Production and necessity

Philosophical Review 118 (2):153-181 (2009)
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Abstract
A major source of latter-day skepticism about necessity is the work of David Hume. Hume is widely taken to have endorsed the Humean claim: there are no necessary connections between distinct existences. The Humean claim is defended on the grounds that necessary connections between wholly distinct things would be mysterious and inexplicable. Philosophers deploy this claim in the service of a wide variety of philosophical projects. But Saul Kripke has argued that it is false. According to Kripke, there are necessary connections between distinct existences; in particular, there are necessary connections between material objects and their material origins. In this paper I argue that the primary motivation for the Humean claim, Hume's datum, also motivates the key premise in an argument for the necessity of origins. The very considerations that the Humean takes to show that necessary connections between wholly distinct things would be mysterious and inexplicable indicate that there must be some such necessary connections. Thus, in the absence of alternative support, there is no reason to believe the Humean claim.
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First archival date: 2009-02-18
Latest version: 1 (2016-02-29)
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2009-02-19

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