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Varieties of Modality, Misc

Edited by Barbara Vetter (Humboldt-University, Berlin)
Assistant editor: Steffen Koch (University of Cologne)
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  1. Robert Merrihew Adams (2000). God, Possibility, and Kant. Faith and Philosophy 17 (4):425-440.
    In one of his precritical works, Kant defends, as “the only possible” way of demonstrating the existence of God, an argument from the nature of possibility. Whereas Leibniz had argued that possibilities must be thought by God in order to obtain the ontological standing that they need, Kant argued that at least the most fundamental possibilities must be exemplified in God. Here Kant’s argument is critically examined in comparison with its Leibnizian predecessor, and it is suggested that an argument combining (...)
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  2. Lilli Alanen (1991). Descartes, Conceivability, and Logical Modality. In Tamara Horowitz (ed.), Thought Experiments in Science and Philosophy. Rowman and Littlefield
    This paper examines Descartes' controversial theory of the creation of eternal truths and the views of modality attributed to Descartes in recent interpretations of it. It shows why attempts to make Descartes' view intelligible by distinctions of different kinds of modality fail to do justice to his theory, which is radical indeed without being incoherent or involving universal possibilism or irrationalism. Descartes' opposition to traditional rationalist views of modality, it suggests, can be seen instead as foreshadowing contemporary views prefixed, logical (...)
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  3. Gordon Belot (2013). Geometric Possibility. Oxford University Press Uk.
    Gordon Belot investigates the distinctive notion of geometric possibility that relationalists rely upon. He examines the prospects for adapting to the geometric case the standard philosophical accounts of the related notion of physical possibility, with particular emphasis on Humean, primitivist, and necessitarian accounts of physical and geometric possibility. This contribution to the debate concerning the nature of space will be of interest not only to philosophers and metaphysicians concerned with space and time, but also to those interested in laws of (...)
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  4. Jiri Benovsky (2015). Alethic Modalities, Temporal Modalities, and Representation. Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 29:18-34.
    In this article, I am interested in four versions of what is often referred to as "the Humphrey objection". This objection was initially raised by Kripke against Lewis's modal counterpart theory, so this is where I will start the discussion. As we will see, there is a perfectly good answer to the objection. I will then examine other places where a similar objection can be raised: it can arise in the case of temporal counterpart theory (in fact, it can arise (...)
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  5. Alexander Bird (2011). Lange and Laws, Kinds, and Counterfactuals. In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & Matthew H. Slater (eds.), Carving Nature at its Joints. MIT Press
    In this paper I examine and question Marc Lange’s account of laws, and his claim that the law delineating the range of natural kinds of fundamental particle has a lesser grade of necessity that the laws connecting the fundamental properties of those kinds with their derived properties.
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  6. David Braine & Michael Clark (1972). Varieties of Necessity. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 46:139 - 187.
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  7. James Cain (2004). Free Will and the Problem of Evil. Religious Studies 40 (4):437-456.
    According to the free-will defence, the exercise of free will by creatures is of such value that God is willing to allow the existence of evil which comes from the misuse of free will. A well-known objection holds that the exercise of free will is compatible with determinism and thus, if God exists, God could have predetermined exactly how the will would be exercised; God could even have predetermined that free will would be exercised sinlessly. Thus, it is held, the (...)
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  8. David J. Chalmers, The Tyranny of the Subjunctive.
    (1a) If Prince Albert Victor killed those people, he is Jack the Ripper (and Jack the Ripper killed those people). (1b) If Prince Albert Victor had killed those people, Jack the Ripper wouldn't have (and Prince Albert wouldn't have been Jack the Ripper).
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  9. Hugh S. Chandler (1986). Sources of Essence. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 11 (1):379-389.
    Almost everyone believes in modality de dicto. Necessarily, puppies are young dogs. The necessity here derives from the meaning of “puppy.” The term means young dog. Essentialism is belief in a more exotic sort of modality, one that does not derive from meaning in this direct and simple way. In the first two sections of this paper, I consider indexical and nonindexical kind terms and the sort of modality applicable to each. In the last section, I consider individuals and proper (...)
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  10. Fabrice Correia & Andrea Iacona (eds.) (2013). Around the Tree: Semantic and Metaphysical Issues Concerning Branching and the Open Future. Springer.
    Over the past few years, the tree model of time has been widely employed to deal with issues concerning the semantics of tensed discourse. The thought that has motivated its adoption is that the most plausible way to make sense of indeterminism is to conceive of future possibilities as branches that depart from a common trunk, constituted by the past and the present. However, the thought still needs to be further articulated and defended, and several important questions remain open, such (...)
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  11. André Darbon & Madelaine Lagarce-Darbon (1956). Les Catégories de la Modalité. Presses Universitaires de France.
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  12. Joseph Diekemper (2004). Temporal Necessity and Logical Fatalism. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 104 (3):287–294.
    I begin by briefly mentioning two different logical fatalistic argument types: one from temporal necessity, and one from antecedent truth value. It is commonly thought that the latter of these involves a simple modal fallacy and is easily refuted, and that the former poses the real threat to an open future. I question the conventional wisdom regarding these argument types, and present an analysis of temporal necessity that suggests the anti-fatalist might be better off shifting her argumentative strategy. Specifically, two (...)
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  13. J. M. Dieterle (2000). Supervenience and Necessity: A Response to Balaguer. Philosophia Mathematica 8 (3):302-309.
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  14. John Divers & Daniel Elstein (2012). Manifesting Belief in Absolute Necessity. Philosophical Studies 158 (1):109-130.
    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 (...)
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  15. Clement Dore (1990). More on the Possibility of God. Faith and Philosophy 7 (3):340-343.
    In this paper, I draw a distinction between two kinds of impossibility and maintain that one is entitled to suppose that they do not obtain, in the absence of a reason to think that they do. I claim that there is no reason to think that the first kind obtains with respect to God and that, though there are nonnegligible arguments that the second kind does, my argument for the possibility of God, which appeared in an earlier volume of this (...)
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  16. Dorothy Edgington (2004). Two Kinds of Possibility. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 78 (1):1–22.
    I defend a version of Kripke's claim that the metaphysically necessary and the knowable a priori are independent. On my version, there are two independent families of modal notions, metaphysical and epistemic, neither stronger than the other. Metaphysical possibility is constrained by the laws of nature. Logical validity, I suggest, is best understood in terms of epistemic necessity.
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  17. Kit Fine (2005). Modality and Tense. Oxford University Press.
  18. Kit Fine (2002). Varieties of Necessity. In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford Up 253-281.
    It is argued that there are three main forms of necessity --the metaphysical, the natural and the normative--and that none of them is reducible to the others or to any other form of necessity. In arguing for a distinctive form of natural necessity, it is necessary to refute a version of the doctrine of scientific essentialism; and in arguing for a distinctive form of normative necessity, it is necessary to refute certain traditional and contemporary versions of ethical naturalism.
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  19. Milton Fisk (1966). Analyticity and Conceptual Revision. Journal of Philosophy 63 (20):627-637.
    The view that analytic propositions are those which are true in virtue of rules of use is basically correct. But there are many kinds of rules of use, and rules of some of these kinds do not generate truth. There is nothing like a grammatical analytic, though grammatical rules are rules of use. So, this rules-of-use view falls short of being an explanatory account. My problem is to find what it is that is special about those rules of use which (...)
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  20. Bas C. Van Fraassen (1977). The Only Necessity is Verbal Necessity. Journal of Philosophy 74 (2):71 - 85.
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  21. James Franklin (1989). Mathematical Necessity and Reality. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 67 (3):286 – 294.
    Einstein, like most philosophers, thought that there cannot be mathematical truths which are both necessary and about reality. The article argues against this, starting with prima facie examples such as "It is impossible to tile my bathroom floor with regular pentagonal tiles." Replies are given to objections based on the supposedly purely logical or hypothetical nature of mathematics.
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  22. Alfred J. Freddoso (1983). Accidental Necessity and Logical Determinism. Journal of Philosophy 80 (5):257-278.
    This paper attempts to construct a systematic and plausible account of the necessity of the past. The account proposed is meant to explicate the central ockhamistic thesis of the primacy of the pure present and to vindicate Ockham's own non-Aristotelian response to the challenge of logical determinism.
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  23. James W. Garson (2009). Modal Logic. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  24. Dominic Gregory (2001). B is Innocent. Analysis 61 (3):225–229.
    The paper replies to an earlier paper by Yannis Stephanou, who presented an argument purportedly showing the falsity of certain instances of the characteristic axiom of the modal logic B. The paper argues that the B axiom was not to blame for the unsoundness of Stephanou's argument.
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  25. Ian Hacking (1975). All Kinds of Possibility. Philosophical Review 84 (3):321-337.
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  26. Ian Hacking (1967). Possibility. Philosophical Review 76 (2):143-168.
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  27. Bob Hale (2012). What is Absolute Necessity? Philosophia Scientiae 16 (2):117-148.
    On pourrait définir la nécessité absolue comme la vérité dans absolument tous les mondes possibles sans restriction. Mais nous devrions être capables de l’expliquer sans invoquer les mondes possibles. J’envisage trois definitions alternatives de : « Il est absolument nécessaire que p » et défends une définition contrefactuelle généralisée : ∀q.Je montre que la nécessité absolue satisfait le principe S5 et soutiens que la nécessité logique est absolue. Je discute ensuite des relations entre la nécessité logique et la nécessité métaphysique, (...)
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  28. Rom Harré & G. J. Moran (1973). The Necessity of Natures. Dialogue 12 (2):318-321.
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  29. Nicolai Hartmann (2013). Possibility and Actuality. Walter de Gruyter.
    From a different perspective, “essential actuality” is related to logical actuality. It means plain existence in the ideal sphere of being. One is familiar with this, for example, in “mathematical existence.” This does not merge with validity, but implies ...
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  30. Alexander Hughes, (In)Determinism, Branching Time, and Branching Space.
    The branching time analysis grounds the possibilities entailed by temporal indeterminism in a branching temporal structure. I construct a spatial analog of the branching time analysis – the branching space analysis – according to which the possibilities entailed by spatial indeterminism are grounded in branching spatial structure. The construction proceeds in such a way as to show the analogies between the branching space and branching time analyses. I argue that the two views are a package. In particular: the theoretical virtues (...)
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  31. Lloyd Humberstone (2005). Modality. In Frank Jackson & Michael Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy. Oxford University Press
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  32. Andrea Iacona (2012). TxW Epistemic Modality. Logic and Philosophy of Science 10:3-14.
    So far, T×W frames have been employed to provide a semantics for a language of tense logic that includes a modal operator that expresses historical necessity. The operator is defined in terms of quantification over possible courses of events that satisfy a certain constraint, namely, that of being alike up to a given point. However, a modal operator can as well be defined without placing that constraint. This paper outlines a T×W logic where an operator of the latter kind is (...)
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  33. Roman Stanisław Ingarden (2000). Modalna interpretacja mechaniki kwantowej i klasycznych teorii fizycznych. Filozofia Nauki 2.
    In 1990, Bas C. van Fraassen defined the modal interpretation of quantum mechanics as a consideration of it as „a pure theory of the possible, with testable, empirical implications for what actually happens”. This is a narrow, traditional understanding of modality, as possibility (usually denoted in logic by the C.I. Lewis's symbol Î) and necessity >>, defined by means of Î. In modern logic, however, modality is understood in a much wider sense as any intensional functor (i.e. nonextensional functor: determined (...)
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  34. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2008). Temporal and Counterfactual Possibility. Sorites 20:37-42.
    Among philosophers working on modality, there is a common assumption that there is a strong connection between temporal possibility and counterfactual possibility. For example, Sydney Shoemaker 1998, 69 70) writes: It seems to me a general feature of our thought about possibility that how we think that something could have differed from how it in fact is [is] closely related to how we think that the way something is at one time could differ from the way that same thing is (...)
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  35. Ivan Kolev (2008). Modal Thinking in the Philosophical Anthropology. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 20:129-136.
    If we take a bird’s-eye view of the history of philosophical ideas and try to assess the place the problems of modality hold in it, it is likely that we will gain the impression that they are not among the priorities of philosophical thinking of the essence of human being. A closer look at some classical theses, however, can provide us with different answers. In § 76 of Critique of Judgement, which is actually “just” a comment on the basic text, (...)
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  36. Baptiste Le Bihan (2014). No-Futurism and Metaphysical Contingentism. Axiomathes 24 (4):483-497.
    According to no-futurism, past and present entities are real, but future ones are not. This view faces a skeptical challenge (Bourne 2002, 2006, Braddon-Mitchell, 2004): if no-futurism is true, how do you know you are present? I shall propose a new skeptical argument based on the physical possibility of Gödelian worlds (1949). This argument shows that a no-futurist has to endorse a metaphysical contingentist reading of no-futurism, the view that no-futurism is contingently true. But then, the no-futurist has to face (...)
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  37. Jessica Leech (2015). The Varieties of Modality. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (1).
    In ‘The Varieties of Necessity’ Fine presents purported counterexamples to the view that a proposition is a naturally necessary truth if and only if it is logically necessary relative to or conditional upon the basic truths about the status and distribution of natural kinds, properties and relations. The aim of this article is to defend the view that natural necessity is relative necessity, and the general idea that we can define other kinds of necessity as relative, against Fine's criticisms.
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  38. Øystein Linnebo (2006). Modality and Tense. Philosophical Papers. [REVIEW] Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 68 (2):408-409.
    Kit Fine has since the 1970s been one of the leading contributors to work at the intersection of logic and metaphysics. This is his eagerly-awaited first book in the area. It draws together a series of essays, three of them previously unpublished, on possibility, necessity, and tense. These puzzling aspects of the way the world is have been the focus of considerable philosophical attention in recent decades. A helpful introduction orients the reader and offers a way into some of the (...)
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  39. Duncan Macintosh (1994). Could God Have Made the Big Bang? (On Theistic Counterfactuals). Dialogue 33 (01):3-20.
    Quentin Smith argues that if God exists, He had a duty to ensure life's existence; and He couldn't rationally have done so and made a big bang unless a counter-factual like "If God had made a big bang, there would have been life," was true pre-creation. But such counter-factuals are not true pre-creation. I argue that God could have made a big bang without irrationality; and that He could have ensured life without making big bangs non-random. Further, a proper understanding (...)
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  40. Edward Madden (1973). Natural Necessity. New Scholasticism 47 (2):214-227.
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  41. Anna Marmodoro (2015). Dispositional Modality Vis‐À‐Vis Conditional Necessity. Philosophical Investigations 39 (2):n/a-n/a.
    There is an ongoing debate in the metaphysics of dispositions regarding which type of modality governs their manifestation. This paper assumes as its default position the view that dispositions manifest by conditional necessity; that is, when in appropriate circumstances dispositions manifest necessarily. From this standpoint, the paper engages critically with an existing alternative in the literature, put forward most prominently by Mumford and Anjum, and known as dispositional modality. According to this latter view, even when in appropriate manifestation conditions, dispositions (...)
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  42. Rainer Marten (2005). Die Möglichkeit des Unmöglichen: Zur Poesie in Philosophie Und Religion. K. Alber.
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  43. G. Randolph Mayes (1990). Ross and Scotus on the Existence of God: Two Proofs From Possibility. The Thomist 54 (1):97-114.
    In his Philosophical Theology James Ross claims to have uncovered an assumption essential to the proof of God's existence advanced by Duns Scotus: the equivalence of logical and real possibility. Ross argues that the omission is reparable, and that Scotus's proof is ultimately satisfactory. In this paper I examine his claim and determine that while Scotus may have believed there to be a significant connection between these two concepts, his proof of God does not depend on it. Ross's attempt to (...)
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  44. Thomas J. McKay (1986). Lowe and Baldwin on Modalities. Mind 95 (380):499-505.
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  45. Stephen K. McLeod (2001). Modality and Anti-Metaphysics. Ashgate.
    Modality and Anti-Metaphysics critically examines the most prominent approaches to modality among analytic philosophers in the twentieth century, including essentialism. Defending both the project of metaphysics and the essentialist position that metaphysical modality is conceptually and ontologically primitive, Stephen McLeod argues that the logical positivists did not succeed in banishing metaphysical modality from their own theoretical apparatus and he offers an original defence of metaphysics against their advocacy of its elimination. -/- Seeking to assuage the sceptical worries which underlie modal (...)
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  46. Paul McNamara (1990). Leibniz on Creation, Contingency and Pe-Se Modality. Studia Leibnitiana 22 (1):29-47.
    Leibniz' first problem with contingency stems from his doctrine of divine creation (not his later doctrine of truth) and is solved via his concepts of necessity per se, etc. (not via his later concept of infinite analysis). I scrutinize some of the earliest texts in which the first problem and its solution occur. I compare his "per se modal concepts" with his concept of analysis and with the traditional concept of metaphysical necessity. I then identify and remove the main obstacle (...)
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  47. 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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  48. Thomas Müller (2012). Branching in the Landscape of Possibilities. Synthese 188 (1):41-65.
    The metaphor of a branching tree of future possibilities has a number of important philosophical and logical uses. In this paper we trace this metaphor through some of its uses and argue that the metaphor works the same way in physics as in philosophy. We then give an overview of formal systems for branching possibilities, viz., branching time and (briefly) branching space-times. In a next step we describe a number of different notions of possibility, thereby sketching a landscape of possibilities. (...)
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  49. Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum, Freedom and Control - On the Modality of Free Will.
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  50. Ilkka Niiniluoto, Tuomas Tahko & Teemu Toppinen (eds.) (forthcoming). Mahdollisuus.
    Proceedings of the 2016 "one word" colloquium of the The Philosophical Society of Finland. The word was "Possibility".
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