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I develop Kripke’s model of knowledge of a posteriori necessities and propose that knowledge of metaphysical necessity depends on knowledge of essential properties. In my account, essential properties are characterized in terms of their causal roles for determining other properties and behaviors. As a consequence, essential properties have a distinctive explanatory power. I present this account and show how it fits nicely Kripke’s examples of a posteriori necessities as well as other cases. I further suggest that a kind of necessitarianism about the laws of nature follows, and that this is implicit in Naming and Necessity.