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Summary Necessitism is the view that necessarily, everything is necessarily something, where quantifiers are meant to be read unrestrictedly and modal operators are meant to be read as expressing metaphysical modality. More briefly, necessitism can be stated as the view that it is necessary what there is. Contingentism is the negation of necessitism. To illustrate the dispute between necessitists and contingentists, assume that Ludwig Wittgenstein, who was in fact childless, could have had a child. It follows with necessitism that there is actually something which could have been a child of Wittgenstein. Necessitists will typically hold that although this individual could have been a child, it is actually neither a child nor human; it is, as one may put it, a merely possible human. Contingentists typically hold that since Wittgenstein actually had no children, there is actually nothing which could have been a child of Wittgenstein. According to them, this case thus constitutes a counterexample to necessitism, witnessing that there could be something which actually is nothing, in the sense that actually, nothing is identical to it.
Key works The distinction between necessitism and contingentism was introduced in Williamson 2010, in order to replace the distinction between actualism and possibilism, which Williamson argues to be obscure. Williamson has argued for necessitism in several publications, starting with Williamson 1990. Williamson 2013 is a book-length defense of necessitism. Discussions of it by different authors can be found in Yli-Vakkuri & McCullagh 2017, along with replies by Williamson.
Introductions Williamson 2014
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  1. Abstracta and Possibilia: Hyperintensional Foundations of Mathematical Platonism.David Elohim - manuscript
    This paper aims to provide hyperintensional foundations for mathematical platonism. I examine Hale and Wright's (2009) objections to the merits and need, in the defense of mathematical platonism and its epistemology, of the thesis of Necessitism. In response to Hale and Wright's objections to the role of epistemic and metaphysical modalities in providing justification for both the truth of abstraction principles and the success of mathematical predicate reference, I examine the Necessitist commitments of the abundant conception of properties endorsed by (...)
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  2. Physical Necessitism.David Elohim - manuscript
    This paper aims to provide two abductive considerations adducing in favor of the thesis of Necessitism in modal ontology. I demonstrate how instances of the Barcan formula can be witnessed, when the modal operators are interpreted 'naturally' -- i.e., as including geometric possibilities -- and the quantifiers in the formula range over a domain of natural, or concrete, entities and their contingently non-concrete analogues. I argue that, because there are considerations within physics and metaphysical inquiry which corroborate modal relationalist claims (...)
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  3. Generalized Identity, Zero-Ground, and Necessity.Yannic Kappes - manuscript
    This paper offers a modification of Fabrice Correia's and Alexander Skiles' ("Grounding, Essence, and Identity") definition of grounding in terms of generalized identity that extends it to zero-grounding. This definition promises to improve our understanding of zero-grounding by capturing it within the framework of generalized identity and allows an essentialist theory of modality based on Correia's and Skiles' account to resist a recent challenge by Jessica Leech. The latter is achieved by combining the following two ideas: (1) Some necessities are (...)
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  4. Elegance and Parsimony in First-Order Necessitism.Violeta Conde - forthcoming - Daimon: Revista Internacional de Filosofía.
    In his book Modal Logic as Metaphysics, Timothy Williamson defends first-order necessitism using simplicity as a powerful argument. However, simplicity is decomposed into two different, even antagonistic, sides: elegance and parsimony. On the one hand, elegance is the property of theories possessing few and simple principles that allow them to deploy all their theoretical power; on the other hand, parsimony is the property of theories having the fair and necessary number of ontological entities that allow such theories give an account (...)
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  5. Symmetry and Hybrid Contingentism.Maegan Fairchild - 2024 - In Peter Fritz & Nicholas K. Jones (eds.), Higher-Order Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
    This paper outlines a defense of hybrid contingentism: that it is contingent which individuals there are, but not contingent what properties there are. Critics pursue two main lines of complaint. First, that the hybrid contingentist’s treatment of haecceitistic properties is metaphysically mysterious, and second, that hybrid contingentism involves an unjustified asymmetry in the associated modal logic. I suggest that these complaints may be too quick, at least in the setting of higher-order metaphysics. It is not at all obvious whether and (...)
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  6. Some Ways the Ways the World Could Have Been Can't Be.Christopher James Masterman - 2024 - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-29.
    Let serious propositional contingentism (SPC) be the package of views which consists in (i) the thesis that propositions expressed by sentences featuring terms depend, for their existence, on the existence of the referents of those terms, (ii) serious actualism—the view that it is impossible for an object to exemplify a property and not exist—and (iii) contingentism—the view that it is at least possible that some thing might not have been something. SPC is popular and compelling. But what should we say (...)
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  7. Contingentism and paraphrase.Jonas Werner - 2024 - Philosophical Studies 181 (2):565-582.
    One important challenge for contingentists is that they seem to be unable to account for the meaning of some apparently meaningful modal discourse that is perfectly intelligible for necessitists. This worry is particularly pressing for higher-order contingentists, contingentists who hold that it is not only contingent which objects there are, but also contingent which semantic values there are for higher-order variables to quantify over. Objections against higher-order contingentism along these lines have been presented in Williamson (Mind 119(475):657–748, 2010; Modal logic (...)
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  8. Necessitism and Unrestricted Quantification.Violeta Conde - 2023 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 42 (2):7 - 24.
    As Williamson puts it, ‘necessitism’ is the metaphysical view that claims that “necessarily everything is necessarily something”. As that claim involves modal unrestricted quantification, the necessitist must accept it as a part of an intelligible discourse. Here, I present one of the main objections that have been presented against the intelligibility of unrestricted quantification: the objection based on the so-called All-in-One Principle. I then propose possible strategies that the necessitist could adopt to shield themselves from the objection.
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  9. Being Somehow Without (Possibly) Being Something.Peter Fritz - 2023 - Mind 132 (526):348-371.
    Contingentists—who hold that it is contingent what there is—are divided on the claim that having a property or standing in a relation requires being something. This claim can be formulated as a natural schematic principle of higher-order modal logic. On this formulation, I argue that contingentists who are also higher-order contingentists—and so hold that it is contingent what propositions, properties and relations there are—should reject the claim. Moreover, I argue that given higher-order contingentism, having a property or standing in a (...)
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  10. What Can Our Best Scientific Theories Tell Us About The Modal Status of Mathematical Objects?Joe Morrison - 2023 - Erkenntnis 88 (4):1391-1408.
    Indispensability arguments are used as a way of working out what there is: our best science tells us what things there are. Some philosophers think that indispensability arguments can be used to show that we should be committed to the existence of mathematical objects (numbers, functions, sets). Do indispensability arguments also deliver conclusions about the modal properties of these mathematical entities? Colyvan (in Leng, Paseau, Potter (eds) Mathematical knowledge, OUP, Oxford, 109-122, 2007) and Hartry Field (Realism, mathematics and modality, Blackwell, (...)
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  11. Why Contingentist Actualists Should Endorse the Barcan Formula.Nicholas Rimell - 2023 - Acta Analytica 38 (1):133-159.
    On its usual interpretation, the Barcan Formula—◊∃_xB_ → ∃_x_◊_B_—says that, if there could have been something that is such and such a way, then there is something that could have been that way. It is traditionally held that contingentist actualists should—indeed, must—reject the Barcan Formula. I argue that contingentist actualists should—indeed, must—endorse the Barcan Formula, at least assuming a standard, Tarskian conception of truth and truth preservation. I end by proposing a logic for contingentist actualists that validates the Barcan Formula. (...)
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  12. A new challenge for contingentists.Alexander Roberts - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (8):2457-2484.
    Contingentism is the view that it is contingent which things exist. Despite its plausibility, advocates of contingentism face a well-known ‘challenge’ to demonstrate that they can draw what appear to be intelligible modal distinctions (Williamson Modal Logic as Metaphysics. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013). In this article, I argue that if certain controversial modal principles fail, the challenge contingentists face becomes much more difficult. Whereas extant challenges concern contingentists’ inability to draw quite theoretical second-order modal distinctions, I present a challenge (...)
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  13. The Problem of Necessitism.Drew Smith - 2023 - Philosophia Christi 25 (2):281-295.
    In his 2013 monograph Modal Logic as Metaphysics, Timothy Williamson develops and defends a view he terms necessitism. According to necessitism, everything that exists does so necessarily (alternatively, necessarily everything is necessarily something). I demonstrate that necessitism is incompatible with the conjunction of two doctrines rooted in the broadly Nicene tradition: God’s metaphysical sovereignty and freedom. First, I exposit and formalize the two doctrines in question. Next, I expound Williamson’s theory of necessitism. Third, I demonstrate the formal incompatibility of the (...)
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  14. On Necessary Individuals and Ways (sic!) for Them to Be: Celebrating 10-Year Anniversary of Modal Logic as Metaphysics.Timothy Williamson & Pranciškus Gricius - 2023 - Problemos 103:174-186.
    I had the pleasure to meet Professor Williamson at The 26th Oxford Graduate Philosophy Conference, and he kindly agreed to give an interview on matters of modality. The enjoyable and fruitful few hour-talk that we had, which appears below slightly abridged, revolved around the history of modal logics, Saul Kripke and his works, the controversy between necessitists and contingentists, higher-order logics and metaphysics, and the influence of Modal Logic as Metaphysics.
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  15. Bolzanos Konzeption bloß möglicher Gegenstände.Christian Beyer - 2022 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 99 (3):335-358.
    In Section 1, the author argues that Bolzano does not have a Meinongian view of merely possible objects, not even in the context of his theory of intentionality. In section 2, it is argued that Williamson’s necessitist conception, according to which there is a merely possible golden mountain, was not anticipated by Bolzano. An eternalist reconstruction is rejected as well. The argument takes recourse to Bolzano’s semantics of temporal statements, which also underlies his argument for the eternity of substances and (...)
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  16. Toward a New Theory of Moderate Contingentism: Individuals just are Realized Essences.Pranciškus Gricius - 2022 - Problemos 102:36-49.
    In this paper, we propose a new actualist and contingentist modal metaphysics – fundamental essentialism – according to which individuals just are realized essences. Orthodox possible worlds semantics is incompatible with actualism and contingentism since Kripke models in which paradigmatic contingentists propositions are true require possible worlds whose domain contain merely possible individuals. In light of this problem, Plantinga has developed modal metaphysics based on essences, but it has been claimed by Fine, Williamson, and others, that it cannot be upheld (...)
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  17. Propositional contingentism and possible worlds.Christopher James Masterman - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-34.
    Propositional contingentism is the view that what propositions there are is a contingent matter—certain propositions ontologically depend on objects which themselves only contingently exist. Possible worlds are, loosely, complete ways the world could have been. That is to say, the ways in which everything in its totality could have been. Propositional contingentists make use of possible worlds frequently. However, a neglected, but important, question concerns whether there are any notions of worlds which are both theoretically adequate and consistent with propositional (...)
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  18. The Possibilism-Actualism Debate.Christopher Menzel - 2022 - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Actualism is a widely-held view in the metaphysics of modality that arises in response to the thesis of possibilism, the doctrine that, in addition to the things that actually exist — in particular, things that exist alongside us in the causal order — there are merely possible things as well, things that, in fact, fail to be actual but which could have been. The central motivation for possibilism is to explain what it is about reality that grounds such intuitively true (...)
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  19. Necessitism, Contingentism, and Lewisian Modal Realism.Cristina Nencha - 2022 - Acta Analytica 37 (2):227-247.
    Necessitism is the controversial thesis that necessarily everything is necessarily something, namely that everything, everywhere, necessarily exists. What is controversial about necessitism is that, at its core, it claims that things could not have failed to exist, while we have a pre-theoretical intuition that not everything necessarily exists. Contingentism, in accordance with common sense, denies necessitism: it claims that some things could have failed to exist. Timothy Williamson is a necessitist and claims that David Lewis is a necessitist too. The (...)
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  20. On the translation from quantified modal logic to counterpart theory.Cristina Nencha - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-15.
    Lewis (1968) claims that his language of Counterpart Theory (CT) interprets modal discourse and he adverts to a translation scheme from the language of Quantifed Modal Logic (QML) to CT. However, everybody now agrees that his original translation scheme does not always work, since it does not always preserve the ‘intuitive’ meaning of the translated QML-formulas. Lewis discusses this problem with regard to the Necessitist Thesis, and I will extend his discourse to the analysis of the Converse Barcan Formula. Everyone (...)
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  21. Pluralities as Nothing Over and Above.Sam Roberts - 2022 - Journal of Philosophy 119 (8):405-424.
    This paper develops an account of pluralities based on the following simple claim: some things are nothing over and above the individual things they comprise. For some, this may seem like a mysterious statement, perhaps even meaningless; for others, like a truism, trivial and inferentially inert. I show that neither reaction is correct: the claim is both tractable and has important consequences for a number of debates in philosophy.
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  22. In Defence of Hybrid Contingentism.Lukas Skiba - 2022 - Philosophers' Imprint 22 (4):1-30.
    Hybrid contingentism combines first-order contingentism, the view that it is contingent what individuals there are, with higher-order necessitism, the view that it is non-contingent what properties and propositions there are (where these are conceived as entities in the range of appropriate higher-order quantifiers). This combination of views avoids the most delicate problems afflicting alternative contingentist positions while preserving the central contingentist claim that ordinary, concrete entities exist contingently. Despite these attractive features, hybrid contingentism is usually faced with rejection. The main (...)
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  23. Potentialism and S5.Jonas Werner - 2022 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 52 (6):622-635.
    Modal potentialism as proposed by Barbara Vetter (2015) is the view that every possibility is grounded in something having a potentiality. Drawing from work by Jessica Leech (2017), Samuel Kimpton-Nye (2021) argues that potentialists can have an S5 modal logic. I present a novel argument to the conclusion that the most straightforward way of spelling out modal potentialism cannot validate an S5 modal logic. Then I will propose a slightly tweaked version of modal potentialism that can validate an S5 modal (...)
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  24. Critical note on Williamson: A defence of the actualism‐possibilism debate.Benjamin L. Curtis & Harold W. Noonan - 2021 - Philosophical Forum 52 (1):91-96.
    In his book Modal Logic as Metaphysics, Williamson argues that the traditional actualist‐possibilist debate should be abandoned as hopelessly unclear and that we should get on with the clearer contingentism‐necessitism debate. We think that Williamson’s pessimism is not warranted by the brief arguments he gives. In this paper, we explain why and provide a clear formulation of the traditional actualist‐possibilist debate.
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  25. 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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  26. Necessitism, Contingentism, and Theory Equivalence.Bruno Jacinto - 2021 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 27 (2):217-218.
    Necessitism, Contingentism, and Theory Equivalence is a dissertation on issues in higher-order modal metaphysics. Consider a modal higher-order language with identity in which the universal quantifier is interpreted as expressing universal quantification and the necessity operator is interpreted as expressing metaphysical necessity. The main question addressed in the dissertation concerns the correct theory formulated in this language. A different question that also takes centre stage in the dissertation is what it takes for theories to be equivalent.The whole dissertation consists of (...)
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  27. Modal Metatheory for Quantified Modal Logic, With and Without the Barcan Formulas.Andrew Joseph McCarthy - 2021 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 62 (2):285-301.
    This paper develops some modal metatheory for quantified modal logic. In such a theory, the logic of a first-order modal object-language is made sensitive to the modal facts, stated in the metalanguage. This is radically different from possible worlds semantics, which reduces questions of validity to questions of nonmodal set theory. We consider theories which characterize a notion of truth under a second-order interpretation, where an operator for metaphysical necessity is treated homophonically. The form they take is crucially influenced by (...)
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  28. Second-Order Modal Logic.Andrew Parisi - 2021 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 27 (4):530-531.
    The dissertation introduces new sequent-calculi for free first- and second-order logic, and a hyper-sequent calculus for modal logics K, D, T, B, S4, and S5; to attain the calculi for the stronger modal logics, only external structural rules need to be added to the calculus for K, while operational and internal structural rules remain the same. Completeness and cut-elimination are proved for all calculi presented.Philosophically, the dissertation develops an inferentialist, or proof-theoretic, theory of meaning. It takes as a starting point (...)
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  29. Higher‐order metaphysics.Lukas Skiba - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (10):1-11.
    Subverting a once widely held Quinean paradigm, there is a growing consensus among philosophers of logic that higher-order quantifiers (which bind variables in the syntactic position of predicates and sentences) are a perfectly legitimate and useful instrument in the logico-philosophical toolbox, while neither being reducible to nor fully explicable in terms of first-order quantifiers (which bind variables in singular term position). This article discusses the impact of this quantificational paradigm shift on metaphysics, focussing on theories of properties, propositions, and identity, (...)
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  30. Contingent Objects, Contingent Propositions, and Essentialism.Jonas Werner - 2021 - Mind 130 (520):1283-1294.
    Trevor Teitel (2017) has recently argued that combining the assumption that modality reduces to essence with the assumption that possibly some objects contingently exist leads to problems if one wishes to uphold that the logic of metaphysical modality is S5. In this paper I will argue that there is a way for the essentialist to evade the problem described by Teitel. The proposed solution crucially involves the assumption that some propositions possibly fail to exist. I will show how this assumption (...)
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  31. Contingentism versus Necessitism: The Tractatus Standpoint.Pasquale Frascolla - 2020 - Philosophical Investigations 44 (1):3-18.
    Philosophical Investigations, EarlyView.
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  32. In Defense of the Possibilism–Actualism Distinction.Christopher Menzel - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):1971-1997.
    In Modal Logic as Metaphysics, Timothy Williamson claims that the possibilism-actualism (P-A) distinction is badly muddled. In its place, he introduces a necessitism-contingentism (N-C) distinction that he claims is free of the confusions that purportedly plague the P-A distinction. In this paper I argue first that the P-A distinction, properly understood, is historically well-grounded and entirely coherent. I then look at the two arguments Williamson levels at the P-A distinction and find them wanting and show, moreover, that, when the N-C (...)
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  33. Metaphysical Contingentism.Kristie Miller - 2020 - In Ricki Bliss & James Miller (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 405-420.
    Let us distinguish two kinds of contingentism: entity contingentism and metaphysical contingentism. Here, I use ‘entity’ very broadly to include anything over which we can quantify—objects (abstract and concrete), properties, and relations. Then entity contingentism about some entity, E, is the view that E exists contingently: that is, that E exists in some possible worlds and not in others. By contrast, entity necessitarianism about E is the view that E exists of necessity: that is, that E exists in all possible (...)
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  34. Ground and modality.Alessandro Torza - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (6):563-585.
    The grounding relation is routinely characterized by means of logical postulates. The aim of this paper is twofold. First, I show that a subset of those postulates is incompatible with a minimal characterization of metaphysical modality. Then I consider a number of ways for reconciling ground with modality. The simplest and most elegant solution consists in adopting serious actualism, which is best captured within a first-order modal language with predicate abstraction governed by negative free logic. I also explore a number (...)
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  35. Characterising Theories of Time and Modality.Daniel Deasy - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 60 (3):283-305.
    Recently, some authors – call them Reformists – have argued that the traditional Presentism-Eternalism and Actualism-Possibilism debates in the metaphysics of time and modality respectively are unclear or insubstantial, and should therefore give way to the newer Temporaryism-Permanentism and Contingentism- Necessitism debates. In ‘On characterising the presentism/eternalism and actualism/possibilism debates’ (2016, Analytic Philosophy 57: 110-140), Ross Cameron defends the Conservative position that the traditional debates are both substantial and distinct from the Temporaryism-Permanentism and Contingentism- Necessitism debates. In this paper I (...)
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  36. Serious Actualism and Higher-Order Predication.Bruno Jacinto - 2019 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 48 (3):471-499.
    Serious actualism is the prima facie plausible thesis that things couldn’t have been related while being nothing. The thesis plays an important role in a number of arguments in metaphysics, e.g., in Plantinga’s argument for the claim that propositions do not ontologically depend on the things that they are about and in Williamson’s argument for the claim that he, Williamson, is necessarily something. Salmon has put forward that which is, arguably, the most pressing challenge to serious actualists. Salmon’s objection is (...)
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  37. Contingent Existence and the Reduction of Modality to Essence.Trevor Teitel - 2019 - Mind 128 (509):39-68.
    This paper first argues that we can bring out a tension between the following three popular doctrines: (i) the canonical reduction of metaphysical modality to essence, due to Fine, (ii) contingentism, which says that possibly something could have failed to be something, and (iii) the doctrine that metaphysical modality obeys the modal logic S5. After presenting two such arguments (one from the theorems of S4 and another from the theorems of B), I turn to exploring various conclusions we might draw (...)
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  38. An Objection to Naturalism and Atheism from Logic.Christopher Gregory Weaver - 2019 - In Graham Oppy (ed.), Blackwell Companion to Atheism and Philosophy. Malden: Blackwell Publishers. pp. 451-475.
    I proffer a success argument for classical logical consequence. I articulate in what sense that notion of consequence should be regarded as the privileged notion for metaphysical inquiry aimed at uncovering the fundamental nature of the world. Classical logic breeds necessitism. I use necessitism to produce problems for both ontological naturalism and atheism.
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  39. Logical Objections to Atheism.Christopher Gregory Weaver - 2019 - In Graham Oppy (ed.), A Companion to Atheism and Philosophy. Chichester, UK: Wiley. pp. 449–475.
    In this chapter I proffer a success argument for classical logical consequence. I articulate in what sense that notion of consequence should be regarded as the privileged notion for metaphysical inquiry aimed at uncovering the fundamental nature of the world. Classical logic breeds necessitism. I use necessitism to produce problems for both ontological naturalism and atheism.
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  40. Higher-Order Contingentism, Part 3: Expressive Limitations.Peter Fritz - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (4):649-671.
    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 (...)
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  41. Radical contingentism, or; why not even numbers exist necessarily.Peter Simons - 2018 - In Ivette Fred Rivera & Jessica Leech (eds.), Being Necessary: Themes of Ontology and Modality from the Work of Bob Hale. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
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  42. The Tenseless Theory of Time and the Moodless Theory of Modality.Bradford Skow - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (2):506-524.
    This paper develops a moodless theory of modality, intended to be as closely analogous to the tenseless theory of time as possible. It is argued that the new theory is distinct from David Lewis' modal realism and that it solves certain problems better than modal realism does, namely, the problem of advanced modalizing, the problem of necessitism, and the problem of conflict with common opinion.
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  43. Second-Order Necessitism.José Tomás Alvarado Marambio - 2017 - Eidos: Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad Del Norte 26:268-301.
    Resumen En una serie de escritos Timothy Williamson ha argumentado a favor del necesitismo, esto es, la tesis de que es necesario que todo exista necesariamente. Este trabajo discute el necesitismo de segundo orden, esto es, la tesis de que es necesario que toda propiedad exista necesariamente, considerando líneas de argumentación semejantes a las desplegadas en primer orden. Se examinan tres de estos argumentos: el carácter necesario de ser una propiedad, la aparición de las propiedades en proposiciones, y los compromisos (...)
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  44. Contingent Existence and Iterated Modality.Cian Dorr - 2017 - Analysis 77 (1):155-165.
    A discussion of a view, defended by Robert Adams and Boris Kment, according to which contingent existence requires rejecting many standard principles of propositional modal logic involving iterated modal operators.
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  45. Logics for propositional contingentism.Peter Fritz - 2017 - Review of Symbolic Logic 10 (2):203-236.
    Robert Stalnaker has recently advocated propositional contingentism, the claim that it is contingent what propositions there are. He has proposed a philosophical theory of contingency in what propositions there are and sketched a possible worlds model theory for it. In this paper, such models are used to interpret two propositional modal languages: one containing an existential propositional quantifier, and one containing an existential propositional operator. It is shown that the resulting logic containing an existential quantifier is not recursively axiomatizable, as (...)
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  46. Higher-Order Contingentism, Part 2: Patterns of Indistinguishability.Peter Fritz - 2017 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (3):407-418.
    The models of contingency in what propositions, properties and relations there are developed in Part 1 are related to models of contingency in what propositions there are due to Robert Stalnaker. It is shown that some but not all of the classes of models of Part 1 agree with Stalnaker’s models concerning the patterns of contingency in what propositions there are they admit. Further structural connections between the two kinds of models are explored.
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  47. Counterfactuals and Propositional Contingentism.Peter Fritz & Jeremy Goodman - 2017 - Review of Symbolic Logic 10 (3):509-529.
    This article explores the connection between two theses: the principle of conditional excluded middle for the counterfactual conditional, and the claim that it is a contingent matter which (coarse grained) propositions there are. Both theses enjoy wide support, and have been defended at length by Robert Stalnaker. We will argue that, given plausible background assumptions, these two principles are incompatible, provided that conditional excluded middle is understood in a certain modalized way. We then show that some (although not all) arguments (...)
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  48. Counting Incompossibles.Peter Fritz & Jeremy Goodman - 2017 - Mind 126 (504):1063–1108.
    We often speak as if there are merely possible people—for example, when we make such claims as that most possible people are never going to be born. Yet most metaphysicians deny that anything is both possibly a person and never born. Since our unreflective talk of merely possible people serves to draw non-trivial distinctions, these metaphysicians owe us some paraphrase by which we can draw those distinctions without committing ourselves to there being merely possible people. We show that such paraphrases (...)
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  49. Strongly Millian Second-Order Modal Logics.Bruno Jacinto - 2017 - Review of Symbolic Logic 10 (3):397-454.
    The most common first- and second-order modal logics either have as theorems every instance of the Barcan and Converse Barcan formulae and of their second-order analogues, or else fail to capture the actual truth of every theorem of classical first- and second-order logic. In this paper we characterise and motivate sound and complete first- and second-order modal logics that successfully capture the actual truth of every theorem of classical first- and second-order logic and yet do not possess controversial instances of (...)
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  50. Counting Things that Could Exist.Tobias Rosefeldt - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (266):127-147.
    The paper deals with cases of counting things that could exist but do not actually exist that resist common strategies for actualist paraphrases and that play an important role in motivating Timothy Williamson's ontology of contingently concrete objects. It is argued that these cases should be understood as cases of quantification not over individual possible objects but rather over kinds of objects, some of which do not actually have instances. This claim is motivated by a comparison with other cases of (...)
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