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Conceptual Necessity
  1. Are There a Posteriori Conceptual Necessities?Daniel Dohrn - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 155 (2):181-197.
    I critically assess Stephen Yablo’s claim that cassinis are ovals is an a posteriori conceptual necessity. One does not know it simply by mastering the relevant concepts but by substantial empirical scrutiny. Yablo represents narrow content by would have turned out -conditionals. An epistemic reading of such conditionals does not bear Yablo’s claim. Two metaphysically laden readings are considered. In one reading, Yablo’s conditionals test under what circumstances concepts remain the same while their extensions diverge. As an alternative, I develop (...)
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Logical Necessity
  1. The Broadest Necessity.Andrew Bacon - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (5):733-783.
    In this paper the logic of broad necessity is explored. Definitions of what it means for one modality to be broader than another are formulated, and it is proven, in the context of higher-order logic, that there is a broadest necessity, settling one of the central questions of this investigation. It is shown, moreover, that it is possible to give a reductive analysis of this necessity in extensional language. This relates more generally to a conjecture that it is not possible (...)
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  2. The Logical Contingency of Identity.Hanoch Ben-Yami - 2018 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 14 (2):5-10.
    I show that intuitive and logical considerations do not justify introducing Leibniz’s Law of the Indiscernibility of Identicals in more than a limited form, as applying to atomic formulas. Once this is accepted, it follows that Leibniz’s Law generalises to all formulas of the first-order Predicate Calculus but not to modal formulas. Among other things, identity turns out to be logically contingent.
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  3. Epistemic Luck and Logical Necessities: Armchair Luck Revisited.Guido Melchior - 2017 - In Smiljana Gartner Bojan Borstner (ed.), Thought Experiments between Nature and Society. A Festschrift for Nenad Miščević. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 137-150.
    Modal knowledge accounts like sensitivity or safety face a problem when it comes to knowing propositions that are necessarily true because the modal condition is always fulfilled no matter how random the belief forming method is. Pritchard models the anti-luck condition for knowledge in terms of the modal principle safety. Thus, his anti-luck epistemology faces the same problem when it comes to logical necessities. Any belief in a proposition that is necessarily true fulfills the anti-luck condition and, therefore, qualifies as (...)
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  4. Logical and Epistemic Modality.Hasen Khudairi - manuscript
    This paper examines the interaction between the philosophy and psychology of concepts and the modal characterization of the deductive concept of logical validity. The concept of logical consequence on which I focus is model-theoretic, where the concept records the property of necessary truth-preservation from the premise of an argument to its conclusion, as well as the condition that, in the class of all possible worlds in which a premise is true, a consequent formula or succedent class of formulas is true, (...)
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  5. A Modality Called ‘Negation’.Francesco Berto - 2015 - Mind 124 (495):761-793.
    I propose a comprehensive account of negation as a modal operator, vindicating a moderate logical pluralism. Negation is taken as a quantifier on worlds, restricted by an accessibility relation encoding the basic concept of compatibility. This latter captures the core meaning of the operator. While some candidate negations are then ruled out as violating plausible constraints on compatibility, different specifications of the notion of world support different logical conducts for negations. The approach unifies in a philosophically motivated picture the following (...)
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  6. On Diachronic, Synchronic, and Logical Necessity.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    According to EJ Lowe, diachronic necessity and synchronic necessity are logically independent. Diachronic possibility concerns what could happen to an object over time and therefore concerns future possibilities for that object given its past history. Synchronic possibility concerns what is possible for an object in the present or at a past present moment. These are logically independent, given certain assumptions. While it may true that because I am 38, it is impossible diachronically for me to be 30 (at least once (...)
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  7. The Metaphysical Interpretation of Logical Truth.Tuomas Tahko - 2014 - In Penelope Rush (ed.), The Metaphysics of Logic: Logical Realism, Logical Anti-Realism and All Things In Between. Cambridge University Press. pp. 233-248.
    The starting point of this paper concerns the apparent difference between what we might call absolute truth and truth in a model, following Donald Davidson. The notion of absolute truth is the one familiar from Tarski’s T-schema: ‘Snow is white’ is true if and only if snow is white. Instead of being a property of sentences as absolute truth appears to be, truth in a model, that is relative truth, is evaluated in terms of the relation between sentences and models. (...)
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  8. Causal and Logical Necessity in Malebranche's Occasionalism.A. R. J. Fisher - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (4):523-548.
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  9. Merely Possible Explanation.Ghislain Guigon - 2011 - Religious Studies 47 (3):359-370.
    Graham Oppy has argued that possible explanation entails explanation in order to object to Richard Gale and Alexander Pruss’s new cosmological argument that it does not improve upon familiar cosmological arguments. Gale and Pruss as well as Pruss individually have granted Oppy’s inference from possible explanation to explanation and argue that this inference provides a reason to believe that the strong principle of sufficient reason is true. In this article, I shall undermine Oppy’s objection to the new cosmological argument by (...)
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  10. Millikan and Her Critics.Dan Ryder, Justine Kingsbury & Kenneth Williford (eds.) - 2013 - Wiley.
    Millikan and Her Critics offers a unique critical discussion of Ruth Millikan's highly regarded, influential, and systematic contributions to philosophy of mind and language, philosophy of biology, epistemology, and metaphysics. These newly written contributions present discussion from some of the most important philosophers in the field today and include replies from Millikan herself.
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  11. On the Proper Treatment of Quantification in Contexts of Logical and Metaphysical Modalities.Sten Lindström - 2006 - In Henrik Lagerlund, Sten Lindström & Rysiek Sliwinski (eds.), Modality Matters: Twenty-Five Essays in Honour of Krister Segerberg. Uppsala, Sweden: Uppsala Philosophical Studies 53. pp. 305-323.
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  12. Modal Skepticism: Philosophical Thought Experiments and Modal Epistemology.Daniel Cohnitz - 2003 - Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 10:281--296.
    One of the most basic methods of philosophy is, and has always been, the consideration of counterfactual cases and imaginary scenarios. One purpose of doing so obviously is to test our theories against such counterfactual cases. Although this method is widespread, it is far from being commonly accepted. Especially during the last two decades it has been confronted with criticism ranging from complete dismissal to denying only its critical powers to a cautious defense of the use of thought experiments as (...)
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  13. Why Essentialism Requires Two Senses of Necessity.Stephen K. McLeod - 2006 - Ratio 19 (1):77–91.
    I set up a dilemma, concerning metaphysical modality de re, for the essentialist opponent of a ‘two senses’ view of necessity. I focus specifically on Frank Jackson's two-dimensional account in his From Metaphysics to Ethics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998). I set out the background to Jackson's conception of conceptual analysis and his rejection of a two senses view. I proceed to outline two purportedly objective (as opposed to epistemic) differences between metaphysical and logical necessity. I conclude that since one (...)
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Metaphysical Necessity
  1. Metaphysical and Absolute Possibility.Justin Clarke-Doane - forthcoming - Synthese (special issue).
    It is widely alleged that metaphysical possibility is “absolute” possibility (Kripke [1980], Lewis [1986], Rosen [2006, 16], Stalnaker [2005, 203], Williamson [2016, 460]). Indeed, this is arguably its metaphysical significance. Kripke calls metaphysical necessity “necessity in the highest degree” ([1980, 99]). Williamson calls metaphysical possibility the “maximal objective modality” [2016, 459]. Rosen says that “metaphysical possibility is the [most inclusive] sort of real possibility” ([2006, 16]). And Stalnaker writes, “we can agree with Frank Jackson, David Chalmers, Saul Kripke, David Lewis, (...)
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  2. Nicholas Stang, Kant's Modal Metaphysics. [REVIEW]Colin McLear - 2018 - Philosophical Review 127 (4):523-528.
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  3. Nicholas Stang, Kant's Modal Metaphysics. [REVIEW]Colin McLear - 2018 - Philosophical Review 127 (4):523-528.
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  4. Essentially Grounded Non-Naturalism and Normative Supervenience.Toppinen Teemu - 2018 - Topoi 37 (4):645-653.
    Non-naturalism – roughly the view that normative properties and facts are sui generis and incompatible with a purely scientific worldview – faces a difficult challenge with regard to explaining why it is that the normative features of things supervene on their natural features. More specifically: non-naturalists have trouble explaining the necessitation relations, whatever they are, that hold between the natural and the normative. My focus is on Stephanie Leary's recent response to the challenge, which offers an attempted non-naturalism-friendly explanation for (...)
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  5. Modality is Not Explainable by Essence.Carlos Romero - forthcoming - The Philosophical Quarterly.
    Some metaphysicians believe that metaphysical modality is explainable by the essences of objects. In §II, I spell out the definitional view of essence, and in §III, a working notion of metaphysical explanation. Then, in §IV, I consider and reject five natural ways to explain necessity by essence: in terms of the principle that essential properties can't change, in terms of the supposed obviousness of the necessity of essential truth, in terms of the logical necessity of definitions, in terms of Fine's (...)
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  6. The Broadest Necessity.Andrew Bacon - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (5):733-783.
    In this paper the logic of broad necessity is explored. Definitions of what it means for one modality to be broader than another are formulated, and it is proven, in the context of higher-order logic, that there is a broadest necessity, settling one of the central questions of this investigation. It is shown, moreover, that it is possible to give a reductive analysis of this necessity in extensional language. This relates more generally to a conjecture that it is not possible (...)
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  7. Diamonds Are Forever.Cian Dorr & Jeremy Goodman - forthcoming - Noûs.
    We defend the thesis that every necessarily true proposition is always true. Since not every proposition that is always true is necessarily true, our thesis is at odds with theories of modality and time, such as those of Kit Fine and David Kaplan, which posit a fundamental symmetry between modal and tense operators. According to such theories, just as it is a contingent matter what is true at a given time, it is likewise a temporary matter what is true at (...)
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  8. Truths Qua Grounds.Ghislain Guigon - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (1):99-125.
    A number of philosophers have recently found it congenial to talk in terms of grounding. Grounding discourse features grounding sentences that are answers to questions about what grounds what. The goal of this article is to explore and defend a counterpart-theoretic interpretation of grounding discourse. We are familiar with David Lewis's applications of the method of counterpart theory to de re modal discourse. Counterpart-theoretic interpretations of de re modal idioms and grounding sentences share similar motivations, mechanisms, and applications. I shall (...)
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  9. Putting Modal Metaphysics First.Antonella Mallozzi - 2018 - Synthese:1-20.
    I propose that we approach the epistemology of modality by putting modal metaphysics first and, specifically, by investigating the metaphysics of essence. Following a prominent Neo-Aristotelian view, I hold that metaphysical necessity depends on the nature of things, namely their essences. I further clarify that essences are core properties having distinctive superexplanatory powers. In the case of natural kinds, which is my focus in the paper, superexplanatoriness is due to the fact that the essence of a kind is what causes (...)
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  10. Linking Necessity to Apriority.Tristan Haze - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-7.
    There is an important and fairly straightforward link between necessity and apriority which can shed light on our knowledge of the former, but initially plausible attempts to spell out what it is fall victim to counterexamples. Casullo (2003) discusses one such proposal, argues - following Anderson (1993) - that it fails, and suggests an alternative. In this paper, I argue that Casullo’s alternative also fails, before making a suggestion for which I can find no counterexamples and which, notably, handles some (...)
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  11. Two Notions of Metaphysical Modality.Antonella Mallozzi - 2018 - Synthese:1-22.
    The paper explores the project of an ambitious modal epistemology that attempts to combine the a priori methods of Chalmers’ 2D semantics with Kripke’s modal metaphysics. I argue that such a project is not viable. The ambitious modal epistemology involves an inconsistent triad composed of (1) Modal Monism, (2) Two-Dimensionalism, and what I call (3) “Metaphysical Kripkeanism”. I present the three theses and show how only two of those can be true at a time. There is a fundamental incompatibility between (...)
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  12. The Necessity of Mathematics.Juhani Yli‐Vakkuri & John Hawthorne - 2018 - Noûs 52.
    Some have argued for a division of epistemic labor in which mathematicians supply truths and philosophers supply their necessity. We argue that this is wrong: mathematics is committed to its own necessity. Counterfactuals play a starring role.
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  13. The Eightfold Way: Why Analyticity, Apriority and Necessity Are Independent.Douglas Ian Campbell - 2017 - Philosophers' Imprint 17:1-17.
    This paper concerns the three great modal dichotomies: (i) the necessary/contingent dichotomy; (ii) the a priori/empirical dichotomy; and (iii) the analytic/synthetic dichotomy. These can be combined to produce a tri-dichotomy of eight modal categories. The question as to which of the eight categories house statements and which do not is a pivotal battleground in the history of analytic philosophy, with key protagonists including Descartes, Hume, Kant, Kripke, Putnam and Kaplan. All parties to the debate have accepted that some categories are (...)
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  14. Plantinga's Ontological Argument.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    The ontological argument for the existence of God has enjoyed a recent renaissance among philosophers of religion. Alvin Plantinga's modal version is perhaps the most notable example. This essay critically examines Plantinga's rendition, uncovering both its strengths and weaknesses. The author concludes that while the argument is probably formally valid, it is ultimately unsound. Nonetheless, Plantinga's version has generated much interest and discussion. The author spends some time uncovering the reasons for the argument's powerful intuitive appeal. He concludes his essay (...)
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  15. Locke and Leibniz on Freedom and Necessity.Idan Shimony & Yekutiel Shoham - 2016 - In Wenchao Li (ed.), Für Unser Glück Oder Das Glück Anderer, X. Internationaler Leibniz-Kongress. Hildesheim: Georg Olms. pp. Vol. 1, 573-588.
    Locke and Leibniz are often classified as proponents of compatibilist theories of human freedom, since both maintain that freedom is consistent with determinism and that the difference between being and not being free turns on how one is determined. However, we will argue in this paper that their versions of compatibilism are essentially different and that they have significantly distinct commitments to compatibilism. To this end, we will first analyze the definitions and examples for freedom and necessity that Locke and (...)
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  16. On a Priori Knowledge of Necessity.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri & Margot Strohminger - manuscript
    The idea that the epistemology of modality is in some sense a priori is a popular one, but it has turned out to be difficult to precisify in a way that does not expose it to decisive counterexamples. The most common precisifications follow Kripke’s suggestion that cases of necessary a posteriori truth that can be known a priori to be necessary if true ‘may give a clue to a general characterization of a posteriori knowledge of necessary truths’. The idea is (...)
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  17. Modal Objectivity.Clarke-Doane Justin - forthcoming - Noûs.
    It is widely agreed that the intelligibility of modal metaphysics has been vindicated. Quine's arguments to the contrary supposedly confused analyticity with metaphysical necessity, and rigid with non-rigid designators.2 But even if modal metaphysics is intelligible, it could be misconceived. It could be that metaphysical necessity is not absolute necessity – the strictest real notion of necessity – and that no proposition of traditional metaphysical interest is necessary in every real sense. If there were nothing otherwise “uniquely metaphysically significant” about (...)
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  18. Mahdollisuus, välttämättömyys ja luodut ikuiset totuudet Descartesin filosofiassa.Forsman Jan - 2016 - In Ilkka Niiniluoto, Tuomas Tahko & Teemu Toppinen (eds.), Mahdollisuus. Helsinki: Philosophical Society of Finland. pp. 120-129.
    Tässä artikkelissa käsittelen Descartesin ikuisten totuuksien välttämättömyyteen liittyvää ongelmaa. Teoksessa Mietiskelyjä ensimmäisestä filosofiasta (1641–1642) Descartes nostaa esiin käsitteen ikuisista totuuksista, käyttäen esimerkkinään kolmiota. Kolmion muuttumattomaan ja ikuiseen luontoon kuuluu esimerkiksi, että sen kolme kulmaa ovat yhteenlaskettuna 180°. Se on totta kolmiosta, vaikka yhtään yksittäistä kolmiota ei olisi koskaan ollutkaan olemassa. Eräät ajattelemieni asioiden piirteet ovat siis Descartesin mukaan ajattelustani riippumattomia. Ikuisia totuuksia ovat ainakin matemaattiset ja geometriset tosiseikat sekä ristiriidan laki. Samoin Descartesin kuuluisa lause “ajattelen, siis olen” lukeutuu ikuisten totuuksien (...)
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  19. Counterfactual Reasoning and Knowledge of Possibilities.Dominic Gregory - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (4):821-835.
    Williamson has argued against scepticism concerning our metaphysically modal knowledge, by arguing that standard patterns of suppositional reasoning to counterfactual conclusions provide reliable sources of correct ascriptions of possibility and necessity. The paper argues that, while Williamson’s claims relating to necessity may well be right, he has not provided adequate reasons for thinking that the familiar modes of counterfactual reasoning to which he points generalise to provide a decent route to ascriptions of possibility. The paper also explores another path to (...)
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  20. Grounding, Contingency and Transitivity.Roberto Loss - 2017 - Ratio 30 (1):1-14.
    Grounding contingentism is the doctrine according to which grounds are not guaranteed to necessitate what they ground. In this paper I will argue that the most plausible version of contingentism is incompatible with the idea that the grounding relation is transitive, unless either ‘priority monism’ or ‘contrastivism’ are assumed.
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  21. Contingent Existence and the Reduction of Modality to Essence.Trevor Teitel - forthcoming - Mind:fzx001.
    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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  22. Modal Realism, Still At Your Convenience.Mark Jago & Harold Noonan - 2016 - Analysis:anx037.
    Divers (2014) presents a set of de re modal truths which, he claims, are inconvenient for Lewisean modal realism. We argue that there is no inconvenience for Lewis.
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  23. Modal Rationalism and the Objection From the Insolvability of Modal Disagreement.Mihai Rusu - 2016 - Logos and Episteme 7 (2):171-183.
    The objection from the insolvability of principle-based modal disagreements appears to support the claim that there are no objective modal facts, or at the very least modal facts cannot be accounted for by modal rationalist theories. An idea that resurfaced fairly recently in the literature is that the use of ordinary empirical statements presupposes some prior grasp of modal notions. If this is correct, then the idea that we may have a total agreement concerning empirical facts and disagree on modal (...)
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  24. 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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  25. Reply to Vetter.Timothy Williamson - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):796-802.
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  26. Reply to Fine.Timothy Williamson - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):571-583.
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  27. 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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  28. Counterpossibles for Dispositionalists.Barbara Vetter - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (10):2681-2700.
    Dispositionalists try to provide an account of modality—possibility, necessity, and the counterfactual conditional—in terms of dispositions. But there may be a tension between dispositionalist accounts of possibility on the one hand, and of counterfactuals on the other. Dispositionalists about possibility must hold that there are no impossible dispositions, i.e., dispositions with metaphysically impossible stimulus and/or manifestation conditions; dispositionalist accounts of counterfactuals, if they allow for non-vacuous counterpossibles, require that there are such impossible dispositions. I argue, first, that there are in (...)
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  29. A Purely Recombinatorial Puzzle.Fritz Peter - 2017 - Noûs 51 (3):547-564.
    A new puzzle of modal recombination is presented which relies purely on resources of first-order modal logic. It shows that naive recombinatorial reasoning, which has previously been shown to be inconsistent with various assumptions concerning propositions, sets and classes, leads to inconsistency by itself. The context sensitivity of modal expressions is suggested as the source of the puzzle, and it is argued that it gives us reason to reconsider the assumption that the notion of metaphysical necessity is in good standing.
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  30. Reply to Sider.Timothy Williamson - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):699-708.
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  31. Grounds, Roots and Abysses.Roberto Loss - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (4):41-52.
    The aim of this study is to address the “Grounding Grounding Problem,” that is, the question as to what, if anything, grounds facts about grounding. I aim to show that, if a seemingly plausible principle of modal recombination between fundamental facts and the principle customarily called “Entailment” are assumed, it is possible to prove not only that grounding facts featuring fundamental, contingent grounds are derivative but also that either they are partially grounded in the grounds they feature or they are (...)
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  32. Against Grounding Necessitarianism.Alexander Skiles - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (4):717-751.
    Can there be grounding without necessitation? Can a fact obtain wholly in virtue of metaphysically more fundamental facts, even though there are possible worlds at which the latter facts obtain but not the former? It is an orthodoxy in recent literature about the nature of grounding, and in first-order philosophical disputes about what grounds what, that the answer is no. I will argue that the correct answer is yes. I present two novel arguments against grounding necessitarianism, and show that grounding (...)
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  33. Natural Kind Essentialism Revisited.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2015 - Mind 124 (495):795-822.
    Recent work on Natural Kind Essentialism has taken a deflationary turn. The assumptions about the grounds of essentialist truths concerning natural kinds familiar from the Kripke-Putnam framework are now considered questionable. The source of the problem, however, has not been sufficiently explicated. The paper focuses on the Twin Earth scenario, and it will be demonstrated that the essentialist principle at its core (which I call IDENT)—that necessarily, a sample of a chemical substance, A, is of the same kind as another (...)
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  34. Review of Bob Hale's Necessary Beings. [REVIEW]Nils Kürbis - 2015 - Disputatio (40).
    Review of Bob Hale's "Necessary Beings: An Essay on Ontology, Modality, and the Relations Between Them". Oxford: Oxford University Press 2013, ISBN 9780199669578.
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  35. Necessity, Possibility and Determinism in Stoic Thought.Vanessa de Harven - 2016 - In Max Cresswel, Edwin Mares & Adriane Rini (eds.), Logical Modalities from Aristotle to Carnap: The Story of Necessity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 70-90.
    At the heart of the Stoic theory of modality is a strict commitment to bivalence, even for future contingents. A commitment to both future truth and contingency has often been thought paradoxical. This paper argues that the Stoic retreat from necessity is successful. it maintains that the Stoics recognized three distinct senses of necessity and possibility: logical, metaphysical and providential. Logical necessity consists of truths that are knowable a priori. Metaphysical necessity consists of truths that are knowable a posteriori, a (...)
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  36. Modality and Explanatory Reasoning.Boris Kment - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    Boris Kment takes a new approach to the study of modality that emphasises the origin of modal notions in everyday thought. He argues that the concepts of necessity and possibility originate in counterfactual reasoning, which allows us to investigate explanatory connections. Contrary to accepted views, explanation is more fundamental than modality.
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1 — 50 / 113