Modal Truth : Integrating the Metaphysics, Epistemology, and Semantics of the Necessary and the Possible

Dissertation, University of Washington (2016)
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The integration challenge for modality states that metaphysical theories of modality tend to fail in one of two ways: either they render the meanings of modal sentences mysterious, or they render modal knowledge mysterious. I argue that there are specific semantic and epistemic constraints on metaphysics implied by the integration challenge and that a plausible metaphysical theory of modality will satisfy both of them. I further argue that no popular metaphysical theory of modality simultaneously satisfies both of the constraints. Therefore, a new metaphysical theory of modality is needed, one that can offer a clear response to the integration challenge. I attempt to supply the needed theory and show that it satisfies the constraints of the integration challenge. The overall result is an argument for a new and unique metaphysical theory of modality that I call constructionism.


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