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Metaphysical and absolute possibility

Synthese 198 (Suppl 8):1861-1872 (2019)

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  1. Epistemic Modality and Hyperintensionality in Mathematics.Timothy Bowen - 2017 - Dissertation, University of St Andrews
    This book concerns the foundations of epistemic modality and hyperintensionality and their applications to the philosophy of mathematics. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The book demonstrates how epistemic modality and hyperintensionality relate to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality and hyperintensionality; the types of mathematical modality and hyperintensionality; to the epistemic status of large cardinal axioms, undecidable propositions, (...)
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  • Modal Idealism.David Builes - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind.
    I argue that it is metaphysically necessary that: (i) every fundamental entity is conscious, and (ii) every fundamental property is a phenomenal property.
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  • Kripkean conceivability and epistemic modalities.Vittorio Morato - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    In this article, I show that (i) from what I call a “Kripkean” account of the relations between conceivability and metaphysical necessities, (ii) an apparently plausible principle relating conceivability and epistemic modality, and (iii) the duality of epistemic modalities, one can show the utterly anti-Kripkean result that every metaphysical necessity is an epistemic necessity. My aim is to present and diagnose the problem and evaluate the costs of some possible Kripkean reactions. In particular, I will evaluate the consequences and theoretical (...)
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  • Against relationalism about modality.Carlos Romero - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (8):2245-2274.
    On a highly influential way to think of modality, that I call ‘relationalism’, the modality of a state is explained by its being composed of properties, and these properties being related by a higher-order and primitively modal relation. Examples of relationalism are the Dretske-Tooley-Armstrong account of natural necessity, many dispositional essentialist views, and Wang’s incompatibility primitivism. I argue that relationalism faces four difficulties: that the selection between modal relations is arbitrary, that the modal relation cannot belong to any logical order, (...)
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  • Naturalised Modal Epistemology and Quasi-Realism.Michael Omoge - 2021 - South African Journal of Philosophy 40 (3):229-241.
    Given quasi-realism, the claim is that any attempt to naturalise modal epistemology would leave out absolute necessity. The reason, according to Simon Blackburn, is that we cannot offer an empirical psychological explanation for why we take any truth to be absolutely necessary, lest we lose any right to regard it as absolutely necessary. In this paper, I argue that not only can we offer such an explanation, but also that the explanation won’t come with a forfeiture of the involved necessity. (...)
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  • What Is Absolute Modality?Antonella Mallozzi - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Talk of metaphysical modality as “absolute” is ambiguous, as it appears to convey multiple ideas. Metaphysical possibility is supposedly completely unrestricted or unqualified; metaphysical necessity is unconditional and exceptionless. Moreover, metaphysical modality is thought to be absolute in the sense that it’s real or genuine and the most objective modality: metaphysical possibility and necessity capture ways things could and must have really been. As we disentangle these ideas, certain talk of metaphysical modality qua “absolute” turns out to be misguided. Metaphysical (...)
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  • Immoral realism.Max Khan Hayward - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (4):897-914.
    Non-naturalist realists are committed to the belief, famously voiced by Parfit, that if there are no non-natural facts then nothing matters. But it is morally objectionable to conditionalise all our moral commitments on the question of whether there are non-natural facts. Non-natural facts are causally inefficacious, and so make no difference to the world of our experience. And to be a realist about such facts is to hold that they are mind-independent. It is compatible with our experiences that there are (...)
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  • Dated Truths Without Dated Powers.Giacomo Giannini & Donatella Donati - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    Dispositionalism is the theory of modality according to which all (metaphysical and natural) modal truths are made true by some actual irreducibly dispositional property. The relationship between Dispositionalism and time is yet to be satisfactorily explored. In this paper we contribute to this task by examining how Dispositionalism deals with ‘dated truths’: propositions involving a specific time, e.g. “It might rain at 12.30”. We examine two possible accounts: the first, 'Dated Manifestations Strategy', is the idea that powers are very fine-grained, (...)
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  • Thanks, We’re good: why moral realism is not morally objectionable.David Enoch - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (5):1689-1699.
    This paper responds to a recently popular objection to non-naturalist, robust moral realism. The objection is that moral realism is morally objectionable, because realists are committed to taking evidence about the distribution of non-natural properties to be relevant to their first-order moral commitments. I argue that such objections fail. The moral realist is indeed committed to conditionals such as “If there are no non-natural properties, then no action is wrong.” But the realist is not committed to using this conditional in (...)
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  • Essence and Necessity.Andreas Ditter - 2022 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 51 (3):653-690.
    What is the relation between metaphysical necessity and essence? This paper defends the view that the relation is one of identity: metaphysical necessity is a special case of essence. My argument consists in showing that the best joint theory of essence and metaphysical necessity is one in which metaphysical necessity is just a special case of essence. The argument is made against the backdrop of a novel, higher-order logic of essence, whose core features are introduced in the first part of (...)
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  • The deep incoherence of strong necessities.Harry Cleeveley - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Modal rationalism is the claim that for all p, if it is ideally conceivable that p, then there is a metaphysically possible world, W, in which p is true. This will be true just if there are no strong a posteriori necessities, where a strong necessity (for short) is a proposition that is conceivably false, but which is true in all metaphysically possible worlds. But are there any strong necessities? Various alleged examples have been proposed and argued over in the (...)
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  • Modal Pluralism and Higher‐Order Logic.Justin Clarke-Doane & William McCarthy - 2022 - Philosophical Perspectives 36 (1):31-58.
    In this article, we discuss a simple argument that modal metaphysics is misconceived, and responses to it. Unlike Quine's, this argument begins with the simple observation that there are different candidate interpretations of the predicate ‘could have been the case’. This is analogous to the observation that there are different candidate interpretations of the predicate ‘is a member of’. The argument then infers that the search for metaphysical necessities is misguided in much the way the ‘set-theoretic pluralist’ claims that the (...)
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  • Why Can’t There Be Numbers?David Builes - forthcoming - The Philosophical Quarterly.
    Platonists affirm the existence of abstract mathematical objects, and Nominalists deny the existence of abstract mathematical objects. While there are standard arguments in favor of Nominalism, these arguments fail to account for the necessity of Nominalism. Furthermore, these arguments do nothing to explain why Nominalism is true. They only point to certain theoretical vices that might befall the Platonist. The goal of this paper is to formulate and defend a simple, valid argument for the necessity of Nominalism that seeks to (...)
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  • Ontology and Arbitrariness.David Builes - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (3):485-495.
    In many different ontological debates, anti-arbitrariness considerations push one towards two opposing extremes. For example, in debates about mereology, one may be pushed towards a maximal ontology (mereological universalism) or a minimal ontology (mereological nihilism), because any intermediate view seems objectionably arbitrary. However, it is usually thought that anti-arbitrariness considerations on their own cannot decide between these maximal or minimal views. I will argue that this is a mistake. Anti-arbitrariness arguments may be used to motivate a certain popular thesis in (...)
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  • In defense of Countabilism.David Builes & Jessica M. Wilson - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (7):2199-2236.
    Inspired by Cantor's Theorem (CT), orthodoxy takes infinities to come in different sizes. The orthodox view has had enormous influence in mathematics, philosophy, and science. We will defend the contrary view---Countablism---according to which, necessarily, every infinite collection (set or plurality) is countable. We first argue that the potentialist or modal strategy for treating Russell's Paradox, first proposed by Parsons (2000) and developed by Linnebo (2010, 2013) and Linnebo and Shapiro (2019), should also be applied to CT, in a way that (...)
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  • 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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  • Mathematics and Metaphilosophy.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2022 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    This book discusses the problem of mathematical knowledge, and its broader philosophical ramifications. It argues that the challenge to explain the (defeasible) justification of our mathematical beliefs (‘the justificatory challenge’), arises insofar as disagreement over axioms bottoms out in disagreement over intuitions. And it argues that the challenge to explain their reliability (‘the reliability challenge’), arises to the extent that we could have easily had different beliefs. The book shows that mathematical facts are not, in general, empirically accessible, contra Quine, (...)
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  • The Epistemology of Modality.Antonella Mallozzi, Michael Wallner & Anand Vaidya - 2021 - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Naturalización de la Metafísica Modal.Carlos Romero - 2021 - Dissertation, National Autonomous University of Mexico
    ⦿ In my dissertation I introduce, motivate and take the first steps in the implementation of, the project of naturalising modal metaphysics: the transformation of the field into a chapter of the philosophy of science rather than speculative, autonomous metaphysics. -/- ⦿ In the introduction, I explain the concept of naturalisation that I apply throughout the dissertation, which I argue to be an improvement on Ladyman and Ross' proposal for naturalised metaphysics. I also object to Williamson's proposal that modal metaphysics (...)
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  • How to Make Possibility Safe for Empiricists.John D. Norton - unknown
    What is possible, according to the empiricist conception, is what our evidence positively allows; and what is necessary is what it compels. These notions, along with logical possibility, are the only defensible notions of possibility and necessity. In so far as nomic and metaphysical possibilities are defensible, they fall within empirical possibility. These empirical conceptions are incompatible with traditional possible world semantics. Empirically necessary propositions cannot be defined as those true in all possible worlds. There can be empirical possibilities without (...)
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