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  1. Modal Epistemology and the Rationalist Renaissance.George Bealer - 2002 - In Tamar Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 71-125.
    The paper begins with a clarification of the notions of intuition (and, in particular, modal intuition), modal error, conceivability, metaphysical possibility, and epistemic possibility. It is argued that two-dimensionalism is the wrong framework for modal epistemology and that a certain nonreductionist approach to the theory of concepts and propositions is required instead. Finally, there is an examination of moderate rationalism’s impact on modal arguments in the philosophy of mind -- for example, Yablo’s disembodiment argument and Chalmers’s zombie argument. A less (...)
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  • Modal science.Timothy Williamson - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):453-492.
    This paper explains and defends the idea that metaphysical necessity is the strongest kind of objective necessity. Plausible closure conditions on the family of objective modalities are shown to entail that the logic of metaphysical necessity is S5. Evidence is provided that some objective modalities are studied in the natural sciences. In particular, the modal assumptions implicit in physical applications of dynamical systems theory are made explicit by using such systems to define models of a modal temporal logic. Those assumptions (...)
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  • From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis.Timothy Williamson & Frank Jackson - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3):625.
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  • Modal Epistemology.E. Weber & T. DeMey (eds.) - 2004 - Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van Belgie vor Wetenschappen en Kunsten.
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  • Modal epistemology.Peter Van Inwagen - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 92 (1):67--84.
    Many important metaphysical arguments validly deduce an actuality from a possibility. For example: Because it is possible for me to exist in the absence of anything material, I am not my body. I argue that there is no reason to suppose that our capacity for modal judgment is equal to the task of determining whether the "possibility" premise of any of these arguments is true. I connect this thesis with Stephen Yablo's recent work on the epistemology of modal statements.
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  • Modal Rationalism and Modal Monism.Anand Vaidya - 2008 - Erkenntnis 68 (2):191-212.
    Modal rationalism includes the thesis that ideal primary positive conceivability entails primary possibility. Modal monism is the thesis that the space of logically possible worlds is coextensive with the space of metaphysically possible worlds. In this paper I explore the relation between the two theses. My aim is to show that the former thesis implies the latter thesis, and that problems with the latter make the former implausible as a complete picture of the epistemology of modality. My argument explores the (...)
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  • Modal Epistemology.Erik Weber Tim De Mey (ed.) - 2004 - Springer.
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  • Ways a world might be.Robert Stalnaker - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (3):439 - 441.
    Robert Stalnaker is an actualist who holds that merely possible worlds are uninstantiated properties that might have been instantiated. Stalnaker also holds that there are no metaphysically impossible worlds: uninstantiated properties that couldn't have been instantiated. These views motivate Stalnaker's "two dimensional" account of the necessary a posteriori on which there is no single proposition that is both necessary and a posteriori. For a necessary proposition is true in all possible worlds. If there were necessary a posteriori propositions, that would (...)
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  • Logic and Absolute Necessity.Scott A. Shalkowski - 2004 - Journal of Philosophy 101 (2):55-82.
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  • The extent of metaphysical necessity.Daniel Nolan - 2011 - Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):313-339.
    A lot of philosophers engage in debates about what claims are “metaphysically necessary”, and a lot more assume with little argument that some classes of claims have the status of “metaphysical necessity”. I think we can usefully replace questions about metaphysical necessity with five other questions which each capture some of what people may have had in mind when talking about metaphysical necessity. This paper explains these five other questions, and then discusses the question “how much of metaphysics is metaphysically (...)
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  • Anything is possible.Ch Mortensen - 1989 - Erkenntnis 30 (3):319 - 337.
    This paper criticises necessitarianism, the thesis that there is at least one necessary truth; and defends possibilism, the thesis that all propositions are contingent, or that anything is possible. The second section maintains that no good conventionalist account of necessity is available, while the third section criticises model theoretic necessitarianism. The fourth section sketches some recent technical work on nonclassical logic, with the aim of weakening necessitarian intuitions and strengthening possibilist intuitions. The fifth section considers several a prioristic attempts at (...)
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  • Two Notions of Metaphysical Modality.Antonella Mallozzi - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 6):1-22.
    The paper explores the project of an ambitious modal epistemology that attempts to combine the a priori methods of Chalmers’ 2D semantics with Kripke’s modal metaphysics. I argue that such a project is not viable. The ambitious modal epistemology involves an inconsistent triad composed of (1) Modal Monism, (2) Two-Dimensionalism, and what I call (3) “Metaphysical Kripkeanism”. I present the three theses and show how only two of those can be true at a time. There is a fundamental incompatibility between (...)
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  • Superexplanations for counterfactual knowledge.Antonella Mallozzi - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1315-1337.
    I discuss several problems for Williamson’s counterfactual-theory of modal knowledge and argue that they have a common source, in that the theory neglects to elucidate the proper constraints on modal reasoning. Williamson puts forward an empirical hypothesis that rests on the role of counterfactual reasoning for modal knowledge. But he overlooks central questions of normative modal epistemology. In order for counterfactual reasoning to yield correct beliefs about modality, it needs to be suitably constrained. I argue that what is needed is, (...)
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  • Essential Properties are Super-Explanatory: Taming Metaphysical Modality.Marion Godman, Antonella Mallozzi & David Papineau - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association (3):1-19.
    This paper aims to build a bridge between two areas of philosophical research, the structure of kinds and metaphysical modality. Our central thesis is that kinds typically involve super-explanatory properties, and that these properties are therefore metaphysically essential to natural kinds. Philosophers of science who work on kinds tend to emphasize their complexity, and are generally resistant to any suggestion that they have “essences”. The complexities are real enough, but they should not be allowed to obscure the way that kinds (...)
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  • How things might have been: individuals, kinds, and essential properties.Penelope Mackie - 2006 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    A novel treatment of an issue central to much current work in metaphysics: the distinction between the essential and accidental properties of individuals. Mackie challenges widely held views, and arrives at what she calls "minimalist essentialism," an unorthodox theory according to which ordinary individuals have relatively few interesting essential properties. Mackie's clear and accessible discussions of issues surrounding necessity and essentialism mean that the book will appeal as much to graduate students as it will to seasoned metaphysicians.
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  • What is the Source of Our Knowledge of Modal Truths?E. J. Lowe - 2012 - Mind 121 (484):919-950.
    There is currently intense interest in the question of the source of our presumed knowledge of truths concerning what is, or is not, metaphysically possible or necessary. Some philosophers locate this source in our capacities to conceive or imagine various actual or non-actual states of affairs, but this approach is open to certain familiar and seemingly powerful objections. A different and ostensibly more promising approach has been developed by Timothy Williamson, according to which our capacity for modal knowledge is just (...)
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  • The Varieties of (Relative) Modality.Jessica Leech - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (2).
    In ‘The Varieties of Necessity’ Fine presents purported counterexamples to the view that a proposition is a naturally necessary truth if and only if it is logically necessary relative to or conditional upon the basic truths about the status and distribution of natural kinds, properties and relations. The aim of this article is to defend the view that natural necessity is relative necessity, and the general idea that we can define other kinds of necessity as relative, against Fine's criticisms.
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  • Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - Critica 17 (49):69-71.
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  • Modal Objectivity.Clarke-Doane Justin - 2019 - Noûs 53:266-295.
    It is widely agreed that the intelligibility of modal metaphysics has been vindicated. Quine's arguments to the contrary supposedly confused analyticity with metaphysical necessity, and rigid with non-rigid designators.2 But even if modal metaphysics is intelligible, it could be misconceived. It could be that metaphysical necessity is not absolute necessity – the strictest real notion of necessity – and that no proposition of traditional metaphysical interest is necessary in every real sense. If there were nothing otherwise “uniquely metaphysically significant” about (...)
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  • A study in modal deviance.Gideon Rosen - 2002 - In Tamar Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 283--307.
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  • Absolute necessities.Bob Hale - 1996 - Philosophical Perspectives 10:93 - 117.
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  • The difference between epistemic and metaphysical necessity.Martin Glazier - 2017 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 6):1409-1424.
    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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  • Essence and modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.
    It is my aim in this paper to show that the contemporary assimilation of essence to modality is fundamentally misguided and that, as a consequence, the corresponding conception of metaphysics should be given up. It is not my view that the modal account fails to capture anything which might reasonably be called a concept of essence. My point, rather, is that the notion of essence which is of central importance to the metaphysics of identity is not to be understood in (...)
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  • Realism, Mathematics, and Modality.Hartry Field - 1988 - Philosophical Topics 16 (1):57-107.
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  • Making sense of logical pluralism.Matti Eklund - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (3-4):433-454.
    The article is centered on the question of how best to understand the logical pluralism/logical monism debate. A number of suggestions are brought up and rejected on the ground that they re...
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  • Two Kinds of Possibility.Dorothy Edgington - 2004 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 78 (1):1-22.
    I defend a version of Kripke's claim that the metaphysically necessary and the knowable a priori are independent. On my version, there are two independent families of modal notions, metaphysical and epistemic, neither stronger than the other. Metaphysical possibility is constrained by the laws of nature. Logical validity, I suggest, is best understood in terms of epistemic necessity.
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  • The Inaugural Address: Two Kinds of Possibility.Dorothy Edgington - 2004 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 78:1-22.
    I defend a version of Kripke's claim that the metaphysically necessary and the knowable a priori are independent. On my version, there are two independent families of modal notions, metaphysical and epistemic, neither stronger than the other. Metaphysical possibility is constrained by the laws of nature. Logical validity, I suggest, is best understood in terms of epistemic necessity.
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  • Logical Necessity and Other Essays.Edward Craig, I. G. McFetridge, John Haldane & Roger Scruton - 1991 - Philosophical Quarterly 41 (164):352.
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  • Let a thousand flowers Bloom: A tour of logical pluralism.Roy T. Cook - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (6):492-504.
    Logical pluralism is the view that there is more than one correct logic. In this article, I explore what logical pluralism is, and what it entails, by: (i) distinguishing clearly between relativism about a particular domain and pluralism about that domain; (ii) distinguishing between a number of forms logical pluralism might take; (iii) attempting to distinguish between those versions of pluralism that are clearly true and those that are might be controversial; and (iv) surveying three prominent attempts to argue for (...)
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  • Modal Objectivity.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2017 - Noûs 53 (2):266-295.
    It is widely agreed that the intelligibility of modal metaphysics has been vindicated. Quine's arguments to the contrary supposedly confused analyticity with metaphysical necessity, and rigid with non-rigid designators.2 But even if modal metaphysics is intelligible, it could be misconceived. It could be that metaphysical necessity is not absolute necessity – the strictest real notion of necessity – and that no proposition of traditional metaphysical interest is necessary in every real sense. If there were nothing otherwise “uniquely metaphysically significant” about (...)
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  • Metaphysical and absolute possibility.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 8):1861-1872.
    It is widely alleged that metaphysical possibility is “absolute” possibility Conceivability and possibility, Clarendon, Oxford, 2002, p 16; Stalnaker, in: Stalnaker Ways a world might be: metaphysical and anti-metaphysical essays, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2003, pp 201–215; Williamson in Can J Philos 46:453–492, 2016). Kripke calls metaphysical necessity “necessity in the highest degree”. Van Inwagen claims that if P is metaphysically possible, then it is possible “tout court. Possible simpliciter. Possible period…. possib without qualification.” And Stalnaker writes, “we can agree (...)
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  • Modal Epistemology: Fortune or Virtue?Albert Casullo - 2000 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 38 (S1):17-25.
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  • What’s Metaphysical About Metaphysical Necessity? 1.Ross P. Cameron - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (1):1-16.
    I begin by contrasting three approaches one can take to the distinction between the essential and accidental properties: an ontological, a deflationary, and a mind‐dependent approach. I then go on to apply that distinction to the necessary a posteriori, and defend the deflationist view. Finally I apply the distinction to modal truth in general and argue that the deflationist position lets us avoid an otherwise pressing problem for the actualist: the problem of accounting for the source of modal truth.
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  • Logical pluralism.Jc Beall & Greg Restall - 2000 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 78 (4):475 – 493.
    Consequence is at the heart of logic; an account of consequence, of what follows from what, offers a vital tool in the evaluation of arguments. Since philosophy itself proceeds by way of argument and inference, a clear view of what logical consequence amounts to is of central importance to the whole discipline. In this book JC Beall and Greg Restall present and defend what thay call logical pluralism, the view that there is more than one genuine deductive consequence relation, a (...)
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  • Logical Pluralism.Jc Beall & Greg Restall - 2005 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. Edited by Greg Restall.
    Consequence is at the heart of logic; an account of consequence, of what follows from what, offers a vital tool in the evaluation of arguments. Since philosophy itself proceeds by way of argument and inference, a clear view of what logical consequence amounts to is of central importance to the whole discipline. In this book JC Beall and Greg Restall present and defend what thay call logical pluralism, the view that there is more than one genuine deductive consequence relation, a (...)
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  • Naming and Necessity.S. Kripke - 1972 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 45 (4):665-666.
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  • On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
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  • On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
    This book is a defense of modal realism; the thesis that our world is but one of a plurality of worlds, and that the individuals that inhabit our world are only a few out of all the inhabitants of all the worlds. Lewis argues that the philosophical utility of modal realism is a good reason for believing that it is true.
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  • Modal Logic as Metaphysics.Timothy Williamson - 2013 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    Timothy Williamson gives an original and provocative treatment of deep metaphysical questions about existence, contingency, and change, using the latest resources of quantified modal logic. Contrary to the widespread assumption that logic and metaphysics are disjoint, he argues that modal logic provides a structural core for metaphysics.
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  • Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    In order to perfectly describe the world, it is not enough to speak truly. One must also use the right concepts - including the right logical concepts. One must use concepts that "carve at the joints", that give the world's "structure". There is an objectively correct way to "write the book of the world". Much of metaphysics, as traditionally conceived, is about the fundamental nature of reality; in the present terms, this is about the world's structure. Metametaphysics - inquiry into (...)
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  • Ways a world might be: metaphysical and anti-metaphysical essays.Robert Stalnaker - 2003 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Robert Stalnaker draws together in this volume his seminal work in metaphysics. The central theme is the role of possible worlds in articulating our various metaphysical commitments. The book begins with reflections on the general idea of a possible world, and then uses the framework of possible worlds to formulate and clarify some questions about properties and individuals, reference, thought, and experience. The essays also reflect on the nature of metaphysics, and on the relation between questions about what there is (...)
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  • Introduction.Aviv Hoffmann & Bob Hale - 2009 - In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: metaphysics, logic, and epistemology. Oxford University Press.
    This introductory chapter gives a general survey of the research context, along with brief descriptions of the chapters collected here, indicating how they contribute to the three-year project which provided that context. Focusing on absolute notions of necessity and possibility, the project's principal aims were to explore the most fundamental questions and issues centred on them — ranging from scepticism about modal notions themselves, anti-realist view such as non-cognitivism, and the tenability of any sort of realism about modal facts, through (...)
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  • Logical Necessity.Ian Rumfitt - 2010 - In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: metaphysics, logic, and epistemology. Oxford University Press.
    Book synopsis: The philosophy of modality investigates necessity and possibility, and related notions--are they objective features of mind-independent reality? If so, are they irreducible, or can modal facts be explained in other terms? This volume presents new work on modality by established leaders in the field and by up-and-coming philosophers. Between them, the papers address fundamental questions concerning realism and anti-realism about modality, the nature and basis of facts about what is possible and what is necessary, the nature of modal (...)
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  • Impossible Worlds.Francesco Berto & Mark Jago - 2019 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by Mark Jago.
    Impossible Worlds focuses on an exciting new theory in philosophy, with applications in metaphysics, logic, and the theory of meaning. Its central topic is: how do we meaningfully talk and reason about situations which, unbeknownst to us, are impossible? This issue emerges as a central problem in contemporary philosophical accounts of meaning, information, knowledge, belief, fiction, conditionality, and counterfactual supposition. The book is written bytwo of the leading philosophers in the area and contains original research of relevance to professional philosophers (...)
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  • Logical Pluralism.Gillian Russell - 2014 - In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford, CA: The Metaphysics Research Lab.
    A survey of contemporary work on logical pluralism.
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  • Meaning and Metaphysical Necessity.Tristan Grotvedt Haze - 2022 - New York: Routledge.
    This book is about the idea that some true statements would have been true no matter how the world had turned out, while others could have been false. It develops and defends a version of the idea that we tell the difference between these two types of truths in part by reflecting on the meanings of words. It has often been thought that modal issues—issues about possibility and necessity—are related to issues about meaning. In this book, the author defends the (...)
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  • Possibility of Metaphysics: Substance, Identity, and Time.E. J. Lowe - 1998 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.
    Jonathan Lowe argues that metaphysics should be restored to a central position in philosophy, as the most fundamental form of rational inquiry, whose findings underpin those of all other disciplines. He portrays metaphysics as charting the possibilities of existence, by idetifying the categories of being and the relations of ontological dependency between entities of different categories. He proceeds to set out a unified and original metaphysical system: he defends a substance ontology, according to which the existence of the world s (...)
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  • Modality and Explanatory Reasoning.Boris Christian Kment - 2014 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Boris Kment takes a new approach to the study of modality that emphasises the origin of modal notions in everyday thought. He argues that the concepts of necessity and possibility originate in counterfactual reasoning, which allows us to investigate explanatory connections. Contrary to accepted views, explanation is more fundamental than modality.
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  • The Possibility of Metaphysics: Substance, Identity, and Time.Edward Jonathan Lowe - 1998 - Oxford, GB: Clarendon Press.
    Jonathan Lowe argues that metaphysics should be restored to a central position in philosophy, as the most fundamental form of inquiry, whose findings underpin those of all other disciplines. He portrays metaphysics as charting the possibilities of existence, by identifying the categories of being and the relations between them. He sets out his own original metaphysical system, within which he seeks to answer many of the deepest questions in philosophy. 'a very rich book... deserves to be read carefully by anyone (...)
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  • What is metaphysics?Kit Fine - 2011 - In Tuomas E. Tahko (ed.), Contemporary Aristotelian Metaphysics. Cambridge University Press. pp. 8--25.
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