that this is necessary truth, is this truth a synthetic a priori truth.
Okay please don't make fun of me if I made an obvious mistake. Any comments would be helpful