Higher-Order Contingentism, Part 3: Expressive Limitations

Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (4):649-671 (2018)
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Two expressive limitations of an infinitary higher-order modal language interpreted on models for higher-order contingentism – the thesis that it is contingent what propositions, properties and relations there are – are established: First, the inexpressibility of certain relations, which leads to the fact that certain model-theoretic existence conditions for relations cannot equivalently be reformulated in terms of being expressible in such a language. Second, the inexpressibility of certain modalized cardinality claims, which shows that in such a language, higher-order contingentists cannot express what is communicated using various instances of talk of ‘possible things’, such as ‘there are uncountably many possible stars’.

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Peter Fritz
Australian Catholic University


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