Quantificational Logic and Empty Names

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
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 to specify the truth conditions of certain sentences involving constants or variables that don’t denote, one has to apparently quantify over things that are not identical to anything. In this paper I defend a contingentist, non-Meinongian metaphysics within a positive free logic. I argue that although certain names and free variables do not actually refer to anything, in each case there might have been something they actually refer to, allowing one to interpret the contingentist claims without quantifying over mere possibilia.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
BACQLA
Upload history
Archival date: 2013-05-30
View other versions
Added to PP index
2013-05-31

Total views
597 ( #6,559 of 51,465 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
33 ( #17,613 of 51,465 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.