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On existentialism

Philosophical Studies 44 (1):1 - 20 (1983)

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  1. A Modal Account of Propositions.Andy Demfree Yu - 2017 - Dialectica 71 (4):463-488.
    In this paper, I motivate a modal account of propositions on the basis of an iterative conception of propositions. As an application, I suggest that the account provides a satisfying solution to the Russell-Myhill paradox. The account is in the spirit of recently developed modal accounts of sets motivated on the basis of the iterative conception of sets.
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  • Investigations Into Quantified Modal Logic.Yannis Stephanou - 2002 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 43 (4):193-220.
    In this paper, I investigate a system of quantified modal logic, due in many respects to Bressan (see [2]), from several perspectives -- both semantic and proof-theoretic. As Anderson and Belnap note in [1]: "It seems to be generally conceded that formal systems are natural or substantial if they can be looked at from several points of view. We tend to think of systems as artificial or ad hoc if most of their formal properties arise from some one notational system (...)
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  • Quantifying In From a Fregean Perspective.Seth Yalcin - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (2):207-253.
    As Quine observed, the following sentence has a reading which, if true, would be of special interest to the authorities: Ralph believes that someone is a spy. This is the reading where the quantifier is naturally understood as taking wide scope relative to the attitude verb and as binding a variable within the scope of the attitude verb. This essay is interested in addressing the question what the semantic analysis of this kind of reading should look like from a Fregean (...)
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  • A New Argument Against the Existence Requirement.Takashi Yagisawa - 2005 - Analysis 65 (1):39–42.
    It may appear that in order to be any way at all, a thing must exist. A possible – worlds version of this claim goes as follows: (E) For every x, for every possible world w, Fx at w only if x exists at w. Here and later in (R), the letter ‘F’ is used as a schematic letter to be replaced with a one – place predicate. There are two arguments against (E). The first is by analogy. Socrates is (...)
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  • The Deductive-Nomological Account of Metaphysical Explanation.Tobias Wilsch - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (1):1-23.
    The paper explores a deductive-nomological account of metaphysical explanation: some truths metaphysically explain, or ground, another truth just in case the laws of metaphysics determine the latter truth on the basis of the former. I develop and motivate a specific conception of metaphysical laws, on which they are general rules that regulate the existence and features of derivative entities. I propose an analysis of the notion of ‘determination via the laws’, based on a restricted form of logical entailment. I argue (...)
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  • Reply to Fine.Timothy Williamson - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):571-583.
  • 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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  • Contingent Objects, Contingent Propositions, and Essentialism.Jonas Werner - forthcoming - Mind.
    Trevor Teitel 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 affords (...)
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  • The Contingency of the Possible.Christine Weigel - 2002 - Dialogue 41 (2):313-328.
    RÉSUMÉLes actualistes ne partagent pas tous les mêmes intuitions quant aux mondes possibles. Cet article caractérise les intuitions platoniciennes et aristotéliciennes, et explore les conséquences pour l'actualiste d'accepter le platonisme ou l'aristotélisme. Les arguments en faveur de la conception aristotélicienne tiennent la route, mais pour rérpondre à certains problèmes concernant la vérité des négatives existentielles, l'actualisme aristotélicien doit rejeter l'actualisme des propriétés, c'est-à-dire la conception que seules les entités existantes ont des propriétés. Puisque les entités non existantes ont certaines propriétés, (...)
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  • The Contingency of the Possible.Christine Weigel - 2002 - Dialogue 41 (2):313-.
    RÉSUMÉ: Les actualistes ne partagent pas tous les mêmes intuitions quant aux mondes possibles. Cet article caractérise les intuitions platoniciennes et aristotéliciennes, et explore les conséquences pour l'actualiste d'accepter le platonisme ou l'aristotélisme. Les arguments en faveur de la conception aristotélicienne tiennent la route, mais pour répondre à certains problèmes concernant la vérité des négatives existentielles, l'actualisme aristotélicien doit rejeter l'actualisme des propriétés, c'est-à-dire la conception que seules les entités existantes ont des propriétés. Puisque les entités non existantes ont certaines (...)
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  • Yet Another New Cosmological Argument.Christopher Weaver - 2016 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 80 (1):11-31.
    I argue that the existence of a necessary concrete being can be derived from an exceedingly weak causal principle coupled with two contingent truths one of which falls out of very popular positions in contemporary analytic metaphysics. I then show that the argument resists a great many objections commonly lodged against natural theological arguments of the cosmological variety.
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  • Guises and Their Existence.Alberto Voltolini - 1996 - Axiomathes 7 (3):419-434.
    According to H-N. Castañeda, a guise - the very thin individual which lies at the bottom of the ontological furniture of the world - is indifferent to existence in a Meinongian way, in the sense that it remains the same whether it exists or not. Moreover, its existence does not alter its intentional character, as it is the very same individual which is thought of regardless of its being real or not1. In what follows, I will attempt to show that (...)
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  • Strong And Weak Possibility.Jason Turner - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 125 (2):191-217.
    The thesis of existentialism holds that if a proposition p exists and predicates something of an object a, then in any world where a does not exist, p does not exist either. If “possibly, p” entails “in some possible world, the proposition that p exists and is true,” then existentialism is prima facie incompatible with the truth of claims like “possibly, the Eiffel Tower does not exist.” In order to avoid this claim, a distinction between two kinds of world-indexed truth (...)
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  • Fitting Attitudes de Dicto and de Se.Jason Turner - 2010 - Noûs 44 (1):1-9.
    The Property Theory of attitudes holds that the contents of mental states --- especially de se states --- are properties. The "nonexistence problem" for the Property Theory holds that the theory gives the wrong consequences as to which worlds "fit" which mental states: which worlds satisfy desires, make beliefs true, and so on. If I desire to not exist, since there is no world where I have the property of not existing, my desire is satisfied in no worlds. In this (...)
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  • Contingently Existing Propositions?Patrick Toner - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 129 (3):421-434.
    It is fairly common, among those who think propositions exist, to think they exist necessarily. Here, I consider three arguments in support of that conclusion. What I hope to show is not that that claim is false, but, rather, that the arguments used in its defense tend to presuppose a certain kind of approach to modality: a roughly Plantingian view. What the arguments show, then, is that one cannot accept that approach to modality and accept contingently existing propositions. But there (...)
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  • The Rotten Core of Presentism.Jonathan Tallant & David Ingram - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3969-3991.
    Recently, some have attempted to reformulate debates in first-order metaphysics, particularly in the metaphysics of time and modality, for reasons due to Williamson. In this paper, we focus on the ways in which the likes of Cameron, Correia and Rosenkranz, Deasy, Ingram, Tallant, Viebahn, inter alia, have initiated and responded to attempts to capture the core of presentism using a formal, logical machinery. We argue that such attempts are doomed to fail because there is no theoretical core to presentism. There (...)
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  • Counting Across Times.Zoltán Gendler Szabó - 2006 - Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1):399–426.
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  • Ya Shouldn’Ta Couldn’Ta Wouldn’Ta.Stephen Steward - 2015 - Synthese 192 (6):1909-1921.
    In a recent issue of this journal, Berit Brogaard and Joe Salerno presented a counterfactual theory of essence, designed to get around Kit Fine’s influential objections to the standard modal account of essence. I argue that Brogaard and Salerno’s theory does not avoid Fine’s objections. Then I propose a sequence of variations on their theory, and argue that none of them succeed either.
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  • Serious Actualism.Yannis Stephanou - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (2):219-250.
  • Pleonastic Possible Worlds.Alexander Steinberg - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (3):767-789.
    The role of possible worlds in philosophy is hard to overestimate. Nevertheless, their nature and existence is very controversial. This is particularly serious, since their standard applications depend on there being sufficiently many of them. The paper develops an account of possible worlds on which it is particularly easy to believe in their existence: an account of possible worlds as pleonastic entities. Pleonastic entities are entities whose existence can be validly inferred from statements that neither refer to nor quantify over (...)
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  • Defining Global Supervenience.Alex Steinberg - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (2):367-380.
    What does it mean that certain properties globally supervene on others? The paper criticises the now standard way of spelling out the notion in terms of 1–1 correlations between world-domains and proposes a modification that escapes the difficulties. The new definition can secure the additional benefit of resisting an argument to the effect that global supervenience is theoretically dispensable.
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  • A Propositional Theory of Truth.Yannis Stephanou - 2018 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 59 (4):503-545.
    The liar and kindred paradoxes show that we can derive contradictions if our language possesses sentences lending themselves to paradox and we reason classically from schema about truth: Sis true iffp, where the letter p is to be replaced with a sentence and the letter S with a name of that sentence. This article presents a theory of truth that keeps at the expense of classical logic. The theory is couched in a language that possesses paradoxical sentences. It incorporates all (...)
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  • An Argument for Existentialism.Yannis Stephanou - 2020 - Acta Analytica 35 (4):507-520.
    Existentialism about propositions is the view that a proposition expressed in a sentence containing a nonempty name or indexical depends ontologically on the referent of the name or indexical: the proposition could not exist if the referent did not. The paper focuses on names. It discusses some arguments for existentialism and then presents a novel one. That argument does not presuppose that propositions have constituents, and it could be accepted by those who hold broadly Fregean views about names. It shows (...)
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  • Unnecessary Existents.Joshua Spencer - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (5-6):766-775.
    Timothy Williamson has argued for the radical conclusion that everything necessarily exists. In this paper, I assume that the conclusion of Williamson’s argument is more incredible than the denial of his premises. Under the assumption that Williamson is mistaken, I argue for the claim that there are some structured propositions which have constituents that might not have existed. If those constituents had not existed, then the propositions would have had an unfilled role; they would have been gappy. This gappy propositions (...)
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  • On Possibly Nonexistent Propositions.Jeff Speaks - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (3):528-562.
    Alvin Plantinga gave a reductio of the conjunction of the following three theses: Existentialism (the view that, e.g., the proposition that Socrates exists can't exist unless Socrates does), Serious Actualism (the view that nothing can have a property at a world without existing at that world) and Contingency (the view that some objects, like Socrates, exist only contingently). I sketch a view of truth at a world which enables the Existentialist to resist Plantinga's argument without giving up either Serious Actualism (...)
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  • Merricks Vs. The Russellian Orthodoxy.Jeff Speaks - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (2):469-477.
  • Millian Descriptivism Defended.Jeff Speaks - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 149 (2):201 - 208.
    I reply to the argument of Caplan (Philos Stud 133:181–198, 2007 ) against the conjunction of Millianism with the view that utterances of sentences involving names often pragmatically convey descriptively enriched propositions.
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  • On Williamson and Simplicity in Modal Logic.Theodore Sider - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):683-698.
    According to Timothy Williamson, we should accept the simplest and most powerful second-order modal logic, and as a result accept an ontology of "bare possibilia". This general method for extracting ontology from logic is salutary, but its application in this case depends on a questionable assumption: that modality is a fundamental feature of the world.
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  • Universe Indexed Properties and the Fate of the Ontological Argument: JAMES F. SENNETT.James F. Sennett - 1991 - Religious Studies 27 (1):65-79.
    If the contemporary rebirth of the ontological argument had its conception in Norman Malcolm's discovery of a second Anselmian argument it had its full-term delivery as a healthy philosophical progeny with Alvin Plantinga's sophisticated modal version presented in the tenth chapter of The Nature of Necessity. This latter argument has been the centre of a huge body of literature over the last fifteen years, and deservedly so. One is impressed that this version of Anselm's jewel is valid and sound if (...)
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  • Bernard Bolzano. Theory of Science. Volumes I–IV. Paul Rusnock and Rolf George, Trans. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. ISBN: 978-0-19-968438-0. Pp. 2044. [REVIEW]Jan Sebestik - 2015 - Philosophia Mathematica 23 (3):428-435.
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  • Frivolous Fictions.David Sanson - 2016 - Res Philosophica 93 (2):357-376.
    We want to say both that Sherlock Holmes does not exist, and that he is a fictional character. But how can we say these things without committing ourselves to the existence of Sherlock Holmes? Here I develop and defend a non-commital paraphrase of quantification over fictional characters, modeled on the non-commital paraphrase Kit Fine provides for quantification over possibilia. I also develop and defend the view that names for fictional characters are weakly non-referring, in Nathan Salmon’s sense, and so provide (...)
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  • Presentism and the Triviality Objection.Takeshi Sakon - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (4):1089-1109.
    Presentism is usually understood as the thesis that only the present exists whereas the rival theory of eternalism is usually understood as the thesis that past, present, and future things are all equally real. The significance of this debate has been threatened by the so-called triviality objection, which allegedly shows that the presentist thesis is either trivially true or obviously false: Presentism is trivially true if it is read as saying that everything that exists now is present, and it is (...)
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  • Possible Worlds and the Objective World.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (2):389-422.
    David Lewis holds that a single possible world can provide more than one way things could be. But what are possible worlds good for if they come apart from ways things could be? We can make sense of this if we go in for a metaphysical understanding of what the world is. The world does not include everything that is the case—only the genuine facts. Understood this way, Lewis's “cheap haecceitism” amounts to a kind of metaphysical anti-haecceitism: it says there (...)
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  • Actuality for Counterpart Theorists.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2013 - Mind 122 (485):85-134.
    The counterpart theorist has a problem: there is no obvious way to understand talk about actuality in terms of counterparts. Fara and Williamson have charged that this obstacle cannot be overcome. Here I defend the counterpart theorist by offering systematic interpretations of a quantified modal language that includes an actuality operator. Centrally, I disentangle the counterpart relation from a related notion, a ‘representation relation’. The relation of possible things to the actual things they represent is variable, and an adequate account (...)
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  • In Defense of Linguistic Ersatzism.Tony Roy - 1995 - Philosophical Studies 80 (3):217 - 242.
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  • 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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  • Why Contingentist Actualists Should Endorse the Barcan Formula.Nicholas Rimell - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-27.
    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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  • Mustn't Whatever is Referred to Exist?Gilbert Plumer - 1989 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 27 (4):511-528.
    Some hold that proper names and indexicals are “Kaplan rigid”: they designate their designata even in worlds where the designata don’t exist. An argument they give for this is based on the analogy between time and modality. It is shown how this argument gains forcefulness at the expense of carefulness. Then the argument is criticized as forming a part of an inconsistent philosophical framework, the one with which David Kaplan and others operate. An alternative account of a certain class of (...)
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  • Intrinsic Properties and Relations.Jan Plate - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (8):783-853.
    This paper provides an analysis of the intrinsic/extrinsic distinction, as applied both to properties and to relations. In contrast to other accounts, the approach taken here locates the source of a property’s intrinsicality or extrinsicality in the manner in which that property is ‘logically constituted’, and thus – plausibly – in its nature or essence, rather than in e.g. its modal profile. Another respect in which the present proposal differs from many extant analyses lies in the fact that it does (...)
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  • Actualisme Et Fiction.Jérôme Pelletier - 2000 - Dialogue 39 (1):77-.
    The nonexistence of fictional entities does not seem incompatible with their possible existence. The aim of this paper is to give an account of the intuitive truth of statements of possible existence involving fictional proper names in an actualist framework. After having clarified the opposition between a possibilist and an actualist approach of possible wolds, I distinguish fictional individuals from fictional characters and the fictional use of fictional proper names from their metafictional use. On that basis, statements of possible existence (...)
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  • Traditional Christian Theism and Truthmaker Maximalism.Timothy Pawl - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 4 (1):197-218.
    I argue that Traditional Christian Theism is inconsistent with Truthmaker Maximalism, the thesis that all truths have truthmakers. Though this original formulation requires extensive revision, the gist of the argument is as follows. Suppose for reductio Traditional Christian Theism and the sort of Truthmaker Theory that embraces Truthmaker Maximalism are both true. By Traditional Christian Theism, there is a world in which God, and only God, exists. There are no animals in such a world. Thus, it is true in such (...)
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  • Change, Difference, and Orthodox Truthmaker Theory.Timothy Pawl - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (3):539-550.
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Ahead of Print.
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  • 個物が先か,このもの性が先か.Hiroshi Ohata - 2021 - Kagaku Tetsugaku 53 (2):169-189.
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  • Presentism and Actualism.Harold W. Noonan - 2018 - Philosophia 47 (2):489-497.
    Presentism, some say, is either the analytic triviality that the only things that exist now are ones that exist now or the obviously false claim that the only things that have ever existed or will are ones that exist now. I argue that the correct understanding of presentism is the latter and so understood the claim is not obviously false. To appreciate this one has to see presentism as strictly analogous to anti-Lewisean actualism. What this modal analogue makes evident is (...)
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  • Contingently Existing Propositions.Michael Nelson - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (5):776-803.
    I argue that propositions are contingent existents. Some propositions that in fact exist might not have existed and there might have been propositions that are distinct from every actually existing proposition. This is because some propositions are singular propositions, which are propositions containing ordinary objects as constituents, and so are ontologically dependent on the existence of those objects; had those objects not existed, then the singular propositions would not have existed. I provide both a philosophical and technical understanding of the (...)
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  • Names and Obstinate Rigidity.Brendan Murday - 2013 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (2):224-242.
    Names are rigid designators, but what kind of rigidity do they exhibit? Both “obstinately” and “persistently” rigid designators pick out O at every world at which they pick out anything at all. They differ in that obstinately rigid designators also pick out O at worlds at which O fails to exist; persistently rigid designators have no extension whatsoever at worlds at which O fails to exist. The question whether names are obstinate or persistent arises in two contexts: in arguments against (...)
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  • Molinism, Creature-Types, and the Nature of Counterfactual Implication.Daniel Murphy - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 4 (1):65-86.
    Granting that there could be true subjunctive conditionals of libertarian freedom (SCLs), I argue (roughly) that there could be such conditionals only in connection with individual "possible creatures" (in contrast to types). This implies that Molinism depends on the view that, prior to creation, God grasps possible creatures in their individuality. In making my case, I explore the notions of counterfactual implication (that relationship between antecedent and consequent of an SCL which consists in its truth) and counterfactual relevance (that feature (...)
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  • Divine Knowledge and Qualitative Indiscernibility.Daniel S. Murphy - 2016 - Faith and Philosophy 33 (1):25-47.
    This paper is about the nature of God’s pre-creation knowledge of possible creatures. I distinguish three theories: non-qualitative singularism, qualitative singularism, and qualitative generalism, which differ in terms of whether the relevant knowledge is qualitative or non-qualitative, and whether God has singular or merely general knowledge of creatures. My main aim is to argue that qualitative singularism does not depend on a version of the Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles to the effect that, necessarily, qualitatively indiscernible individuals are identical. It (...)
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  • The Objective Conception of Context and its Logic.Christopher Menzel - 1999 - Minds and Machines 9 (1):29-56.
    In this paper, an objective conception of contexts based loosely upon situation theory is developed and formalized. Unlike subjective conceptions, which take contexts to be something like sets of beliefs, contexts on the objective conception are taken to be complex, structured pieces of the world that (in general) contain individuals, other contexts, and propositions about them. An extended first-order language for this account is developed. The language contains complex terms for propositions, and the standard predicate "ist" that expresses the relation (...)
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  • Logic, Essence, and Modality — Review of Bob Hale's Necessary Beings. [REVIEW]Christopher Menzel - 2015 - Philosophia Mathematica 23 (3):407-428.
    Bob Hale’s distinguished record of research places him among the most important and influential contemporary analytic metaphysicians. In his deep, wide ranging, yet highly readable book Necessary Beings, Hale draws upon, but substantially integrates and extends, a good deal his past research to produce a sustained and richly textured essay on — as promised in the subtitle — ontology, modality, and the relations between them. I’ve set myself two tasks in this review: first, to provide a reasonably thorough (if not (...)
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