About this topic
Summary If something could not have been otherwise, no matter how the world had turned out, that thing is metaphysically necessary. Traditional examples of metaphysical necessity include analytic statements such as 'All bachelors are unmarried', mathematical statements such as '2 + 2 = 4', identity statements such as 'Hesperus is Phosphorus', and theoretical identifications such as 'Water is H2O'. Philosophical issues surrounding metaphysical necessity include: its relationship to other forms of necessity (e.g. physical necessity), its relationship to a priori knowledge, its relationship to meaning and language, and its metaphysical grounds (i.e. what makes it the case that something is metaphysically necessary). The very status of the notion and its role in human thought is also up for debate.
Key works Although Kripke 1980 will surely remain the classic on the topic of metaphysical necessity, more recent discussion is abundant. For a discussion of the relationship between different types of necessity and the idea that narrower notions of necessity could be defined by restriction of metaphysical necessity, see Fine 2002. Fine 1994 presents an influential case in favour of reducing metaphysical necessity to essence, different aspects of which have since been discussed, e.g., in Hale 1996, Shalkowski 1997, Lowe 1998, Zalta 2006, Cameron 2010, and Correia 2012. For discussion on Kripke's and Putnam's contributions to the literature, see for instance Edgington 2004Soames 2011, Ballarin 2013, and Tahko 2013. Rosen 2006 argues that more than one notion fits Kripke's characterization of metaphysical necessity and his key examples. Divers 2018 argues for a form of 'pragmatic scepticism' about the notion.
Introductions Kripke 1980 Cameron 2010
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  1. Plantinga's Ontological Argument.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    The ontological argument for the existence of God has enjoyed a recent renaissance among philosophers of religion. Alvin Plantinga's modal version is perhaps the most notable example. This essay critically examines Plantinga's rendition, uncovering both its strengths and weaknesses. The author concludes that while the argument is probably formally valid, it is ultimately unsound. Nonetheless, Plantinga's version has generated much interest and discussion. The author spends some time uncovering the reasons for the argument's powerful intuitive appeal. He concludes his essay (...)
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  2. On a Priori Knowledge of Necessity.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri & Margot Strohminger - 2018
    The idea that the epistemology of modality is in some sense a priori is a popular one, but it has turned out to be difficult to precisify in a way that does not expose it to decisive counterexamples. The most common precisifications follow Kripke’s suggestion that cases of necessary a posteriori truth that can be known a priori to be necessary if true ‘may give a clue to a general characterization of a posteriori knowledge of necessary truths’. The idea is (...)
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  3. An Imaginative Person’s Guide to Objective Modality.Derek Lam - forthcoming - In Amy Kind & Christopher Badura (eds.), Epistemic Uses of Imagination. Routledge.
    Imagination is a source of evidence for objective modality. It is through this epistemic connection that the idea of modality first gains traction in our intellectual life. A proper theory of modality should be able to explain our imagination’s modal epistemic behaviors. This chapter highlights a peculiar asymmetry regarding epistemic defeat for imagination-based modal justification. Whereas imagination-based evidence for possibility cannot be undermined by information about the causal origin of our imaginings, unimaginability-based evidence for impossibility can be undermined by information (...)
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  4. Nothing Explains Essence.Taylor-Grey Miller - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Essentialist facts, facts about what is essential to what, are explanatorily distinctive. They can often be appealed to in the course of metaphysically explaining some fact, while themselves serving as explanatory ends. In other words, when one arrives in the course of an explanation at an essentialist fact, it often seems like a legitimate place to stop. In certain contexts, they seem to provide a metaphysical backstop to making further explanatory demands. This paper defends the view that essentialist facts are (...)
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  5. Lewisian Worlds and Buridanian Possibilia.Boaz Faraday Schuman - forthcoming - Dialectica.
    Many things can be other than they are. Many other things cannot. But what are statements like these about? One answer to this question is that we are speaking of possible worlds: if something can be other than it is, then it actually is that way in some possible world. If something cannot be otherwise, it is not otherwise in any world. This answer is presently dominant in analytical philosophy of language and logic. What are these worlds? David Lewis famously (...)
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  6. Varieties of Necessity in John Buridan : Logic and Natural Philosophy in the Late Middle Ages.Guido Alt - 2023 - Dissertation, Stockholm University
    This dissertation is a study of John Buridan's (c.1300-c.1361) conception of modalities. Modal concepts - concepts of necessity, possibility, impossibility, and contingency - describe the ways in which things could and could not be otherwise. These concepts became notoriously central for philosophical discourse in the late Middle Ages. In recent years, Buridan's philosophy and modal theory have received sophisticated scholarly attention. The main contribution of the dissertation is to show new ways in which Buridan's modal theory is embedded in its (...)
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  7. Thomasson on Modal Language.Matti Eklund - 2023 - In Miguel Garcia-Godinez (ed.), Thomasson on Ontology. Palgrave MacMillan. pp. 137-161.
    In recent work, Amie Thomasson has defended what she calls normativism about metaphysical modality. She claims that discourse about metaphysical modality primarily serves a non-descriptive function, and builds a theory of such discourse around this claim. In this text, I critically discuss Thomasson’s view. Chief among the problems I go on to discuss is that Thomasson’s account of the meanings of modal expressions does not solve the problems she intends it to solve (among them solving the Frege-Geach problem), that there (...)
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  8. Maybe Some Other Time.Martin Glazier - 2023 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 101 (1):197-212.
    I develop a puzzle, the resolution of which, I argue, requires an unfamiliar distinction between two forms or senses of metaphysical modality, each bearing a different relationship to time. In one sense of ‘metaphysically possible’, it is metaphysically possible for it to be a time other than the time it is now; in another sense, this is not metaphysically possible.
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  9. Theism and Secular Modality.Noah Gordon - 2023 - Dissertation, University of Southern California
    I examine issues in the philosophy of religion at the intersection of what possibilities there are and what a God, as classically conceived in the theistic philosophical tradition, would be able to do. The discussion is centered around arguing for an incompatibility between theism and two principles about possibility and ability, and exploring what theists should say about these incompatibilities. -/- I argue that theism entails that certain kinds and amounts of evil are impossible. This puts theism in conflict with (...)
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  10. Humean Reductionism about Essence.Ned Hall - 2023 - In Michael Townsen Hicks, Siegfried Jaag & Christian Loew (eds.), Humean Laws for Human Agents. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 258-286.
    In the metaphysics of laws of nature, one fundamental philosophical question is whether we should give a metaphysical or rather an epistemic account of what they are; that is the core issue that divides ‘Humeans’ from ‘anti-Humeans’. In much the same way, a key question we face with essences is whether to give a metaphysical or rather an epistemic account of what they are. (So note well: in choosing to deploy the term ‘essence’ this chapter is not taking sides on (...)
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  11. What Is Absolute Modality?Antonella Mallozzi - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Talk of metaphysical modality as “absolute” is ambiguous, as it appears to convey multiple ideas. Metaphysical possibility is supposedly completely unrestricted or unqualified; metaphysical necessity is unconditional and exceptionless. Moreover, metaphysical modality is thought to be absolute in the sense that it’s real or genuine and the most objective modality: metaphysical possibility and necessity capture ways things could and must have really been. As we disentangle these ideas, certain talk of metaphysical modality qua “absolute” turns out to be misguided. Metaphysical (...)
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  12. On the Alleged Incompatibility between Wittgenstein and Kripke.Panu Raatikainen - 2023 - In Martin Gustafsson, Oskari Kuusela & Jakub Mácha (eds.), Engaging Kripke with Wittgenstein. New York & Oxon: Routledge. pp. 9-27.
    This article aims to show that the alleged incompatibility of the views of Wittgenstein and Kripke is sometimes more specious than real. It is suggested that there are, underneath the surface, interesting points of contact between these two philosophers. Kripke’s views on names and reference are arguably not vulnerable to Wittgenstein’s critique of “the Augustinian Picture of Language” and of ostensive definitions. The attitudes of these two philosophers towards theories in philosophy are not as dissimilar as many have quickly judged (...)
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  13. Possibility Precedes Actuality.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2023 - Erkenntnis 88 (8):3583-3603.
    This paper is inspired by and develops on E. J. Lowe’s work, who writes in his book The Possibility of Metaphysics that ‘metaphysical possibility is an inescapable determinant of actuality’ (1998: 9). Metaphysics deals with possibilities – metaphysical possibilities – but is not able to determine what is actual without the help of empirical research. Accordingly, a delimitation of the space of possibilities is required. The resulting – controversial – picture is that we generally need to know whether something is (...)
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  14. Can a Necessity Be the Source of Necessity?James L. D. Brown - 2022 - Argumenta 7 (2):337-355.
    This paper asks whether a necessity can be the source of necessity. According to an influential argument due to Simon Blackburn, it cannot. This paper argues that although Blackburn fails to show that a necessity cannot be the source of necessity, extant accounts fail to establish that it is, with particular focus on Bob Hale’s essentialist theory and Christopher Peacocke’s ‘principle-based’ theory of modality. However, the paper makes some positive suggestions for what a satisfactory answer to the challenge must look (...)
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  15. On Metaphysical Necessity: Essays on God, the World, Morality, and Democracy.Jason Cather - 2022 - American Journal of Theology and Philosophy 43 (2-3):157-160.
  16. The a Priori Truth of Modal Rationalism.Harry Cleeveley - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (4):816-836.
    Modal rationalism is the claim that for any proposition p, if it is ideally conceivable that p, then there is a metaphysically possible world, W, in which p is true. If true, modal rationalism must itself be an a priori truth. Moreover, modal rationalism is true just if there are no strong a posteriori necessities. But are there any strong necessities? In this paper, I set out a transcendental argument to show that there cannot be any, because they are not (...)
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  17. 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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  18. Wie viele Arten von Möglichkeit gibt es? Ein Kommentar zu Barbara Vetters "Möglichkeit ohne mögliche Welten".Vera Hoffmann-Kolss - 2022 - Philosophisches Jahrbuch 129 (2):298-306.
    One implication of Vetter's theory of modality is that necessity and possibility are regarded as unitary natural kinds. In this paper, I argue that from the perspective of the philosophy of causation, there are good reasons to distinguish between different kinds of necessity: causal necessity, which is nomologically necessary, and non-causal necessity, which is metaphysically necessary. One challenge for Vetter's approach is to explain this distinction.
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  19. Essentialism vs. Potentialism: Allies or Competitors?Kathrin Koslicki - 2022 - Philosophisches Jahrbuch 129 (2):325-338.
    Do essence-based accounts of necessity and Vetter’s potentiality-based account of possibility in fact lead to the same result, viz., a single derived notion of necessity that is interdefinable with possibility or vice versa? And does each approach independently have the ability to reach its desired goal without having to rely on the primitive notion utilized by the other? In this essay, I investigate these questions and Vetter’s responses to them. Contrary to the “separatist” position defended by Vetter, I argue that (...)
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  20. Metaphysical Modality, without Possible Worlds.Giorgio Lando - 2022 - In Francesco Ademollo, Fabrizio Amerini & Vincenzo De Risi (eds.), Thinking and Calculating. Cham: Springer. pp. 385-408.
    Aim of this paper is to analyse and assess two divergent understandings of metaphysical modality. On one hand, according to the absolutist conception, metaphysical modality is the extreme variety of objective modality and can be characterised in terms of all the varieties of objective modality: for example, p is metaphysically necessary if and only if p is necessary for every variety of objective necessity. The absolutist conception can also be framed in terms of counterfactual inevitability. On the other hand, according (...)
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  21. A Posteriori Necessity as Restricted Necessity.Bin Liu - 2022 - Philosophia (4).
    I argue that conventionalists should construe a posteriori necessity as restricted necessity. I take Sidelle’s defence of the conventionalist explanation of a posteriori necessity against the contingency problem as the starting point. Sidelle construes a posteriori necessity as unrestricted necessity and then argues that a posteriori necessity is to be considered under a fixed convention and is thus irrelevant to the contingent nature of our linguistic conventions. I offer a different solution to the contingency problem. I argue that conventionalists should (...)
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  22. Hyperintensionality and Ontological Categories.James Miller - 2022 - Erkenntnis:1–19.
    In this paper, I discuss how to distinguish between ontological categories and ordinary categories. Using an argument against van Inwagen’s proposed account of what makes a category ontological as a springboard, I argue that if ontological categories are modally robust, then ontological categories need to be understood hyperintensionally. This conclusion opens up a wide range of new ways to define ‘ontological category’, and I close by briefly outlining one such way in order to illustrate the advantages of embracing hyperintensionality in (...)
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  23. Descartes on Necessity and the Laws of Nature.Nathan Rockwood - 2022 - Journal of Analytic Theology 10:277-292.
    This paper is on Descartes’ account of modality and, in particular, his account of the necessity of the laws of nature. He famously argues that the necessity of the “eternal truths” of logic and mathematics depends on God’s will. Here I suggest he has the same view about the necessity of the laws of nature. Further, I argue, this is a plausible theory of laws. For philosophers often talk about something being nomologically or physically necessary because of the laws of (...)
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  24. The Power to Govern.Erica Shumener - 2022 - Philosophical Perspectives 36 (1):270-291.
    I provide a new account of what it is for the laws of nature to govern the evolution of events. I locate the source of governance in the content of law propositions. As such, I do not appeal to primitive notions of ground, essence, or production to characterize governance. After introducing the account, I use it to outline previously unrecognized varieties of governance. I also specify that laws must govern to have two theoretical virtues: explanatory power as well as a (...)
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  25. Inferentialism, Conventionalism, and A Posteriori Necessity.Jared Warren - 2022 - Journal of Philosophy 119 (10):517-541.
    In the mid twentieth century, logical positivists and many other philosophers endorsed a simple equation: something was necessary just in case it was analytic just in case it was a priori. Kripke’s examples of a posteriori necessary truths showed that the simple equation is false. But while positivist-style inferentialist approaches to logic and mathematics remain popular, there is no inferentialist account of necessity a posteriori. I give such an account. This sounds like an anti-Kripkean project, but it is not. Some (...)
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  26. Necessity by accident.Nathan Wildman - 2022 - Argumenta 7 (2):323-335.
    General consensus has it that contingencies lack the requisite modal umph to serve as explanations for the modal status of necessities. The central aim of this paper is to show that this received opinion is incorrect: contingent necessity-makers are in fact possible. To do so, I identify certain conditions the satisfaction of which entail the possibility of contingent necessity-makers. I then argue for two broad instances where these conditions are satisfied. Consequently, the associated necessities in fact have contingent necessity-makers.
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  27. Contingent grounding.Nathaniel Baron-Schmitt - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):4561-4580.
    A popular principle about grounding, “Internality”, says that if A grounds B, then necessarily, if A and B obtain, then A grounds B. I argue that Internality is false. Its falsity reveals a distinctive, new kind of explanation, which I call “ennobling”. Its falsity also entails that every previously proposed theory of what grounds grounding facts is false. I construct a new theory.
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  28. Essence, Modality, and Identity.Fabrice Correia & Alexander Skiles - 2021 - Mind 131 (524):1279-1302.
    In a recent article forthcoming in *Mind*, Leech (2020) presents a challenge for essentialist accounts of metaphysical modality: why should it be that essences imply corresponding necessities? Leech’s main focus is to argue that one cannot overcome the challenge by utilizing an account of essence in terms of generalized identity due to Correia and Skiles (2019), on pain of circularity. In this reply, we will show how to use identity-based essentialism to bridge ‘epistemic’ and ‘explanatory’ understandings of this alleged essence-to-necessity (...)
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  29. Franklin Gamwell, On Metaphysical Necessity: Essays on God, the World, Morality, and Democracy. [REVIEW]Daniel Dombrowski - 2021 - Process Studies 50 (1):148-150.
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  30. The Bounds of Possibility: Puzzles of Modal Variation.Cian Dorr, John Hawthorne & Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2021 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by John Hawthorne & Juhani Yli-Vakkuri.
    In general, a given object could have been different in certain respects. For example, the Great Pyramid could have been somewhat shorter or taller; the Mona Lisa could have had a somewhat different pattern of colours; an ordinary table could have been made of a somewhat different quantity of wood. But there seem to be limits. It would be odd to suppose that the Great Pyramid could have been thimble-sized; that the Mona Lisa could have had the pattern of colours (...)
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  31. Against modal dualism.Dirk Franken - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 30 (2):608-622.
    Modal dualism is the claim that there is a space of epistemically possible worlds that exceeds the space of metaphysically possible worlds. In the present paper, I argue that modal dualism is false. I do so via an argument that differs from most previous arguments against modal dualism in that it does not rely on controversial semantic or epistemological assumptions like descriptivism, internalism or modal rationalism. The point of my argument is, instead, that modal dualism is internally inconsistent because it (...)
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  32. New powers for Dispositionalism.Giacomo Giannini - 2021 - Synthese 199:2671-2700.
    Establishing Dispositionalism as a viable theory of modality requires the successful fulfilment of two tasks: showing that all modal truths can be derived from truths about actual powers, and offering a suitable metaphysics of powers. These two tasks are intertwined: difficulties in one can affect the chances of success in the other. In this paper, I generalise an objection to Dispositionalism by Jessica Leech and argue that the theory in its present form is ill-suited to account for de re truths (...)
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  33. That’s the Guy Who Might Have Lost.Tristan Grøtvedt Haze - 2021 - Analytic Philosophy 62 (4):418-426.
    In an influential passage of Naming and Necessity Kripke argues, with the help of a fictional dialogue, that de re metaphysical modal distinctions have intuitive content. In this note I clarify the workings of the argument, and what it does and does not support. I conclude that Kripke’s argument does not, despite possible appearances, support the view that metaphysical modal distinctions are made in common sense discourse. The argument does however support the view that if metaphysical modal distinctions make sense (...)
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  34. The strong arm of the law: a unified account of necessary and contingent laws of nature.Salim Hirèche, Niels Linnemann, Robert Michels & Lisa Vogt - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):10211-10252.
    A common feature of all standard theories of the laws of nature is that they are "absolutist": They take laws to be either all metaphysically necessary or all contingent. Science, however, gives us reason to think that there are laws of both kinds, suggesting that standard theories should make way for "non-absolutist" alternatives: theories which accommodate laws of both modal statuses. In this paper, we set out three explanatory challenges for any candidate non-absolutist theory and discuss the prospects of the (...)
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  35. From Essence to Necessity via Identity.Jessica Leech - 2021 - Mind 130 (519):887-908.
    An essentialist theory of modality claims that the source of possibility and necessity lies in essence, where essence is then not to be defined in terms of necessity. Hence such theories owe us an account of why it is that the essences of things give rise to necessities in the way required. A new approach to understanding essence in terms of the notion of generalized identity promises to answer this challenge by appeal to the necessity of identity. I explore the (...)
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  36. Grounding, Essence, and Contingentism.Karol Lenart - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (5):2157-2172.
    According to grounding necessitarianism if some facts ground another fact, then the obtaining of the former necessitates the latter. Proponents of grounding contingentism argue against this claim, stating that it is possible for the former facts to obtain without necessitating the latter. In this article I discuss a recent argument from restricted accidental generalisations provided by contingentists that advances such possibility. I argue that grounding necessitarianism can be defended against it. To achieve this aim, I postulate a relationship between grounding (...)
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  37. How Anti-Humeans Can Embrace a Thermodynamic Reduction of Time’s Causal Arrow.Eli I. Lichtenstein - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):1161-1171.
    Some argue that time’s causal arrow is grounded in an underlying thermodynamic asymmetry. Often, this is tied to Humean skepticism that causes produce their effects, in any robust sense of ‘produce’. Conversely, those who advocate stronger notions of natural necessity often reject thermodynamic reductions of time’s causal arrow. Against these traditional pairings, I argue that ‘reduction-plus-production’ is coherent. Reductionists looking to invoke robust production can insist that there are metaphysical constraints on the signs of objects’ velocities in any state, given (...)
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  38. New Directions in the Epistemology of Modality: Introduction.Antonella Mallozzi - 2021 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 8):1841-1859.
    The fourteen papers in this collection offer a variety of original contributions to the epistemology of modality. In seeking to explain how we might account for our knowledge of possibility and necessity, they raise some novel questions, develop some unfamiliar theoretical perspectives, and make some intriguing proposals. Collectively, they advance our understanding of the field. In Part I of this Introduction, I give some general background about the contemporary literature in the area, by sketching a timeline of the main tendencies (...)
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  39. New Directions in the Epistemology of Modality, Special Issue of Synthese.Antonella Mallozzi (ed.) - 2021 - Springer.
    The fourteen papers in this collection offer a variety of original contributions to the epistemology of modality. In seeking to explain our knowledge of possibility and necessity, they raise some novel questions, develop some unfamiliar theoretical perspectives, and make some intriguing proposals. In the Introduction (penultimate draft available for download), I give some general background about the contemporary literature in the area, by sketching a timeline of the main tendencies of the past twenty-five years or so, up to the present (...)
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  40. The Epistemology of Modality.Antonella Mallozzi, Michael Wallner & Anand Vaidya - 2021 - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  41. Impossible Fictions Part I: Lessons for Fiction.Daniel Nolan - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (2):1-12.
    Impossible fictions are valuable evidence both for a theory of fiction and for theories of meaning, mind and epistemology. This article focuses on what we can learn about fiction from reflecting on impossible fictions. First, different kinds of impossible fiction are considered, and the question of how much fiction is impossible is addressed. What impossible fiction contributes to our understanding of "truth in fiction" and the logic of fiction will be examined. Finally, our understanding of unreliable narrators and unreliable narration (...)
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  42. New Frontiers in Ground, Essence, and Modality: Introduction.Donnchadh Ó Conaill & Tuomas Tahko - 2021 - Synthese 198 (6):1219-1230.
    Ground, essence, and modality seem to have something to do with each other. Can we provide unified foundations for ground and essence, or should we treat each as primitives? Can modality be grounded in essence, or should essence be expressed in terms of modality? Does grounding entail necessitation? Are the notions of ground and essence univocal? This volume focuses on the links—or lack thereof—between these three notions, as well as the foundations of ground, essence, and modality more generally, bringing together (...)
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  43. Imagination, Metaphysical Modality, and Modal Psychology.Michael Omoge - 2021 - In Christopher Badura & Kind Amy (eds.), Epistemic Uses of Imagination. Routledge. pp. 79-99.
    I develop a psychological account for how it is that we use imagination to metaphysically modalize, i.e., to reach conclusions about metaphysical modality. Specifically, I argue that Nichols and Stich’s (2003) cognitive theory of imagination can be extended to metaphysical modalizing. I then use the extension to explicate philosophical disagreements about whether a scenario is metaphysically possible. Thereafter, I address Nichols’ (2006) objection that psychologizing imagination makes it clear that imagination is unreliable when used to metaphysically modalize. The end result (...)
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  44. Chalmers and Semantics.Panu Raatikainen - 2021 - Theoria 87 (5):1193-1221.
    David Chalmers’ two-dimensionalism is an ambitious philosophical program that aims to “ground” or “construct” Fregean meanings and restore “the golden triangle” of apriority, necessity, and meaning that Kripke seemingly broke. This paper aims to examine critically what Chalmers’ theory can in reality achieve. It is argued that the theory faces severe challenges. There are some gaps in the overall arguments, and the reasoning is in some places somewhat circular. Chalmers’ theory is effectively founded on certain strong philosophical assumptions. It is (...)
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  45. From Physical to Metaphysical Necessity.Alexander Roberts - 2021 - Mind 131 (524):1216-1246.
    Let Nomological Bound be the thesis that there is nothing objectively possible beyond what is physically possible. Nomological Bound has struck many as a live hypothesis. Nevertheless, in this article I provide a novel argument against it. Yet even though I claim that Nomological Bound is false, I argue that the boundaries of objective possibility can still be characterized intimately in terms of physical necessity. This is philosophically significant, for on a natural understanding it constitutes the powerful anti-sceptical result that (...)
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  46. Two-Dimensionalism, Epistemic Possibility and Metaphysical Possibility.Jingkun Chen - 2020 - Journal of Human Cognition 4 (1):22-34.
    To reject skepticism and lay the foundation for the certainty of knowledge, Kant raised the question of how synthetic a priori proposition is possible. In his solution, the new content of knowledge comes from the syntheses of experience a posteriori, and the universal necessity of knowledge is guaranteed by it’s a priority. Under the influence of Kant, the concept of a priori and necessity has long been regarded as coextensive. But Saul Kripke believes that this will confuse different philosophical fields: (...)
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  47. Can Essence Provide Knowledge of Metaphysical Necessity? A Reply to Jago.Benjamin L. Curtis - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (3):931-933.
    In this paper I argue against Mark Jago’s recent suggestion that ordinary knowers can move from knowledge of essence to knowledge of metaphysical necessity.
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  48. Grounding grounds necessity.Julio De Rizzo - 2020 - Analysis 80 (4):639-647.
    Drawing from extensions of existing ideas in the logic of ground, a novel account of the grounds of necessity is presented, the core of which states that necessary truths are necessary because they stand in specific grounding connections.
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  49. The Reduction of Necessity to Essence.Andreas Ditter - 2020 - Mind 129 (514):351-380.
    In `Essence and Modality', Kit Fine proposes that for a proposition to be metaphysically necessary is for it to be true in virtue of the nature of all objects whatsoever. Call this view Fine's Thesis. This paper is a study of Fine's Thesis in the context of Fine's logic of essence (LE). Fine himself has offered his most elaborate defense of the thesis in the context of LE. His defense rests on the widely shared assumption that metaphysical necessity obeys the (...)
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  50. Metaphysics, Meaning, and Modality: Themes From Kit Fine.Mircea Dumitru (ed.) - 2020 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    This is the first book on the provocative and innovative contributions to philosophy of language, metaphysics, the philosophy of mathematics, and logic made by Kit Fine, one of the world's foremost philosophers. Topics covered include meaning and representation, arbitrary objects, essence, ontological realism, and the metaphysics of modality.
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