Two morals about a modal paradox

Synthese 198 (10):9873-9896 (2020)
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Chisholm’s paradox serves as an important constraint on our modal theorising. For example, one lesson of the paradox is that widely accepted essentialist theses appear incompatible with metaphysical necessity obeying a logic that includes S4. However, this article cautions against treating Chisholm’s paradox in isolation, as a single line of reasoning. To this end, the article outlines two crucial morals about Chisholm’s paradox which situate the paradox within a broad family of paradoxes. Each moral places significant constraints on the paradox’s solution space. In light of this perspective, the paper applies the two morals to a recently proposed solution to Chisholm’s Paradox by Benj Hellie, Murray and Wilson Oxford studies in metaphysics, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2012).



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Alexander Roberts
Oxford University

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References found in this work

Does conceivability entail possibility.David J. Chalmers - 2002 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 145--200.
Modal Logic as Metaphysics.Timothy Williamson - 2013 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
Essence and modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.

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