I am reading Plantinga's "Actualism and Possible Worlds" and I am struggling to see why he needs to introduce his idea of essences to resolve the following issue:
The actualist holds that: (a) whatever exists in possible worlds exists in the actual world since possible worlds are just abstract objects that aren't realized. Platinga, specifically, takes them to be maximal states of affairs.
However actualists also hold the following: (b) possibly, there could have been objects that are distinct from the ones in the actual world.
The truthmaker for (b) is clear for the possibilist: theres a world W, that's not the actual world, such that there exists an x in W such that x is distinct from the objects in the actual world.
However, the truthmaker for b is not clear for the actualist. This is because if x exists in a possible world, it must exist in the actual world since all possible worlds are contained within the actual world via these abstract objects.There can only be objects distinct from the objects in the actual world in these possible worlds if and only if these objects are within the domain of the actual world. There's a contradiction.
To resolve this issue, Plantinga says to "appeal to essences" and says that essences are necessary properties and exists in all possible worlds. Some essences are exemplified some are not. And all we mean when we talk about these possible objects is that we are talking about objects that don't have their essences exemplified in the actual world but are exemplified in the possible worlds. However, I am struggling to see how this works. If the possible objects are exemplified in the possible worlds then they are also exemplified in the actual world for the possible worlds are contained within the actual world. the introduction of essences doesn't explain at all how the actualist can simultaneously both claim (a) and (b).
the easier way for the actualist to account for (b) is to just say that all possible objects exist but they are abstract. there is no need to introduce essences right?
What was Plantinga's intention behind introducing essences?