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  1. Meaning and Metaphysical Necessity.Tristan Grotvedt Haze - 2022 - New York: Routledge.
    This book is about the idea that some true statements would have been true no matter how the world had turned out, while others could have been false. It develops and defends a version of the idea that we tell the difference between these two types of truths in part by reflecting on the meanings of words. It has often been thought that modal issues—issues about possibility and necessity—are related to issues about meaning. In this book, the author defends the (...)
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  • Value-based accounts of normative powers and the wishful thinking objection.Daniele Bruno - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (11):3211-3231.
    Normative powers like promising allow agents to effect changes to their reasons, permissions and rights by the means of communicative actions whose function is to effect just those changes. An attractive view of the normativity of such powers combines a non-reductive account of their bindingness with a value-based grounding story of why we have them. This value-based view of normative powers however invites a charge of wishful thinking: Is it not bad reasoning to think that we have a given power (...)
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  • The Logic of Hyperlogic. Part A: Foundations.Alexander W. Kocurek - 2024 - Review of Symbolic Logic 17 (1):244-271.
    Hyperlogic is a hyperintensional system designed to regiment metalogical claims (e.g., “Intuitionistic logic is correct” or “The law of excluded middle holds”) into the object language, including within embedded environments such as attitude reports and counterfactuals. This paper is the first of a two-part series exploring the logic of hyperlogic. This part presents a minimal logic of hyperlogic and proves its completeness. It consists of two interdefined axiomatic systems: one for classical consequence (truth preservation under a classical interpretation of the (...)
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  • On Williamson’s Armchair Philosophical Knowledge.Cong Wang & Wen-Fang Wang - 2022 - Sophia 61 (4):737-756.
    Williamson ( 2007 ) argues that philosophers acquire no philosophical knowledge at all by semantic understanding alone. He further argues that the most important method used for achieving philosophical knowledge is through the ‘imaginative simulation’ process some of whose products are neither a priori nor a posteriori but ‘armchair’ knowledge. We argue in this paper that the way Williamson argues against the claim that semantic understanding alone is enough to achieve philosophical knowledge can be paralleled by an exactly similar argument (...)
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  • Are Counterpossibles Epistemic?Daniel Dohrn - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 102 (1):51-72.
    It has been suggested that intuitions supporting the nonvacuity of counterpossibles can be explained by distinguishing an epistemic and a metaphysical reading of counterfactuals. Such an explanation must answer why we tend to neglect the distinction of the two readings. By way of an answer, I offer a generalized pattern for explaining nonvacuity intuitions by a stand-and-fall relationship to certain indicative conditionals. Then, I present reasons for doubting the proposal: nonvacuists can use the epistemic reading to turn the table against (...)
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  • Should God believe the Liar? A non-dialetheist paraconsistent approach to God’s Omniscience.Guilherme Araújo Cardoso & Sérgio Ricardo Neves de Miranda - 2021 - Manuscrito 44 (4):518-563.
    In this paper, we discuss a family of arguments that show the inconsistency of the concept of omniscience, which is one of the central attributes of the theistic God. We introduce three member of this family: Grim’s Divine Liar Paradox, Milne’s Paradox and our own Divine Curry. They can be seen as theological counterparts of well-known semantic paradoxes. We argue that the very simple dialetheist response to these paradoxes doesn’t work well and then introduce our own response based on a (...)
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  • Epistemic Closure, Necessary Truths, and Safety.Bin Zhao - 2022 - American Philosophical Quarterly 59 (4):391-401.
    According to the safety account of knowledge, one knows that p only if one's belief could not easily have been false. An important issue for the account is whether we should only examine the belief in the target proposition when evaluating whether a belief is safe or not. In this paper, it is argued that if we only examine the belief in the target proposition, then the account fails to account for why beliefs in necessary truths could fall short of (...)
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  • Counterpossibles.Alexander W. Kocurek - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (11):e12787.
    A counterpossible is a counterfactual with an impossible antecedent. Counterpossibles present a puzzle for standard theories of counterfactuals, which predict that all counterpossibles are semantically vacuous. Moreover, counterpossibles play an important role in many debates within metaphysics and epistemology, including debates over grounding, causation, modality, mathematics, science, and even God. In this article, we will explore various positions on counterpossibles as well as their potential philosophical consequences.
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  • Logic talk.Alexander W. Kocurek - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13661-13688.
    Sentences about logic are often used to show that certain embedding expressions are hyperintensional. Yet it is not clear how to regiment “logic talk” in the object language so that it can be compositionally embedded under such expressions. In this paper, I develop a formal system called hyperlogic that is designed to do just that. I provide a hyperintensional semantics for hyperlogic that doesn’t appeal to logically impossible worlds, as traditionally understood, but instead uses a shiftable parameter that determines the (...)
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  • Counter Countermathematical Explanations.Atoosa Kasirzadeh - 2021 - Erkenntnis 88 (6):2537-2560.
    Recently, there have been several attempts to generalize the counterfactual theory of causal explanations to mathematical explanations. The central idea of these attempts is to use conditionals whose antecedents express a mathematical impossibility. Such countermathematical conditionals are plugged into the explanatory scheme of the counterfactual theory and—so is the hope—capture mathematical explanations. Here, I dash the hope that countermathematical explanations simply parallel counterfactual explanations. In particular, I show that explanations based on countermathematicals are susceptible to three problems counterfactual explanations do (...)
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  • Plenitude and necessarily unmanifested dispositions.Jonas Werner - 2021 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 10 (3):169-177.
    The principle of plenitude says that every material object coincides with abundantly many further objects that differ in their modal profiles. A necessarily unmanifested disposition is a disposition that necessarily does not manifest. This paper argues that if the principle of plenitude holds, then there are some necessarily unmanifested dispositions. These necessarily unmanifested dispositions will be argued to evade some objections against the cases of necessarily unmanifested dispositions put forward by Carrie Jenkins and Daniel Nolan.
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  • Hyperintensionality.Francesco Berto & Daniel Nolan - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    An overview of hyperintensionality is provided. Hyperintensional languages have expressions with meanings that are more fine-grained than necessary equivalence. That is, the expressions may necessarily co-apply and yet be distinct in meaning. Adequately accounting for theories cast in hyperintensional languages is important in the philosophy of language; the philosophy of mind; metaphysics; and elsewhere. This entry presents a number of areas in which hyperintensionality is important; a range of approaches to theorising about hyperintensional matters; and a range of debates that (...)
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  • Realism, reliability, and epistemic possibility: on modally interpreting the Benacerraf–Field challenge.Brett Topey - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):4415-4436.
    A Benacerraf–Field challenge is an argument intended to show that common realist theories of a given domain are untenable: such theories make it impossible to explain how we’ve arrived at the truth in that domain, and insofar as a theory makes our reliability in a domain inexplicable, we must either reject that theory or give up the relevant beliefs. But there’s no consensus about what would count here as a satisfactory explanation of our reliability. It’s sometimes suggested that giving such (...)
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  • Calculus and counterpossibles in science.Brian McLoone - 2020 - Synthese 198 (12):12153-12174.
    A mathematical model in science can be formulated as a counterfactual conditional, with the model’s assumptions in the antecedent and its predictions in the consequent. Interestingly, some of these models appear to have assumptions that are metaphysically impossible. Consider models in ecology that use differential equations to track the dynamics of some population of organisms. For the math to work, the model must assume that population size is a continuous quantity, despite that many organisms are necessarily discrete. This means our (...)
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  • The Necessity of Mathematics.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri & John Hawthorne - 2020 - Noûs 54 (3):549-577.
    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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  • Definable Conditionals.Eric Raidl - 2020 - Topoi 40 (1):87-105.
    The variably strict analysis of conditionals does not only largely dominate the philosophical literature, since its invention by Stalnaker and Lewis, it also found its way into linguistics and psychology. Yet, the shortcomings of Lewis–Stalnaker’s account initiated a plethora of modifications, such as non-vacuist conditionals, presuppositional indicatives, perfect conditionals, or other conditional constructions, for example: reason relations, difference-making conditionals, counterfactual dependency, or probabilistic relevance. Many of these new connectives can be treated as strengthened or weakened conditionals. They are definable conditionals. (...)
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  • Intrinsicality and the classification of uninstantiable properties.Dan Marshall - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):731-753.
    It is often held that identity properties like the property of being identical to Paris are intrinsic. It is also often held that, while some logically uninstantiable properties are intrinsic, some logically uninstantiable properties are non-intrinsic. The combination of these views, however, raises a problem, since virtually every existing account of intrinsicality fails to analyse a notion of intrinsicality on which both these views are true. In this paper, I argue that, given the orthodox theory of counterlogicals, there is no (...)
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  • Sensitivity, safety, and impossible worlds.Guido Melchior - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):713-729.
    Modal knowledge accounts that are based on standards possible-worlds semantics face well-known problems when it comes to knowledge of necessities. Beliefs in necessities are trivially sensitive and safe and, therefore, trivially constitute knowledge according to these accounts. In this paper, I will first argue that existing solutions to this necessity problem, which accept standard possible-worlds semantics, are unsatisfactory. In order to solve the necessity problem, I will utilize an unorthodox account of counterfactuals, as proposed by Nolan, on which we also (...)
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  • Explanation impossible.Sam Baron & Mark Colyvan - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (2):559-576.
    We argue that explanations appealing to logical impossibilities are genuine explanations. Our defense is based on a certain picture of impossibility. Namely, that there are impossibilities and that the impossibilities have structure. Assuming this broad picture of impossibility we defend the genuineness of explanations that appeal to logical impossibilities against three objections. First, that such explanations are at odds with the perceived conceptual connection between explanation and counterfactual dependence. Second, that there are no genuinely contrastive why-questions that involve logical impossibilities (...)
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  • The Prospects for a Monist Theory of Non-causal Explanation in Science and Mathematics.Alexander Reutlinger, Mark Colyvan & Karolina Krzyżanowska - 2020 - Erkenntnis 87 (4):1773-1793.
    We explore the prospects of a monist account of explanation for both non-causal explanations in science and pure mathematics. Our starting point is the counterfactual theory of explanation for explanations in science, as advocated in the recent literature on explanation. We argue that, despite the obvious differences between mathematical and scientific explanation, the CTE can be extended to cover both non-causal explanations in science and mathematical explanations. In particular, a successful application of the CTE to mathematical explanations requires us to (...)
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  • Counterfactuals, counteractuals, and free choice.Fabio Lampert & Pedro Merlussi - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (2):445-469.
    In a recent paper, Pruss proves the validity of the rule beta-2 relative to Lewis’s semantics for counterfactuals, which is a significant step forward in the debate about the consequence argument. Yet, we believe there remain intuitive counter-examples to beta-2 formulated with the actuality operator and rigidified descriptions. We offer a novel and two-dimensional formulation of the Lewisian semantics for counterfactuals and prove the validity of a new transfer rule according to which a new version of the consequence argument can (...)
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  • Quick Completeness for the Evidential Conditional.Eric Raidl - unknown
    Proves Completeness for the Evidential Conditional.
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  • The Consequence of the Consequence Argument.Marco Hausmann - 2020 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 34 (4):45-70.
    The aim of my paper is to compare three alternative formal reconstructions of van Inwagen’s famous argument for incompatibilism. In the first part of my paper, I examine van Inwagen’s own reconstruction within a propositional modal logic. I point out that, due to the expressive limitations of his propositional modal logic, van Inwagen is unable to argue directly (that is, within his formal framework) for incompatibilism. In the second part of my paper, I suggest to reconstruct van Inwagen’s argument within (...)
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  • Counterfactuals versus conceivability as a guide to modal knowledge.Daniel Dohrn - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3637-3659.
    I compare two prominent approaches to knowledge of metaphysical modality, the more traditional approach via conceiving viz. imagining a scenario and a more recent approach via counterfactual reasoning. In particular, Timothy Williamson has claimed that the proper context for a modal exercise of imagination is a counterfactual supposition. I critically assess this claim, arguing that a purely conceivability/imaginability-based approach has a key advantage compared to a counterfactual-based one. It can take on board Williamson’s insights about the structure of modal imagination (...)
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  • A Counterfactual Approach to Explanation in Mathematics.Sam Baron, Mark Colyvan & David Ripley - 2020 - Philosophia Mathematica 28 (1):1-34.
    ABSTRACT Our goal in this paper is to extend counterfactual accounts of scientific explanation to mathematics. Our focus, in particular, is on intra-mathematical explanations: explanations of one mathematical fact in terms of another. We offer a basic counterfactual theory of intra-mathematical explanations, before modelling the explanatory structure of a test case using counterfactual machinery. We finish by considering the application of counterpossibles to mathematical explanation, and explore a second test case along these lines.
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  • Counterpossibles and Normal Defaults in the Filioque Controversy.Jacob Archambault - 2019 - Logica Universalis 13 (4):443-455.
    A counterpossible conditional, or counterpossible for short, is a conditional proposition whose antecedent is impossible. The filioque doctrine is a dogma of western Christian Trinitarian theology according to which the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. The filioque doctrine was the principal theological reason for the Great Schism, the split between Eastern Orthodoxy and western Christianity, which continues today. In the paper, I review one of the earliest medieval defenses of the doctrine in Anselm of Canterbury, and (...)
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  • Counterfactuals of Ontological Dependence.Sam Baron - 2022 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 8 (2):278-299.
    A great deal has been written about 'would' counterfactuals of causal dependence. Comparatively little has been said regarding 'would' counterfactuals of ontological dependence. The standard Lewis-Stalnaker semantics is inadequate for handling such counterfactuals. That's because some of these counterfactuals are counterpossibles, and the standard Lewis-Stalnaker semantics trivializes for counterpossibles. Fortunately, there is a straightforward extension of the Lewis-Stalnaker semantics available that handles counterpossibles: simply take Lewis's closeness relation that orders possible worlds and unleash it across impossible worlds. To apply the (...)
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  • Fictionalism, the Safety Result and counterpossibles.Lukas Skiba - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):647-658.
    Fictionalists maintain that possible worlds, numbers or composite objects exist only according to theories which are useful but false. Hale, Divers and Woodward have provided arguments which threaten to show that fictionalists must be prepared to regard the theories in question as contingently, rather than necessarily, false. If warranted, this conclusion would significantly limit the appeal of the fictionalist strategy rendering it unavailable to anyone antecedently convinced that mathematics and metaphysics concern non-contingent matters. I try to show that their arguments (...)
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  • The moving spotlight(s).Giuseppe Spolaore & Giuliano Torrengo - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (7):754-771.
    The moving spotlight account (MS) is a view that combines an eternalist ontology and an A-theoretic metaphysics. The intuition underlying MS is that the present time is somehow privileged and experientially vivid, as if it were illuminated by a moving spotlight. According to MS-theorists, a key reason to prefer MS to B-theoretic eternalism is that our experience of time supports it. We argue that this is false. To this end, we formulate a new family of positions in the philosophy of (...)
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  • Counterfactual Scheming.Sam Baron - 2020 - Mind 129 (514):535-562.
    Mathematics appears to play a genuine explanatory role in science. But how do mathematical explanations work? Recently, a counterfactual approach to mathematical explanation has been suggested. I argue that such a view fails to differentiate the explanatory uses of mathematics within science from the non-explanatory uses. I go on to offer a solution to this problem by combining elements of the counterfactual theory of explanation with elements of a unification theory of explanation. The result is a theory according to which (...)
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  • Knowledge of objective modality.Margot Strohminger & Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (5):1155-1175.
    The epistemology of modality has focused on metaphysical modality and, more recently, counterfactual conditionals. Knowledge of kinds of modality that are not metaphysical has so far gone largely unexplored. Yet other theoretically interesting kinds of modality, such as nomic, practical, and ‘easy’ possibility, are no less puzzling epistemologically. Could Clinton easily have won the 2016 presidential election—was it an easy possibility? Given that she didn’t in fact win the election, how, if at all, can we know whether she easily could (...)
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  • Modal Empiricism Made Difficult: An Essay in the Meta-Epistemology of Modality.Ylwa Sjölin Wirling - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Gothenburg
    Philosophers have always taken an interest not only in what is actually the case, but in what is necessarily the case and what could possibly be the case. These are questions of modality. Epistemologists of modality enquire into how we can know what is necessary and what is possible. This dissertation concerns the meta-epistemology of modality. It engages with the rules that govern construction and evaluation of theories in the epistemology of modality, by using modal empiricism – a form of (...)
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  • On the Substitution of Identicals in Counterfactual Reasoning.Alexander W. Kocurek - 2020 - Noûs 54 (3):600-631.
    It is widely held that counterfactuals, unlike attitude ascriptions, preserve the referential transparency of their constituents, i.e., that counterfactuals validate the substitution of identicals when their constituents do. The only putative counterexamples in the literature come from counterpossibles, i.e., counterfactuals with impossible antecedents. Advocates of counterpossibilism, i.e., the view that counterpossibles are not all vacuous, argue that counterpossibles can generate referential opacity. But in order to explain why most substitution inferences into counterfactuals seem valid, counterpossibilists also often maintain that counterfactuals (...)
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  • Counterpossibles for modal normativists.Theodore D. Locke - 2019 - Synthese 198 (2):1235-1257.
    Counterpossibles are counterfactuals that involve some metaphysical impossibility. Modal normativism is a non-descriptivist account of metaphysical necessity and possibility according to which modal claims, e.g. ‘necessarily, all bachelors are unmarried’, do not function as descriptive claims about the modal nature of reality but function as normative illustrations of constitutive rules and permissions that govern the use of ordinary non-modal vocabulary, e.g. ‘bachelor’. In this paper, I assume modal normativism and develop a novel account of counterpossibles and claims about metaphysical similarity (...)
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  • Katharina Felka, Talking About Numbers: Easy Arguments for Mathematical Realism, Studies in Theoretical Philosophy, Vol. 3, Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann Verlag, 2016, 188 pp., €49.00. ISBN 978‐3‐465‐03879‐5. [REVIEW]Matteo Plebani - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (3):473-479.
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  • Completeness for counter-doxa conditionals – using ranking semantics.Eric Raidl - 2019 - Review of Symbolic Logic 12 (4):861-891.
    Standard conditionals $\varphi > \psi$, by which I roughly mean variably strict conditionals à la Stalnaker and Lewis, are trivially true for impossible antecedents. This article investigates three modifications in a doxastic setting. For the neutral conditional, all impossible-antecedent conditionals are false, for the doxastic conditional they are only true if the consequent is absolutely necessary, and for the metaphysical conditional only if the consequent is ‘model-implied’ by the antecedent. I motivate these conditionals logically, and also doxastically by properties of (...)
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  • Knowing how things might have been.Mark Jago - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 8):1-19.
    I know that I could have been where you are right now and that you could have been where I am right now, but that neither of us could have been turnips or natural numbers. This knowledge of metaphysical modality stands in need of explanation. I will offer an account based on our knowledge of the natures, or essencess, of things. I will argue that essences need not be viewed as metaphysically bizarre entities; that we can conceptualise and refer to (...)
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  • Counteridenticals.Alexander W. Kocurek - 2018 - The Philosophical Review 127 (3):323-369.
    A counteridentical is a counterfactual with an identity statement in the antecedent. While counteridenticals generally seem non-trivial, most semantic theories for counterfactuals, when combined with the necessity of identity and distinctness, attribute vacuous truth conditions to such counterfactuals. In light of this, one could try to save the orthodox theories either by appealing to pragmatics or by denying that the antecedents of alleged counteridenticals really contain identity claims. Or one could reject the orthodox theory of counterfactuals in favor of a (...)
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  • Wierenga on theism and counterpossibles.Fabio Lampert - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (3):693-707.
    Several theists, including Linda Zagzebski, have claimed that theism is somehow committed to nonvacuism about counterpossibles. Even though Zagzebski herself has rejected vacuism, she has offered an argument in favour of it, which Edward Wierenga has defended as providing strong support for vacuism that is independent of the orthodox semantics for counterfactuals, mainly developed by David Lewis and Robert Stalnaker. In this paper I show that argument to be sound only relative to the orthodox semantics, which entails vacuism, and give (...)
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  • The Necessity of Mathematics.Juhani Yli‐Vakkuri & John Hawthorne - 2018 - Noûs 52 (3):549-577.
    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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  • Should We Embrace Impossible Worlds Due to the Flaws of Normal Modal Logic?Til Eyinck - 2024 - Logica Universalis 18:1-14.
    Some philosophers advance the claim that the phenomena of logical omniscience and of the indiscernibility of metaphysical statements, which arise in (certain) interpretations of normal modal logic, provide strong reasons in favour of impossible world approaches. These two specific lines of argument will be presented and discussed in this paper. Contrary to the recent much-held view that the characteristics of these two phenomena provide us with strong reasons to adopt impossible world approaches, the view defended here is that no such (...)
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  • The Logic of Hyperlogic. Part B: Extensions and Restrictions.Alexander W. Kocurek - 2022 - Review of Symbolic Logic:1-28.
    This is the second part of a two-part series on the logic of hyperlogic, a formal system for regimenting metalogical claims in the object language (even within embedded environments). Part A provided a minimal logic for hyperlogic that is sound and complete over the class of all models. In this part, we extend these completeness results to stronger logics that are sound and complete over restricted classes of models. We also investigate the logic of hyperlogic when the language is enriched (...)
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  • In between impossible worlds.Maciej Sendłak - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    The common view has it that there are two families of approaches towards the logical structure of impossible worlds – Australasian and North American. According to the first, impossible worlds are closed under the relation of logical consequence of one of the non-classical logics. The North American approach is more liberal, allowing for impossible worlds where no logic holds. After pointing out the questionable consequences of each view, I propose a third one. While this new perspective allows for worlds where (...)
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  • Counterpossibles, Consequence and Context.Daniel Nolan - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    What is the connection between valid inference and true conditionals? Many conditional logics require that when A is a logical consequence of B, "if B then A" is true. Taking counterlogical conditionals seriously leads to systems that permit counterexamples to that general rule. However, this leaves those of us who endorse non-trivial accounts of counterpossible conditionals to explain what the connection between conditionals and consequence is. The explanation of the connection also answers a common line of objection to non-trivial counterpossibles, (...)
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  • Replies to the Critics of Knowing and Checking: an Epistemological Investigation.Guido Melchior - 2023 - Acta Analytica 38 (1):95-131.
    This paper replies to the comments made in Acta Analytica by Peter Baumann, Kelly Becker, Marian David, Nenad Miščević, Wes Siscoe, and Danilo Šuster on my Knowing and Checking: An Epistemological Investigation (Routledge 2019), hereinafter abbreviated as KC. These papers resulted from a workshop organized by the department of philosophy of the University of Maribor. I am very thankful to the organizers of the workshop and to the authors for their comments.
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  • Encoding in Conceivability-Contexts: Zalta’s Theory of Intentionality versus Bourgeois-Gironde’s Notion of Quasi-encoding.Valentina Luporini - 2022 - Metaphysica 23 (2):341-367.
    In, the author proposes a survey of Zalta’s Object Theory and, more specifically, of the Modal Axiom of Encoding. MAE claims that if something x possibly encodes a property F, then x necessarily encodes F. According to Bourgeois-Gironde, MAE fails to account for intentional phenomena which occur in conceivability-contexts. His solution is based on the notion of quasi-encoding: x quasi-encodes F iff x possibly encodes F. In this paper, I show that Bourgeois-Gironde’s concern is misguided and that Zalta’s framework captures (...)
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  • Necessity and linguistic rules.Boris Kment - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Amie Thomasson has argued against descriptivism about modality, which starts from the idea that modal statements serve to track features of the world and that these features explain the truth-values of modal claims. Thomasson objects that descriptivists cannot satisfactorily explain how modal features fit into the naturalistic picture of the world and that they cannot account for our apparent capacity to acquire modal knowledge. On Thomasson’s alternative to descriptivism (called ‘normativism’), the function of modal claims is to facilitate communication about (...)
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  • A Non-Vacuist Response to the Counterpossible Terrible Commands Objection.Frederick Choo - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-16.
    Critics of Divine Command Theory (DCT) argue that DCT implies the following counterpossible is true: If God commanded us to perform a terrible act, then the terrible act would be morally obligatory. However, our intuitions tell us that such a counterpossible is false. Therefore, DCT fails. This is the counterpossible terrible commands objection. In this paper, I argue that the counterpossible terrible commands objection fails. I start by considering a standard response by DCT proponents that appeals to vacuism—the view that (...)
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  • Reasoning from the impossible: early medieval views on conditionals and counterpossibles.Irene Binini - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Impossible antecedents entered the scene of medieval logic around the 1120s and soon started to dominate this scene, becoming one of the most debated issues from the second half of the twelfth century onwards. This article focuses on theories of counterpossibles from this period and aims to offer an overview of the different responses offered by twelfth-century logicians on whether everything, something, or nothing follows from an impossible statement. Rather than trying to historically reconstruct the positions of the different authors (...)
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  • Theism and Secular Modality.Noah Gordon - 2023 - Dissertation, University of Southern California
    I examine issues in the philosophy of religion at the intersection of what possibilities there are and what a God, as classically conceived in the theistic philosophical tradition, would be able to do. The discussion is centered around arguing for an incompatibility between theism and two principles about possibility and ability, and exploring what theists should say about these incompatibilities. -/- I argue that theism entails that certain kinds and amounts of evil are impossible. This puts theism in conflict with (...)
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