On the Modal Content of A Posteriori Necessities

Theoria 75 (4):344-357 (2009)
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Abstract

This paper challenges the Kripkean interpretation of a posteriori necessities. It will be demonstrated, by an analysis of classic examples, that the modal content of supposed a posteriori necessities is more complicated than the Kripkean line suggests. We will see that further research is needed concerning the a priori principles underlying all a posteriori necessities. In the course of this analysis it will emerge that the modal content of a posteriori necessities can be best described in terms of a Finean conception of modality – by giving essences priority over modality. The upshot of this is that we might be able to establish the necessity of certain supposed a posteriori necessities by a priori means.

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Tuomas E. Tahko
University of Bristol

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