David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Investigations 33 (1):24-43 (2010)
The once deeply held conviction that all necessary truths are known a priori is now widely, although by no means universally agreed to have been subjected to penetrating, if not devastating criticism. Scott Soames, for example, on behalf of Saul Kripke, and indirectly of Hilary Putnam, argues that in respect of natural kinds, the introduction of basic essentialist assumptions grounded in our pre-theoretical habits of thinking and speaking – for example, that atomic or molecular structure provides the underlying essence of a substance – allows a sentence like "water = H 2 0," in which the identity sign is flanked by rigid designators to express a metaphysically necessary truth. Yet doubts and puzzlement remain over the status of a posteriori necessities, including those relating to an individual's origin. This paper considers some prominent criticisms that have been made of the Kripke–Putnam approach by A. J. Ayer and Frank Ebersole among others and reveals in what respects they are valid, where they are misplaced, and, perhaps more importantly, why the most valuable aspect of this approach can be seen to reflect aspects of our scientific procedures that do indeed point towards an application for a distinction that roughly mirrors that between epistemic and metaphysical possibility, yet one that is grounded instead in the nature of our actual practices.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Robert Hanna (1998). A Kantian Critique of Scientific Essentialism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (3):497-528.
Robert Stalnaker (2001). On Considering a Possible World as Actual. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 75 (75):141-156.
Nigel Leary (2007). Natural Kinds: (Thick) Essentialism or Promiscuous Realism? Philosophical Writings 34 (1):5 - 13.
Christopher Hughes (2004). Kripke: Names, Necessity, and Identity. Oxford University Press.
Bruno Whittle (2010). There Are Brute Necessities. Philosophical Quarterly 60 (238):149-159.
Quentin Smith (1995). Marcus, Kripke, and the Origin of the New Theory of Reference. Synthese 104 (2):179 - 189.
Jesper Kallestrup (2006). Physicalism, Conceivability and Strong Necessities. Synthese 151 (2):273-295.
David Barnett (2000). Is Water Necessarily Identical to H2O? Philosophical Studies 98 (1):99-112.
Tuomas E. Tahko (2009). On the Modal Content of A Posteriori Necessities. Theoria 75 (4):344-357.
Added to index2009-11-05
Total downloads51 ( #44,975 of 1,696,456 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #339,107 of 1,696,456 )
How can I increase my downloads?