David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Mind 108 (430):217-239 (1999)
The principle of modal ubiquity - that every truth is necessary or contingent - and the validity of possibility introduction, are principles that any modal theory suffers for failing to accommodate. Advanced modal claims are modal claims about entities other than spatiotemporally unified individuals (perhaps, then, spatiotemporally disunified individuals, sets, numbers, properties, propositions and events). I show that genuine modal realism, as it has thus far been explicitly developed, and in so far as it deals with advanced modal claims, cannot accommodate the principles in question. On behalf of the genuine modal realist I motivate and propose a redundancy interpretation of advanced possibility claims and extend that interpretation to the cognate cases of necessity, impossibility and contingency. I then show that the problematic principles as they apply to advanced modal claims can be derived from these interpretations. I show further how the proposed interpretation enables the genuine modal realist to deal with a number of objections that centre on the alleged inadequacy of the genuine modal realist's expressive resources. I conclude that genuine modal realism emerges the stronger for having been shown capable of dealing with advanced modal claims on the basis of no conceptual and ontological resources beyond those it requires to deal with ordinary modal claims.
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Citations of this work BETA
Christopher Weaver (2012). What Could Be Caused Must Actually Be Caused. Synthese 184 (3):299-317.
David Liggins (2008). Modal Fictionalism and Possible-Worlds Discourse. Philosophical Studies 138 (2):151-60.
Andrea Sauchelli (2010). Concrete Possible Worlds and Counterfactual Conditionals: Lewis Versus Williamson on Modal Knowledge. Synthese 176 (3):345-359.
Elizabeth Barnes (2010). Ontic Vagueness: A Guide for the Perplexed. Noûs 44 (4):601-627.
Joseph Melia & Duncan Watson (2009). Properties, Possibilia and Contingent Second-Order Predication. Analysis 69 (4):643-649.
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