The Eightfold Way: Why Analyticity, Apriority and Necessity are Independent

Philosophers' Imprint 17:1-17 (2017)
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Abstract

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 void. This paper defends the contrary view that all eight categories house statements—a position I dub ‘octopropositionalism’. Examples of statements belonging to all eight categories are given.

Author's Profile

Douglas Ian Campbell
University of Canterbury

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