David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Studies 129 (3):421 - 434 (2006)
It is fairly common, among those who think propositions exist, to think they exist necessarily. Here, I consider three arguments in support of that conclusion. What I hope to show is not that that claim is false, but, rather, that the arguments used in its defense tend to presuppose a certain kind of approach to modality: a roughly Plantingian view. What the arguments show, then, is that one cannot accept that approach to modality and accept contingently existing propositions. But there are other approaches to modality – I discuss three such approaches – into which contingently existing propositions fit perfectly well. This suggests that disputes over, for example, singular propositions, must be conducted within a broader agreement over modal matters if they are to be at all productive.
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Robert Merrihew Adams (1981). Actualism and Thisness. Synthese 49 (1):3 - 41.
D. M. Armstrong (1989). A Combinatorial Theory of Possibility. Cambridge University Press.
D. M. Armstrong (1986). The Nature of Possibility. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 16 (4):575 - 594.
Matthew Davidson (2000). Direct Reference and Singular Propositions. American Philosophical Quarterly 37 (3):285 - 300.
William G. Lycan (1979). The Trouble with Possible Worlds. In Michael J. Loux (ed.), The Possible and the Actual. Cornell University Press.
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