The difference between epistemic and metaphysical necessity

Synthese 198 (Suppl 6):1409-1424 (2017)
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Philosophers have observed that metaphysical necessity appears to be a true or real or genuine form of necessity while epistemic necessity does not. Similarly, natural necessity appears genuine while deontic necessity does not. But what is it for a form of necessity to be genuine? I defend an account of genuine necessity in explanatory terms. The genuine forms of necessity, I argue, are those that provide what I call necessitarianexplanation. I discuss the relationship of necessitarian explanation to ground.

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Martin Glazier
University of Geneva


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