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  1. Generalized Identity, Zero-Ground, and Necessity.Yannic Kappes - manuscript
    This paper offers a modification of Fabrice Correia's and Alexander Skiles' ("Grounding, Essence, and Identity") definition of grounding in terms of generalized identity that extends it to zero-grounding. This definition promises to improve our understanding of zero-grounding by capturing it within the framework of generalized identity and allows an essentialist theory of modality based on Correia's and Skiles' account to resist a recent challenge by Jessica Leech. The latter is achieved by combining the following two ideas: (1) Some necessities are (...)
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  2. Abstracta and Possibilia: Modal Foundations of Mathematical Platonism.Hasen Khudairi - manuscript
    This paper aims to provide modal foundations for mathematical platonism. I examine Hale and Wright's (2009) objections to the merits and need, in the defense of mathematical platonism and its epistemology, of the thesis of Necessitism. In response to Hale and Wright's objections to the role of epistemic and metaphysical modalities in providing justification for both the truth of abstraction principles and the success of mathematical predicate reference, I examine the Necessitist commitments of the abundant conception of properties endorsed by (...)
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  3. Physical Necessitism.Hasen Khudairi - manuscript
    This paper aims to provide two abductive considerations adducing in favor of the thesis of Necessitism in modal ontology. I demonstrate how instances of the Barcan formula can be witnessed, when the modal operators are interpreted 'naturally' -- i.e., as including geometric possibilities -- and the quantifiers in the formula range over a domain of natural, or concrete, entities and their contingently non-concrete analogues. I argue that, because there are considerations within physics and metaphysical inquiry which corroborate modal relationalist claims (...)
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  4. Symmetry and Hybrid Contingentism.Maegan Fairchild - forthcoming - In Peter Fritz & Nicholas K. Jones (eds.), Higher-order Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
    This paper outlines a defense of hybrid contingentism: that it is contingent which individuals there are, but not contingent what properties there are. Critics pursue two main lines of complaint. First, that the hybrid contingentist’s treatment of haecceitistic properties is metaphysically mysterious, and second, that hybrid contingentism involves an unjustified asymmetry in the associated modal logic. I suggest that these complaints may be too quick, at least in the setting of higher-order metaphysics. It is not at all obvious whether and (...)
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  5. Contingentism in Metaphysics.Kristie Miller - forthcoming - In Rikki Bliss & James Miller (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics. Routledge.
    Let us distinguish two kinds of contingentism: entity contingentism and metaphysical contingentism. Here, I use ‘entity’ very broadly to include anything over which we can quantify—objects (abstract and concrete), properties, and relations. Then entity contingentism about some entity, E, is the view that E exists contingently: that is, that E exists in some possible worlds and not in others. By contrast, entity necessitarianism about E is the view that E exists of necessity: that is, that E exists in all possible (...)
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  6. What Can Our Best Scientific Theories Tell Us About The Modal Status of Mathematical Objects?Joe Morrison - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-18.
    Indispensability arguments are used as a way of working out what there is: our best science tells us what things there are. Some philosophers think that indispensability arguments can be used to show that we should be committed to the existence of mathematical objects. Do indispensability arguments also deliver conclusions about the modal properties of these mathematical entities? Colyvan Mathematical knowledge, OUP, Oxford, 109-122, 2007) and Hartry Field each suggest that a consequence of the empirical methodology of indispensability arguments is (...)
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  7. New Powers for Dispositionalism.Giacomo Giannini - 2022 - Synthese 200 (384):1-30.
    Establishing Dispositionalism as a viable theory of modality requires the successful fulfilment of two tasks: showing that all modal truths can be derived from truths about actual powers, and offering a suitable metaphysics of powers. These two tasks are intertwined: difficulties in one can affect the chances of success in the other. In this paper, I generalise an objection to Dispositionalism by Jessica Leech and argue that the theory in its present form is ill-suited to account for de re truths (...)
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  8. In Defence of Hybrid Contingentism.Lukas Skiba - 2022 - Philosophers' Imprint 22 (4):1-30.
    Hybrid contingentism combines first-order contingentism, the view that it is contingent what individuals there are, with higher-order necessitism, the view that it is non-contingent what properties and propositions there are (where these are conceived as entities in the range of appropriate higher-order quantifiers). This combination of views avoids the most delicate problems afflicting alternative contingentist positions while preserving the central contingentist claim that ordinary, concrete entities exist contingently. Despite these attractive features, hybrid contingentism is usually faced with rejection. The main (...)
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  9. Higher‐Order Metaphysics.Lukas Skiba - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (10):1-11.
    Subverting a once widely held Quinean paradigm, there is a growing consensus among philosophers of logic that higher-order quantifiers (which bind variables in the syntactic position of predicates and sentences) are a perfectly legitimate and useful instrument in the logico-philosophical toolbox, while neither being reducible to nor fully explicable in terms of first-order quantifiers (which bind variables in singular term position). This article discusses the impact of this quantificational paradigm shift on metaphysics, focussing on theories of properties, propositions, and identity, (...)
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  10. In Defense of the Possibilism–Actualism Distinction.Christopher Menzel - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):1971-1997.
    In Modal Logic as Metaphysics, Timothy Williamson claims that the possibilism-actualism (P-A) distinction is badly muddled. In its place, he introduces a necessitism-contingentism (N-C) distinction that he claims is free of the confusions that purportedly plague the P-A distinction. In this paper I argue first that the P-A distinction, properly understood, is historically well-grounded and entirely coherent. I then look at the two arguments Williamson levels at the P-A distinction and find them wanting and show, moreover, that, when the N-C (...)
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  11. Contingent Existence and the Reduction of Modality to Essence.Trevor Teitel - 2019 - Mind 128 (509):39-68.
    This paper first argues that we can bring out a tension between the following three popular doctrines: (i) the canonical reduction of metaphysical modality to essence, due to Fine, (ii) contingentism, which says that possibly something could have failed to be something, and (iii) the doctrine that metaphysical modality obeys the modal logic S5. After presenting two such arguments (one from the theorems of S4 and another from the theorems of B), I turn to exploring various conclusions we might draw (...)
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  12. An Objection to Naturalism and Atheism From Logic.Christopher Gregory Weaver - 2019 - In Graham Oppy (ed.), Blackwell Companion to Atheism and Philosophy. Malden: Blackwell Publishers. pp. 451-475.
    I proffer a success argument for classical logical consequence. I articulate in what sense that notion of consequence should be regarded as the privileged notion for metaphysical inquiry aimed at uncovering the fundamental nature of the world. Classical logic breeds necessitism. I use necessitism to produce problems for both ontological naturalism and atheism.
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  13. Higher-Order Contingentism, Part 2: Patterns of Indistinguishability.Peter Fritz - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (3):407-418.
    The models of contingency in what propositions, properties and relations there are developed in Part 1 are related to models of contingency in what propositions there are due to Robert Stalnaker. It is shown that some but not all of the classes of models of Part 1 agree with Stalnaker’s models concerning the patterns of contingency in what propositions there are they admit. Further structural connections between the two kinds of models are explored.
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  14. Higher-Order Contingentism, Part 3: Expressive Limitations.Peter Fritz - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (4):649-671.
    Two expressive limitations of an infinitary higher-order modal language interpreted on models for higher-order contingentism – the thesis that it is contingent what propositions, properties and relations there are – are established: First, the inexpressibility of certain relations, which leads to the fact that certain model-theoretic existence conditions for relations cannot equivalently be reformulated in terms of being expressible in such a language. Second, the inexpressibility of certain modalized cardinality claims, which shows that in such a language, higher-order contingentists cannot (...)
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  15. Contingent Existence and Iterated Modality.Cian Dorr - 2017 - Analysis 77 (1):155-165.
    A discussion of a view, defended by Robert Adams and Boris Kment, according to which contingent existence requires rejecting many standard principles of propositional modal logic involving iterated modal operators.
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  16. Counting Incompossibles.Peter Fritz & Jeremy Goodman - 2017 - Mind 126 (504):1063–1108.
    We often speak as if there are merely possible people—for example, when we make such claims as that most possible people are never going to be born. Yet most metaphysicians deny that anything is both possibly a person and never born. Since our unreflective talk of merely possible people serves to draw non-trivial distinctions, these metaphysicians owe us some paraphrase by which we can draw those distinctions without committing ourselves to there being merely possible people. We show that such paraphrases (...)
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  17. Williamson on Fine on Prior on the Reduction of Possibilist Discourse.Kit Fine - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):548-570.
    I attempt to meet some criticisms that Williamson makes of my attempt to carry out Prior's project of reducing possibility discourse to actualist discourse.
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  18. Propositional Contingentism.Peter Fritz - 2016 - Review of Symbolic Logic 9 (1):123-142.
    According to propositional contingentism, it is contingent what propositions there are. This paper presents two ways of modeling contingency in what propositions there are using two classes of possible worlds models. The two classes of models are shown to be equivalent as models of contingency in what propositions there are, although they differ as to which other aspects of reality they represent. These constructions are based on recent work by Robert Stalnaker; the aim of this paper is to explain, expand, (...)
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  19. First-Order Modal Logic in the Necessary Framework of Objects.Peter Fritz - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):584-609.
    I consider the first-order modal logic which counts as valid those sentences which are true on every interpretation of the non-logical constants. Based on the assumptions that it is necessary what individuals there are and that it is necessary which propositions are necessary, Timothy Williamson has tentatively suggested an argument for the claim that this logic is determined by a possible world structure consisting of an infinite set of individuals and an infinite set of worlds. He notes that only the (...)
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  20. Higher-Order Contingentism, Part 1: Closure and Generation.Peter Fritz & Jeremy Goodman - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 45 (6):645-695.
    This paper is a study of higher-order contingentism – the view, roughly, that it is contingent what properties and propositions there are. We explore the motivations for this view and various ways in which it might be developed, synthesizing and expanding on work by Kit Fine, Robert Stalnaker, and Timothy Williamson. Special attention is paid to the question of whether the view makes sense by its own lights, or whether articulating the view requires drawing distinctions among possibilities that, according to (...)
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  21. Model Theory and Contingent Existence.Boris Kment - 2016 - Analysis 76 (2):172-190.
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  22. Reply to Sider.Timothy Williamson - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):699-708.
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  23. Reply to Stalnaker.Timothy Williamson - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):727-734.
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  24. Modal Science.Timothy Williamson - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):453-492.
    This paper explains and defends the idea that metaphysical necessity is the strongest kind of objective necessity. Plausible closure conditions on the family of objective modalities are shown to entail that the logic of metaphysical necessity is S5. Evidence is provided that some objective modalities are studied in the natural sciences. In particular, the modal assumptions implicit in physical applications of dynamical systems theory are made explicit by using such systems to define models of a modal temporal logic. Those assumptions (...)
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  25. Reply to Fine.Timothy Williamson - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):571-583.
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  26. Reply to Fritz.Timothy Williamson - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):610-612.
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  27. Reply to Goodman.Timothy Williamson - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):640-653.
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  28. Williamson on Modality.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri & Mark McCullagh - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):453-851.
    This special issue of the Canadian Journal of Philosophy is dedicated to Timothy Williamson's work on modality. It consists of a new paper by Williamson followed by papers on Williamson's work on modality, with each followed by a reply by Williamson. -/- Contributors: Andrew Bacon, Kit Fine, Peter Fritz, Jeremy Goodman, John Hawthorne, Øystein Linnebo, Ted Sider, Robert Stalnaker, Meghan Sullivan, Gabriel Uzquiano, Barbara Vetter, Timothy Williamson, Juhani Yli-Vakkuri.
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  29. Ontology of Sentential Moods.Berislav Žarnić - 2016 - In Myśli o języku, nauce i wartościach. Seria druga. Profesorowi Jackowi Juliuszowi Jadackiemu w siedemdziesiątą rocznicę urodzin. pp. 323-339.
    In this paper ontological implications of the Barcan formula and its converse will be discussed at the conceptual and technical level. The thesis that will be defended is that sentential moods are not ontologically neutral since the rejection of ontological implications of Barcan formula and its converse is a condition of a possibility of the imperative mood. The paper is divided into four sections. In the first section a systematization of semantical systems of quantified modal logic is introduced for the (...)
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  30. Quantificational Logic and Empty Names.Andrew Bacon - 2013 - Philosophers' Imprint 13.
    The result of combining classical quantificational logic with modal logic proves necessitism – the claim that necessarily everything is necessarily identical to something. This problem is reflected in the purely quantificational theory by theorems such as ∃x t=x; it is a theorem, for example, that something is identical to Timothy Williamson. The standard way to avoid these consequences is to weaken the theory of quantification to a certain kind of free logic. However, it has often been noted that in order (...)
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  31. Modal Ontology and Generalized Quantifiers.Peter Fritz - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (4):643-678.
    Timothy Williamson has argued that in the debate on modal ontology, the familiar distinction between actualism and possibilism should be replaced by a distinction between positions he calls contingentism and necessitism. He has also argued in favor of necessitism, using results on quantified modal logic with plurally interpreted second-order quantifiers showing that necessitists can draw distinctions contingentists cannot draw. Some of these results are similar to well-known results on the relative expressivity of quantified modal logics with so-called inner and outer (...)
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  32. Unnecessary Existents.Joshua Spencer - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (5-6):766-775.
    Timothy Williamson has argued for the radical conclusion that everything necessarily exists. In this paper, I assume that the conclusion of Williamson’s argument is more incredible than the denial of his premises. Under the assumption that Williamson is mistaken, I argue for the claim that there are some structured propositions which have constituents that might not have existed. If those constituents had not existed, then the propositions would have had an unfilled role; they would have been gappy. This gappy propositions (...)
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  33. Essentialism Vis-À-Vis Possibilia, Modal Logic, and Necessitism.Sonia Roca-Royes - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (1):54-64.
    Pace Necessitism – roughly, the view that existence is not contingent – essential properties provide necessary conditions for the existence of objects. Sufficiency properties, by contrast, provide sufficient conditions, and individual essences provide necessary and sufficient conditions. This paper explains how these kinds of properties can be used to illuminate the ontological status of merely possible objects and to construct a respectable possibilist ontology. The paper also reviews two points of interaction between essentialism and modal logic. First, we will briefly (...)
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  34. Aristotle and Averroes: The Problem of Necessity and Contingency.Robert E. Allinson - 2003 - Philosophical Inquiry 25 (3-4):189-197.
    This article begins by taking issue with Husserl’s claims on the inseparability of fact and essence. It is shown that factuality and essence are independent from each other, although not epistemologically separable. Turning to Aristotle and Averroes, it examines the claim that in order to have become aware of necessity as necessity one would have to have been aware of contingency. Establishing a difference between the world of necessary existence and the world of contingent existence as two realms of truth, (...)
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  35. Anselm's One Argument.Robert E. Allinson - 1993 - Philosophical Inquiry 15 (1-2):16-19.
    This essay argues that Anselm’s Proslogium II is self-invalidating and that it must be so in order for Proslogium III to be a valid argument. It begins by differentiating between necessary existence, logical possibility, and contingency, establishing that necessary existence can never be treated as a matter of logical possibility. In turn, possibility must always be defined alongside the concept of contingency. It is then further shown that necessity can in no sense be possible, for the possible implies the contingent (...)
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