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Varieties of Modality

Edited by Barbara Vetter (Humboldt-University, Berlin)
Assistant editor: Steffen Koch (University of Cologne)
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  1. Charles Bray (1890). The Philosophy of Necessity. The Monist 1:136.
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  2. Manuel Garcia-Carpintero (2009). L'asserzione e la contingenza delle convenzioni. Rivista di Estetica 49 (41):161-170.
    The paper offers a model for the conventionality of illocutionary forces. It focuses on the argument that accounts of assertion in terms of constitutive norms are incompatible with conventionalist claims about assertion. The argument appeals to an alleged modal asymmetry, and is in that respect related to well-known arguments that the notion of truth by convention is misguided: while constitutive rules are essential to the acts they characterize, and therefore the obligations they impose necessarily apply to every instance, conventions are (...)
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Conceptual Necessity
  1. Anthony C. Anderson (2012). Conceptual Modality and the Onto-Logical Argument. In Miroslaw Szatkowski (ed.), Ontological Proofs Today. Ontos Verlag 50--295.
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  2. C. Anthony Anderson (2015). Logical Necessity, Conceptual Necessity, and the Ontological Argument. In Miroslaw Szatkowski (ed.), God, Truth, and Other Enigmas. De Gruyter 3-14.
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  3. Thomas Baldwin (1977). Meaning and Modality. Philosophical Books 18 (3):130-131.
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  4. Ross P. Cameron (2007). The Contingency of Composition. Philosophical Studies 136 (1):99-121.
    There is widespread disagreement as to what the facts are concerning just when a collection of objects composes some further object; but there is widespread agreement that, whatever those facts are, they are necessary. I am unhappy to simply assume this, and in this paper I ask whether there is reason to think that the facts concerning composition hold necessarily. I consider various reasons to think so, but find fault with each of them. I examine the theory of composition as (...)
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  5. D. E. Cooper (1978). LEWY, C. "Meaning and Modality". [REVIEW] Mind 87:616.
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  6. Fabrice Correia (2012). On the Reduction of Necessity to Essence. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (3):639-653.
    In his influential paper ‘‘Essence and Modality’’, Kit Fine argues that no account of essence framed in terms of metaphysical necessity is possible, and that it is rather metaphysical necessity which is to be understood in terms of essence. On his account, the concept of essence is primitive, and for a proposition to be metaphysically necessary is for it to be true in virtue of the nature of all things. Fine also proposes a reduction of conceptual and logical necessity in (...)
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  7. Jean David, Georges Kleiber & Université de Metz (1983). La Notion Sémantico-Logique de Modalité Colloque. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  8. Daniel Dohrn (2011). Are There a Posteriori Conceptual Necessities? Philosophical Studies 155 (2):181-197.
    I critically assess Stephen Yablo’s claim that cassinis are ovals is an a posteriori conceptual necessity. One does not know it simply by mastering the relevant concepts but by substantial empirical scrutiny. Yablo represents narrow content by would have turned out -conditionals. An epistemic reading of such conditionals does not bear Yablo’s claim. Two metaphysically laden readings are considered. In one reading, Yablo’s conditionals test under what circumstances concepts remain the same while their extensions diverge. As an alternative, I develop (...)
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  9. Mircea Dumitru (ed.) (forthcoming). Metaphysics, Meaning, and Modality. Themes From Kit Fine. Oxford UP.
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  10. Bob Hale (2002). Knowledge of Possibility and of Necessity. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (1):1–20.
    I investigate two asymmetrical approaches to knowledge of absolute possibility and of necessity--one which treats knowledge of possibility as more fundamental, the other according epistemological priority to necessity. Two necessary conditions for the success of an asymmetrical approach are proposed. I argue that a possibility-based approach seems unable to meet my second condition, but that on certain assumptions--including, pivotally, the assumption that logical and conceptual necessities, while absolute, do not exhaust the class of absolute necessities--a necessity-based approach may be able (...)
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  11. By Toby Handfield (2004). Counterlegals and Necessary Laws. Philosophical Quarterly 54 (216):402–419.
    Necessitarian accounts of the laws of nature have an apparent difficulty in accounting for counterlegal conditionals because, despite appearing to be substantive, on the necessitarian thesis they are vacuous. I argue that the necessitarian may explain the apparently substantive content of such conditionals by pointing out the presuppositions of counterlegal discourse. The typical presupposition is that a certain conceptual possibility has been realized; namely, that necessitarianism is false. (The idea of conceptual possibility is explicated in terms of recent work in (...)
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  12. Rom Harre & E. H. Madden (2008). Conceptual and Natural Necessity. In Ruth Groff (ed.), Revitalizing Causality: Realism About Causality in Philosophy and Social Science. Routledge
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  13. Eli Hirsch (1986). Metaphysical Necessity and Conceptual Truth. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 11 (1):243-256.
  14. Frederik Kaufman (1990). Conceptual Necessity, Causality and Self-Ascriptions of Sensation. International Studies in Philosophy 22 (3):3-11.
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  15. Olga Markic (2001). Is Language of Thought a Conceptual Necessity? Acta Analytica 16 (26):53-60.
  16. Kristie Miller (2010). Contingentism in Metaphysics. Philosophy Compass 5 (11):965-977.
    In a lot of domains in metaphysics the tacit assumption has been that whichever metaphysical principles turn out to be true, these will be necessarily true. Let us call necessitarianism about some domain the thesis that the right metaphysics of that domain is necessary. Necessitarianism has flourished. This paper considers why this is so and considers domains in which contingentism has been defended.
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  17. Michael T. Putnam & Thomas S. Stroik (2009). Part I. Introduction: Traveling Without Moving: The Conceptual Necessity of Survive-Minimalism. In Towards a Derivational Syntax: Survive-Minimalism. John Benjamins Pub. Company
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  18. Steven Rieber (1998). The Concept of Personal Identity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (3):581-594.
    Theories of personal identity try to explain what the identity of a person necessarily consists in, but frequently leave open what kind of necessity is at issue. This paper is concerned with conceptual necessity. It proposes an analysis of the concept of personal identity in terms of a definite description. The analysis coheres with out judgments about clear cases and explains why cases of division seem indeterminate. The apparent indeterminacy results from attempting to apply a definite description to a situation (...)
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  19. Robert K. Shope (1988). Powers, Causation, and Modality. Erkenntnis 28 (3):321 - 362.
    A complex theory concerning powers, natures, and causal necessity has emerged from the writings of P. H. Hare, E. H. Madden, and R. Harré. In the course of rebutting objections that other critics have raised to the power account of causation, I correct three of its genuine difficulties: its attempt to analyze power attributions in terms of conditional statements; its characterization of the relation between something's powers and its nature; and its doctrines concerning conceptual necessity. The resulting interpretation of causal (...)
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  20. Richmond H. Thomason & Robert C. Stalnaker (1968). Modality and Reference. Noûs 2 (4):359-372.
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  21. Amie L. Thomasson (2013). Norms and Necessity. Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (2):143-160.
    Modality presents notorious philosophical problems, including the epistemic problem of how we could come to know modal facts and metaphysical problems about how to place modal facts in the natural world. These problems arise from thinking of modal claims as attempts to describe modal features of this world that explain what makes them true. Here I propose a different view of modal discourse in which talk about what is “metaphysically necessary” does not aim to describe modal features of the world, (...)
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  22. Bas C. van Fraassen (1977). The Only Necessity is Verbal Necessity. Journal of Philosophy 74 (2):71-85.
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  23. Kai Von Fintel (2006). Modality and Language. In D. Borchert (ed.), Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Macmillan Reference 20-27.
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  24. Daniel von Wachter (1994). Wo es Notwendigkeit nicht gibt. Kontroversen 6:3-28.
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  25. Brian Weatherson (2004). Morality, Fiction, and Possibility. Philosophers' Imprint 4 (3):1-27.
    Authors have a lot of leeway with regard to what they can make true in their story. In general, if the author says that p is true in the fiction we’re reading, we believe that p is true in that fiction. And if we’re playing along with the fictional game, we imagine that, along with everything else in the story, p is true. But there are exceptions to these general principles. Many authors, most notably Kendall Walton and Tamar Szabó Gendler, (...)
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Logical Necessity
  1. Arif Ahmed (2000). Hale on Some Arguments for the Necessity of Necessity. Mind 109 (433):81-91.
    The paper argues against Bob Hale's (1999) argument that enquirers must regard some truths as necessary truths. Hale's argument against Quinean skepticism. like many similar arguments due to McFetridge, Wright and others, involves a quantifier shift fallacy.
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  2. Kensuke Akiba (1994). Fictionalism in Logic: Modality, Truth, and Conservativeness. Dissertation, University of Southern California
    It is usually held that what distinguishes a good inference from a bad one is that the former is but the latter is not truth-preserving. What is behind this view is the basic assumption that whether a certain inference is truth-preserving or not is a genuine issue, an issue the answer to which is determined objectively. This view is called the realist view of logic. ;In this dissertation the realist view of logic is criticized and an alternative view is presented. (...)
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  3. Virgil C. Aldrich (1969). Logically Necessary A Posteriori Propositions. Analysis 29 (4):140 - 142.
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  4. Alice Ambrose (1956). XII.—On Entailment and Logical Necessity. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 56 (1):241-258.
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  5. Alice Ambrose (1955). On Entailment and Logical Necessity. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 56:241 - 258.
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  6. Alice Ambrose & Morris Lazerowitz (1984). Assuming the Logically Impossible. Metaphilosophy 15 (2):91–99.
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  7. C. Anthony Anderson (2015). Logical Necessity, Conceptual Necessity, and the Ontological Argument. In Miroslaw Szatkowski (ed.), God, Truth, and Other Enigmas. De Gruyter 3-14.
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  8. Gordon Barnes (2002). Hale’s Necessity: It’s Indispensable, But is It Real? Disputatio 13:3 - 10.
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  9. José A. Benardete (1962). Is There a Problem About Logical Possibility? Mind 71 (283):342-352.
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  10. J. Bennett (1961). A Myth About Logical Necessity. Analysis 21 (3):59-63.
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  11. Jonathan Bennett (1961). A Myth About Logical Necessity. Analysis 21 (3):59 - 63.
    In these few pages I shall try to demonstrate the emptiness of the most cumbersome piece of unexamined intellectual baggage at present being hauled about by English philosophers. I here cite one example to be going on with, at the end of the paper I shall give a handful more, and it would be easy to multiply the number by ten from the writings of reputable philosophers. The outstanding philosophical achievement of the ha1f-century which has just drawn to a close (...)
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  12. Stephen J. Boulter (2002). Hume on Induction: A Genuine Problem or Theology's Trojan Horse? Philosophy 77 (1):67-86.
    In this paper I offer a straight solution to Hume's problem of induction by defusing the assumptions on which it is based. I argue that Hume's problem only arises if we accept (i) that there is no necessity but logical necessity, or (ii) that it is unreasonable to believe that there is any form of necessity in addition to logical necessity. I show that Hume's arguments in favour of (i) and (ii) are unsound. I then offer a suggestion as to (...)
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  13. Phillip Bricker (1991). Plenitude of Possible Structures. Journal of Philosophy 88 (11):607-619.
    Which mathematical structures are possible, that is, instantiated by the concrete inhabitants of some possible world? Are there worlds with four-dimensional space? With infinite-dimensional space? Whence comes our knowledge of the possibility of structures? In this paper, I develop and defend a principle of plenitude according to which any mathematically natural generalization of possible structure is itself possible. I motivate the principle pragmatically by way of the role that logical possibility plays in our inquiry into the world.
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  14. Phillip Bricker (1983). Worlds and Propositions: The Structure and Ontology of Logical Space. Dissertation, Princeton University
    In sections 1 through 5, I develop in detail what I call the standard theory of worlds and propositions, and I discuss a number of purported objections. The theory consists of five theses. The first two theses, presented in section 1, assert that the propositions form a Boolean algebra with respect to implication, and that the algebra is complete, respectively. In section 2, I introduce the notion of logical space: it is a field of sets that represents the propositional structure (...)
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  15. John P. Burgess (2003). Which Modal Models Are the Right Ones (for Logical Necessity)? Theoria 18 (2):145-158.
    Recently it has become almost the received wisdom in certain quarters that Kripke models are appropriate only for something like metaphysical modalities, and not for logical modalities. Here the line of thought leading to Kripke models, and reasons why they are no less appropriate for logical than for other modalities, are explained. It is also indicated where the fallacy in the argument leading to the contrary conclusion lies. The lessons learned are then applied to the question of the status of (...)
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  16. F. K. C. (1975). The Nature of Necessity. Review of Metaphysics 28 (4):762-763.
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  17. John V. Canfield (1975). Anthropological Science Fiction and Logical Necessity. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 4 (3):467 - 479.
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  18. James Cargile (2000). Skepticism and Possibilities. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):157-171.
    One skeptical strategy against A’s claim to know that P is to hold that it is logically possible for someone to have the same “base” for P as A does in spite of its not being true that P. Philosophical replies have focussed on showing that these are not genuine possibilities. Whether they are can be an interesting question of metaphysics, but it is argued in this paper that this metaphysical discussion is not the proper focus for an assessment of (...)
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  19. Leo K. C. Cheung (2004). Showing, Analysis and the Truth-Functionality of Logical Necessity in Wittgenstein's Tractatus. Synthese 139 (1):81 - 105.
    This paper aims to explain how the Tractatus attempts to unify logic by deriving the truth-functionality of logical necessity from the thesis that a proposition shows its sense. I first interpret the Tractarian notion of showing as the displaying of what is intrinsic to an expression (or a symbol). Then I argue that, according to the Tractatus, the thesis that a proposition shows its sense implies the determinacy of sense, the possibility of the complete elimination of non-primitive symbols, the analyticity (...)
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  20. Nino Cocchiarella (1975). On the Primary and Secondary Semantics of Logical Necessity. Journal of Philosophical Logic 4 (1):13 - 27.
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  21. Daniel Cohnitz (2003). Modal Skepticism: Philosophical Thought Experiments and Modal Epistemology. Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 10:281--296.
    One of the most basic methods of philosophy is, and has always been, the consideration of counterfactual cases and imaginary scenarios. One purpose of doing so obviously is to test our theories against such counterfactual cases. Although this method is widespread, it is far from being commonly accepted. Especially during the last two decades it has been confronted with criticism ranging from complete dismissal to denying only its critical powers to a cautious defense of the use of thought experiments as (...)
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  22. Gary Colwell (1982). On Defining Away the Miraculous. Philosophy 57 (221):327 - 337.
    HUME AND HIS FOLLOWERS HAVE TRIED UNSUCCESSFULLY TO ESTABLISH THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF MIRACLES BY APPEALING SOLELY TO THE DEFINITIONS OF MIRACLE AND NATURAL LAW. HUME’S ARGUMENT TRADES UPON THAT PART OF THE DEFINITION OF MIRACLE WHICH PERTAINS TO THE NUMERICAL INSIGNIFICANCE OF MIRACULOUS EVENTS. HE DID NOT REALIZE THAT THE LARGE NUMERICAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NON-REPEATABLE IRREGULAR EVENTS AND REPEATABLE REGULAR ONES LOGICALLY CANNOT BE USED AS A CRITERION BY WHICH TO DETERMINE THE EXISTENTIAL STATUS OF NUMERICALLY SMALL NON-REPEATABLE IRREGULAR EVENTS. (...)
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  23. Fabrice Correia (2012). On the Reduction of Necessity to Essence. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (3):639-653.
    In his influential paper ‘‘Essence and Modality’’, Kit Fine argues that no account of essence framed in terms of metaphysical necessity is possible, and that it is rather metaphysical necessity which is to be understood in terms of essence. On his account, the concept of essence is primitive, and for a proposition to be metaphysically necessary is for it to be true in virtue of the nature of all things. Fine also proposes a reduction of conceptual and logical necessity in (...)
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