On the source of necessity
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffman (eds.), Modality: Metaphysics, Logic and Epistemology. Oxford University Press (2010)
Simon Blackburn posed a dilemma for any realist attempt to identify the source of necessity. Either the facts appealed to to ground modal truth are themselves necessary, or they are contingent. If necessary, we begin the process towards regress; but if contingent, we undermine the necessity whose source we wanted to explain. Bob Hale attempts to blunt both horns of this dilemma. In this paper I examine their respective positions and attempt to clear up some confusions on either side. I come to defend Hale’s conclusion that both horns of the dilemma can be resisted. I end by defending my own account of the source of necessity, and showing why it does not fall victim to Blackburn’s problem.
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Gabriele Contessa (2010). Modal Truthmakers and Two Varieties of Actualism. Synthese 174 (3):341 - 353.
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