David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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An account of modality is produced which takes as its foundation the idea that modal concepts are parasitic upon our background theoretical commitments. This position is distinguished from the majority of philosophies of modality, which are either primitivist or reductionist. It is in this sense that our account is less burdened by metaphysics. The primary purpose of the document is to demonstrate that our approach is a coherent one. It supports this claim in three stages. First, we identify the historical lineage of our position and elucidate the main desiderata which must be met if the project is to succeed. Second, we provide a series of logical systems which are designed to meet our requirements. A raft of technical challenges beset this part of the project and this is where the bulk of the result in this thesis are located. Finally, we use the precise formalisation as a means to get a better understanding of what is at stake in the project and to understand the resultant position's relationship with other leading, contemporary philosophies of modality.
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