Manifesting belief in absolute necessity

Philosophical Studies 158 (1):109-130 (2012)
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McFetridge (in Logical necessity and other essays . London: Blackwell, 1990 ) suggests that to treat a proposition as logically necessary—to believe a proposition logically necessary, and to manifest that belief—is a matter of preparedness to deploy that proposition as a premise in reasoning from any supposition. We consider whether a suggestion in that spirit can be generalized to cover all cases of absolute necessity, both logical and non-logical, and we conclude that it can. In Sect. 2, we explain the significance that such an account of manifestation of belief in absolute necessity has for the prospects of a non-realist theory of modality. In Sect. 3, we offer a sympathetic articulation of the detail that underlies the McFetridge conception of belief in logical necessity. In Sects. 4 and 5, we show that the conception so articulated will not generalize to encompass all cases of belief in absolute necessity and proceed to offer a remedy. Our proposal is based upon a distinction between two kinds of suppositional act: A-supposing and C-supposing (Sect. 6). In Sect. 7, we then explain and defend our central thesis: (roughly) that (manifestation of) belief in absolute necessity is a matter of preparedness to deploy as a premise in reasoning under any C-supposition. Finally, we indicate that there is some promise in the parallel thesis that manifestation of the treatment of a proposition as a priori is a matter of preparedness to deploy as a premise in reasoning under any A-supposition (Sect. 8)



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Author Profiles

John Divers
Trinity College, Dublin
Daniel Y. Elstein
University of Leeds

Citations of this work

The extent of metaphysical necessity.Daniel Nolan - 2011 - Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):313-339.
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Conditionals, Supposition and Euthyphro.Daniel Nolan - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
Creeping Minimalism and Subject Matter.Matthew Simpson - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (6):750-766.

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On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Malden, Mass.: Blackwell.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.W. Quine - 1951 - [Longmans, Green].
Does conceivability entail possibility.David J. Chalmers - 2002 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 145--200.

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