De Re Modality

Edited by Aran Arslan (Bogazici University, Koc University)
About this topic
Summary De re modality concerns the modal properties that an object has in virtue of itself. This contrasts with de dicto modality, which concerns modal properties that are merely "said of" an object. More formally: De dicto: Necessarily, some x is such that it is F.  De re: Some x is such that it is necessarily F. The essence of an entity in contemporary metaphysics is generally regarded as being constituted by the entity's de re modal properties. For instance, if we consider it necessary for John to be human, then this is part of John's essence. Different varieties of essentialism can be distinguished by the kind of de re modal properties in question. If we debate whether it is necessary for John to have the very parents that he actually has, we are debating origins essentialism. It should also be noted that essences may be individual or general. John's essence is an individual essence, and it may be essential for John to belong to the (natural) kind human. But we can also ask what is essential for the kind, e.g. whether humans are essentially rational. In that case we are concerned with the general essence of humans. Essentialism about species is a good example of a debate concerning general essences. Essences are commonly considered to be synonymous with de re modal properties, following the work of Kripke and others. However, the more traditional view, following Aristotle, may in fact be that essence is ontologically prior to modality. Recently, such non-modal accounts of essence have been defended in the literature, with one suggestion being that essence should be explicated via real definition.
Key works The most influential modern contributions are no doubt Kripke 1980, and Putnam 1975 which reintroduced essentialism into metaphysics. Quine's classic critique (Turquette 1953) of De Re Modality was largely undermined by the contributions of Kripke and Putnam, but Marcus 1967 and Hintikka 1970 should also be mentioned. Wiggins 1980, Plantinga 1974, and Salmon 2005 are also classics. One important application of essentialism is counterpart theory, e.g. Lewis 1968. The secondary literature on different aspects of the topic is enormous, but recent, often cited contributions include Bealer 1987, Shalkowski 1994, Ellis 2001, Della Rocca 2002, LaPorte 2003, Paul 2006, Mackie 2006, and Devitt 2008. Non-modal accounts of essence have been gaining popularity, especially due to the work of Kit Fine (e.g. Fine 1994). Other recent works in this tradition include Paul 2006Oderberg 2007, Lowe 2008, Tahko 2009, Correia 2012, Dumsday 2012, and Vaidya 2010.
Introductions Robertson & Atkins 2013, Cameron 2010, Roca-Royes 2011, Roca-Royes 2011.
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  1. Conventionalism.Jonathan Livingstone-Banks & Alan Sidelle - 2024 - In Kathrin Koslicki & Michael J. Raven (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Essence in Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 437-454.
    Conventionalism about essence is the view that truths about what is (and isn’t) essential to things are based upon talk and thought about the world, rather than mind-independent facts. This chapter presents motivations for conventionalism, and explains how conventionalism can be (and has been) developed to accommodate essences that can only be discovered with the help of empirical investigation, like “water is H2O” or “Obama is human”. We examine a range of objections that have been raised against conventionalism—often presented dismissively (...)
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  2. Exposé für die geplante Dissertation.Johannes Heinle - manuscript
    Das Dissertationsprojekt soll eine Verbindung zwischen zwei augenscheinlich separaten Debattensträngen in der kontemporären Wissenschaftstheorie erforschen. Das ist zum einen die Debatte um die humesche Doktrin, der zufolge es keine de-re notwendigen Verbindungen respektive modale Fakten in der natürlichen Welt gibt. Diese Debatte betrifft die Grundlagen der Naturwissenschaften sowie der Natur selbst. Und das ist zum anderen die Debatte um die materiale Theorie der Induktion, welche auf John D. Norton zurückgeht und die Grundlagen der Rationalität und Logik betrifft. Nach dieser Theorie (...)
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  3. Modal Conceptions of Essence.Alessandro Torza - 2024 - In Kathrin Koslicki & Michael J. Raven (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Essence in Philosophy. Routledge.
    Philosophers distinguish between having a property essentially and having it accidentally. The way the distinction has been drawn suggests that it is modal in character, and so that it can be captured in terms of necessity, or cognate notions. The present chapter takes the suggestion at face value by considering a number of modal characterizations of the essential/accidental distinction that have been articulated and discussed since the early 20th century, as well as some of the challenges that they face.
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  4. The Epistemology of Essence.Antonella Mallozzi - 2024 - In Kathrin Koslicki & Michael J. Raven (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Essence in Philosophy. Routledge.
    The chapter discusses the issue of how we may achieve knowledge of essence. It offers a critical survey of the main theories of knowledge of essence that have been proposed within contemporary debates, particularly by Lowe, Hale, Oderberg, Elder, and Kment.
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  5. Existence and Modality in Kant: Lessons from Barcan.Andrew Stephenson - 2023 - Philosophical Review 132 (1):1-41.
    This essay considers Kant’s theory of modality in light of a debate in contemporary modal metaphysics and modal logic concerning the Barcan formulas. The comparison provides a new and fruitful perspective on Kant’s complex and sometimes confusing claims about possibility and necessity. Two central Kantian principles provide the starting point for the comparison: that the possible must be grounded in the actual and that existence is not a real predicate. Both are shown to be intimately connected to the Barcan formulas, (...)
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  6. A Modal Contextualist Account of Essentialist Claims as a Response to Kit Fine.Cristina Nencha - 2023 - Metaphysica (2):243-257.
    Kit Fine advanced a remarkable objection to the Modal Account of Essentialism. Fine’s concern is commonly thought to have put the modal account in serious jeopardy. I believe that Fine’s objection is mainly based on two intuitions. As a reaction to Fine’s argument, while many scholars have abandoned the modal account, others have attempted to save it. The main strategy in the last direction consists in adding to the modal criterion a condition that is supposed to hold universally. For different (...)
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  7. Modal Normativism on Semantic Rules.Rohan Sud - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    According to Amie Thomasson’s modal normativism, the function of modal discourse is to convey semantic rules. But what is a "semantic rule"? I raise three worries according to which there is no conception of a semantic rule that can serve the needs of a modal normativist. The first worry focuses on de re and a posteriori necessities. The second worry concerns Thomasson's inferential specification of the meaning of modal terms. The third worry asks about the normative status of semantic rules.
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  8. Quine and Aristotelian Essentialism.Ataollah Hashemi - 2013 - Logical Studies 4 (1):129-144.
    Quine, the famous American empiricist philosopher, in wake of his criticisms of quantified modal logic, believes that the logic is committed to a doctrine which he calls Aristotelian Essentialism, and tries to prove that the doctrine is meaningless. He defines Aristotelian Essentialism as a doctrine which distinguishes between things’ essential and accidental properties, and the distinction is independent from the language in which the things are referred to, and also the ways by which they are specified. In the present paper, (...)
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  9. Coincident Objects and The Grounding Problem.Ataollah Hashemi - 2022 - Journal of Philosophical Investigations at University of Tabriz 16 (41):164-173.
    Pluralists believe in the occurrence of numerically distinct spatiotemporal coincident objects. They argue that there are coincident objects that share all physical and spatiotemporal properties and relations; nevertheless, they differ in terms of modal and some other profiles. Appealing to the grounding problem according to which nothing can ground the modal differences between coincident objects, monists reject the occurrence of coincident objects. In the first part of this paper, I attempt to show that the dispute between monists and pluralists cannot (...)
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  10. Singular referential names as nonrigid designators and bound variables.Samuel Jambrović - 2022 - In Özge Bakay, Breanna Pratley, Eva Neu & Peyton Deal (eds.), NELS 52: Proceedings of the fifty-second annual meeting of the North East Linguistic Society, volume two. Amherst, MA: Graduate Linguistics Student Association. pp. 73-86.
    This paper contributes to the debate regarding the semantic type of singular referential names. According to one view, known as referentialism, names rigidly designate individuals (Kripke 1972, Abbott 2002, Leckie 2013, Jeshion 2015, Schoubye 2017). According to another view, known as predicativism, names designate properties of individuals (Burge 1973, Geurts 1997, Bach 2002, Elbourne 2005, Matushansky 2008, Fara 2015). Most predicativist accounts claim that bare names in English occur with a phonologically null determiner, a proposal that is based on languages (...)
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  11. Extended Dispositionalism and Determinism.Jonas Werner - 2022 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 9.
    Modal dispositionalists hold that dispositions provide the foundation of metaphysical necessity and possibility. According to the kind of modal dispositionalism that can be found in the present literature, a proposition p is possible just in case some things are disposed to be such that p. In the first part of this paper I show that combining this classic form of dispositionalism with the assumptions that the laws of nature are necessary and deterministic and that all dispositions are forward-looking in time (...)
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  12. Modal Normativism and De Re Modality.Tom Donaldson & Jennifer Wang - 2022 - Argumenta 7 (2):293-307.
    In the middle of the last century, it was common to explain the notion of necessity in linguistic terms. A necessary truth, it was said, is a sentence whose truth is guaranteed by linguistic rules. Quine famously argued that, on this view, de re modal claims do not make sense. “Porcupettes are porcupines” is necessarily true, but it would be a mistake to say of a particular porcupette that it is necessarily a porcupine, or that it is possibly purple. Linguistic (...)
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  13. How to deal with the puzzle of coincident objects.Ataollah Hashemi - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Alberta
    The grounding problem is related to the puzzle of numerically distinct spatiotemporally coincident objects. Suppose Lumpl –a lump of clay– and Goliath – the statue – are created and later destroyed, simultaneously. They would share all of their physical and spatiotemporal properties and relations. But, Goliath and Lumpl have different modal and sortal properties, which would suggest they are distinct entities, while at the same time entirely co-located. This issue creates a puzzle and raises the question of how two distinct (...)
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  14. Impossible Odds.Nathan Salmón - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):644-662.
    A thesis (“weak BCP”) nearly universally held among philosophers of probability connects the concepts of objective chance and metaphysical modality: Any prospect (outcome) that has a positive chance of obtaining is metaphysically possible—(nearly) equivalently, any metaphysically impossible prospect has zero chance. Particular counterexamples are provided utilizing the monotonicity of chance, one of them related to the four world paradox. Explanations are offered for the persistent feeling that there cannot be chancy metaphysical necessities or chancy metaphysical impossibilities. Chance is objective but (...)
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  15. Quine's Monism and Modal Eliminativism in the Realm of Supervenience.Atilla Akalın - 2019 - International Journal of Social Humanities Sciences Research (JSHRS) 6 (34):795-800.
    This study asserts that W.V.O. Quine’s eliminative philosophical gaze into mereological composition affects inevitably his interpretations of composition theories of ontology. To investigate Quine’s property monism from the account of modal eliminativism, I applied to his solution for the paradoxes of de re modalities’ . Because of its vital role to figure out how dispositions are encountered by Quine, it was significantly noted that the realm of de re modalities doesn’t include contingent and impossible inferences about things. Therefore, for him, (...)
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  16. Are Modal Contexts Opaque?James Page - 2002 - Southwest Philosophy Review 18 (1):79-88.
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  17. Coincidence and Modality.Li Kang - 2012 - Dissertation, University of St Andrews
    How should we understand de re modal features of objects, if there are such features? Any answer to the question is connected to how we should think about coincident objects, objects which occupy the same spatio-temporal region and share the same underlying matter. This thesis is mainly about the connections between de re modality and coincidence. My interest in the connections is twofold: First, how do theories of de re modality interact with theories about coincidence? Details of interactions are discussed (...)
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Actualism and Possibilism
  1. Serious Actualism and Nonexistence.Christopher James Masterman - 2024 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    Serious actualism is the view that it is metaphysically impossible for an entity to have a property, or stand in a relation, and not exist. Fine (1985) and Pollock (1985) influentially argue that this view is false. In short, there are properties like the property of nonexistence, and it is metaphysically possible that some entity both exemplifies such a property and does not exist. I argue that such arguments are indeed successful against the standard formulation of serious actualism. However, I (...)
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  2. The once and always possible.Kory Matteoli - 2024 - Synthese 203 (28):1-32.
    In Death and Nonexistence, Palle Yourgrau defends what he calls the principle of Prior Possibility: nothing comes to exist unless it was previously possible that it exists. While this seems like a plausible principle, it’s not strong enough; it allows the impossible to come to exist. I argue for a stronger principle: nothing exists unless its existence has always been possible. Further, I argue that we then have reason to accept a surprising result: nothing exists unless its existence is always (...)
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  3. Time and Modality.Samuele Iaquinto - forthcoming - In Nina Emery (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Time. Routledge.
    Time and modality show remarkable similarities. Each of the most discussed theories in philosophy of time finds an analogous counterpart in modal metaphysics, suggesting that the parallel between the two notions is metaphysically deep. This chapter offers a brief overview of their analogies. Section 1 addresses the analogy between presentism and actualism. Section 2 explores the analogy between non-presentist theories and possibilism. Section 3 discusses the analogy between temporal and modal persistence.
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  4. Possible World Semantics: Philosophical Foundations.Robert Stalnaker - 2011 - In Alan Berger (ed.), Saul Kripke. Cambridge University Press. pp. 100-115.
    Saul Kripke did more than anyone else to bring possible worlds into the contemporary philosophical discourse, first with his more formal work on the model theory for modal logic in the 1960s, and then with his more philosophical lectures on reference and modality, delivered in January 1970, that used the possible worlds apparatus informally to clarify the relations between semantic issues about names and metaphysical issues about individuals and kinds. Possible worlds semantics have been widely applied since then, both in (...)
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  5. Presentism, Actualism, and Fatalism.Bradley Rettler - 2023 - Metaphysics 6 (1):13-23.
    In recent papers, Philip Swenson (2016) has argued that presentism is incompatible with the conjunction of libertarianism and divine foreknowledge, and Michael Rea (2006) has argued that presentism is incompatible with the conjunction of libertarianism and bivalence. In this paper, I respond to Swenson’s and Rea’s arguments. In each case, I develop a parody argument that seeks to show that actualism -- the view that everything is actual -- is inconsistent with the conjunction of (in the case of Rea) libertarianism (...)
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  6. Serious Actualism, Typography, and Incompossible Sentences.Christopher James Masterman - 2023 - Erkenntnis:1-18.
    Serious actualists take it that all properties are existence entailing. I present a simple puzzle about sentence tokens which seems to show that serious actualism is false. I then consider the most promising response to the puzzle. This is the idea that the serious actualist should take ordinary property-talk to contain an implicit existential presupposition. I argue that this approach does not work: it fails to generalise appropriately to all sentence types and tokens. In particular, it fails to capture the (...)
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  7. Metaphysics of Ersatzism about Possible Worlds.Lenart Karol - 2023 - Dissertation, Jagiellonian University
    According to actualism about possible worlds everything that exists is actual. Possible worlds and individuals are actually existing abstract parts of the actual world. Aristotelian actualism is a view that there are only actual individuals but no possible ones, nor their individual abstract representatives. Because of that, our actualist account of modality should differ depending on whether it concerns actual individuals or possible ones. The main goal of the dissertation is to develop a metaphysical framework for Aristotelian actualism. Chapter 1 (...)
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  8. The Possibilism-Actualism Debate.Christopher Menzel - 2022 - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Actualism is a widely-held view in the metaphysics of modality that arises in response to the thesis of possibilism, the doctrine that, in addition to the things that actually exist — in particular, things that exist alongside us in the causal order — there are merely possible things as well, things that, in fact, fail to be actual but which could have been. The central motivation for possibilism is to explain what it is about reality that grounds such intuitively true (...)
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  9. Whence deep realism for Everettian quantum mechanics?Raoni Wohnrath Arroyo & Jonas R. Becker Arenhart - 2022 - Foundations of Physics 52 (6):121.
    ‘Shallow’ and ‘deep’ versions of scientific realism may be distinguished as follows: the shallow realist is satisfied with belief in the existence of the posits of our best scientific theories; by contrast, deep realists claim that realism can be legitimate only if such entities are described in metaphysical terms. We argue that this methodological discussion can be fruitfully applied in Everettian quantum mechanics, specifically on the debate concerning the existence of worlds and the recent dispute between Everettian actualism and quantum (...)
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  10. Ontological Pluralism and the Generic Conception of Being.Byron Simmons - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (3):1275-1293.
    Ontological pluralism is the view that there are different fundamental ways of being. Trenton Merricks has recently raised three objections to combining pluralism with a generic way of being enjoyed by absolutely everything there is: first, that the resulting view contradicts the pluralist’s core intuition; second, that it is especially vulnerable to the charge—due to Peter van Inwagen—that it posits a difference in being where there is simply a difference in kind; and, third, that it is in tension with various (...)
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  11. Level theory, part 2: Axiomatizing the bare idea of a potential hierarchy.Tim Button - 2021 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 27 (4):461-484.
    Potentialists think that the concept of set is importantly modal. Using tensed language as an heuristic, the following bar-bones story introduces the idea of a potential hierarchy of sets: 'Always: for any sets that existed, there is a set whose members are exactly those sets; there are no other sets.' Surprisingly, this story already guarantees well-foundedness and persistence. Moreover, if we assume that time is linear, the ensuing modal set theory is almost definitionally equivalent with non-modal set theories; specifically, with (...)
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  12. Possibility Precedes Actuality.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2023 - Erkenntnis 88 (8):3583-3603.
    This paper is inspired by and develops on E. J. Lowe’s work, who writes in his book The Possibility of Metaphysics that ‘metaphysical possibility is an inescapable determinant of actuality’ (1998: 9). Metaphysics deals with possibilities – metaphysical possibilities – but is not able to determine what is actual without the help of empirical research. Accordingly, a delimitation of the space of possibilities is required. The resulting – controversial – picture is that we generally need to know whether something is (...)
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  13. There is no actual problem of other minds.Benjamin Nelson - manuscript
    I shall argue that you can substantially refute the most persuasive variety of solipsism by taking its most plausible version seriously, and then showing that it is not rational to hold, once one understands the nature of actualist metaphysical commitments.1 In the first section, I argue that the only viable form of solipsism involves de dicto self-reference. In the second, I argue that this position involves a claim of contingent identity, for which some actual worlds are those where solipsism is (...)
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  14. Ostrich Actualism.Craig Warmke - 2021 - In Sara Bernstein & Tyron Goldschmidt (eds.), Non-being: New Essays on the Metaphysics of Nonexistence. pp. 205-225.
    In On What Matters, Derek Parfit enters the debate between actualists and possibilists. This debate concerns mere possibilia, possible but non-actual things such as golden mountains and talking donkeys. Roughly, possibilism says that there are such things, and actualism says that there are not. Parfit not only argues for possibilism but also argues that some self-proclaimed actualists are, in fact, unwitting possibilists. -/- I argue that although Parfit’s arguments do not fully succeed, they do highlight a tension within the frameworks (...)
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  15. Actualist versus Naturalist and Conceptual Realist Interpretations of Hegel's Metaphysics.Paul Redding - 2021 - Hegel Bulletin 42 (1):19-38.
    The understanding of Hegel's metaphysics that is here argued for—that it is a metaphysics of the actual world—may sound trivial or empty. To counter this, in part one the actualist reading of Hegel's idealism is opposed to two other currently popular interpretations, those of the naturalist and the conceptual realist respectively. While actualism shares motivations with each of these positions, it is argued that it is better equipped to capture what both aim to bring out in Hegel's metaphysics, but also (...)
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  16. Can Hardcore Actualism Validate S5?Samuel Kimpton-Nye - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (2):342-358.
    Hardcore actualism (HA) grounds all modal truths in the concrete constituents of the actual world (see, e.g., Borghini and Williams (2008), Jacobs (2010), Vetter (2015)). I bolster HA, and elucidate the very nature of possibility (and necessity) according to HA, by considering if it can validate S5 modal logic. Interestingly, different considerations pull in different directions on this issue. To resolve the tension, we are forced to think hard about the nature of the hardcore actualist's modal reality and how radically (...)
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  17. In Defense of the Possibilism–Actualism Distinction.Christopher Menzel - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):1971-1997.
    In Modal Logic as Metaphysics, Timothy Williamson claims that the possibilism-actualism (P-A) distinction is badly muddled. In its place, he introduces a necessitism-contingentism (N-C) distinction that he claims is free of the confusions that purportedly plague the P-A distinction. In this paper I argue first that the P-A distinction, properly understood, is historically well-grounded and entirely coherent. I then look at the two arguments Williamson levels at the P-A distinction and find them wanting and show, moreover, that, when the N-C (...)
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  18. The Flexibility of Reality: An Essay on Modality, Representation, and Powers.David Limbaugh - 2018 - Dissertation, State University of New York at Buffalo
    This dissertation is about flexibility as a dimension of reality, an objective—independent of mind and language—phenomenon typically referred to as ‘metaphysical modality’. It develops a novel modal account of why reality could be different: that is, why claims like “Possibly, there are talking donkeys,” or “Humphrey could have won the election” are true or false. I contend that primitive dispositional properties called ‘powers’ explain such claims, and do so better than possible-world accounts of modality. The problem with possible-world accounts is (...)
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  19. Ground and modality.Alessandro Torza - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (6):563-585.
    The grounding relation is routinely characterized by means of logical postulates. The aim of this paper is twofold. First, I show that a subset of those postulates is incompatible with a minimal characterization of metaphysical modality. Then I consider a number of ways for reconciling ground with modality. The simplest and most elegant solution consists in adopting serious actualism, which is best captured within a first-order modal language with predicate abstraction governed by negative free logic. I also explore a number (...)
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  20. Actualism, Presentism and the Grounding Objection.Nina Emery - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (1):23-43.
    Presentism is the view that only presently existing things exist. Actualism is the view that only actually existing things exist. Although these views have much in common, the position we take with respect to one of them is not usually thought to constrain the position that we may take toward the other. In this paper I argue that this standard attitude deserves further scrutiny. In particular, I argue that the considerations that motivate one common objection to presentism—the grounding objection—threaten to (...)
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  21. Actualism without Presentism? Not by way of the Relativity Objection.Nina Emery - 2018 - Noûs 53 (4):963-986.
    Actualism is the view that only actually existing things exist. Presentism is the view that only presently existing things exist. In this paper, I argue that being an actualist without also being a presentist is not as easy as many philosophers seem to think. A common objection to presentism is that there is an unavoidable conflict between presentism and relativity theory. But actualists who do not wish to be presentists cannot point to this relativity objection alone to support their position. (...)
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  22. Modal Fragmentalism.Samuele Iaquinto - 2020 - The Philosophical Quarterly 70:570-587.
    In this paper, I will argue that there is a version of possibilism—inspired by the modal analogue of Kit Fine’s fragmentalism—that can be combined with a weakening of actualism. The reasons for analysing this view, which I call Modal Fragmentalism, are twofold. Firstly, it can enrich our understanding of the actualism/possibilism divide, by showing that, at least in principle, the adoption of possibilia does not correspond to an outright rejection of the actualist intuitions. Secondly, and more specifically, it can enrich (...)
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  23. Relativized metaphysical modality: Index and context.Benj Hellie, Adam Russell Murray & Jessica Wilson - 2018 - In Otávio Bueno & Scott A. Shalkowski (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Modality. New York: Routledge.
    Relativized Metaphysical Modality (RMM: Murray and Wilson, 'Relativized metaphysical modality', Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, 2012; Murray, Perspectives on Modal Metaphysics, 2017) exploits 'two-dimensionalist' resources to metaphysical, rather than epistemological, ends: the second dimension offers perspective-dependence without contingency, diverting attacks on 'Classical' analyses of modals (in effect, analyses validating S5 and the Barcan Formulae). Here, we extend the RMM program in two directions. First, we harvest resources for RMM from Lewis's 1980 'Context--Index' (CI) framework: (a) the ban in CI on binding (...)
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  24. Modal validity and the dispensability of the actuality operator.Vittorio Morato - 2014 - In Michal Dancak & Vit Punochar (eds.), The Logica Yearbook 2013. London, UK:
    In this paper, I claim that two ways of defining validity for modal languages (“real-world” and “general” validity), corresponding to distinction between a correct and an incorrect way of defining modal valid- ity, correspond instead to two substantive ways of conceiving modal truth. At the same time, I claim that the major logical manifestation of the real- world/general validity distinction in modal propositional languages with the actuality operator should not be taken seriously, but simply as a by-product of the way (...)
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  25. Presentism and Actualism.Harold W. Noonan - 2018 - Philosophia 47 (2):489-497.
    Presentism, some say, is either the analytic triviality that the only things that exist now are ones that exist now or the obviously false claim that the only things that have ever existed or will are ones that exist now. I argue that the correct understanding of presentism is the latter and so understood the claim is not obviously false. To appreciate this one has to see presentism as strictly analogous to anti-Lewisean actualism. What this modal analogue makes evident is (...)
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  26. Hegel’s Treatment of Predication Considered in the Light of a Logic for the Actual World.Paul Redding - 2019 - Hegel Bulletin 40 (1):51-73.
    For many recent readers of Hegel, Wilfrid Sellars’s 1956 London lectures on the “Myth of the Given” have signaled an important rapprochement between Hegelian and analytic traditions in philosophy. Here I want to explore the ideas of another philosopher, also active in London in the 1950s, who consciously pursued such a goal: John N. Findlay. The ideas that Findlay brought to Hegel—sometimes converging with, sometimes diverging from those of Sellars—had been informed by his earlier study of the Austrian philosopher Alexius (...)
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  27. Phenomenological Actualism. A Husserlian Metaphysics of Modality?Michael Wallner - 2014 - In Sonja Rinofner-Kreidl & Harald A. Wiltsche (eds.), Analytical and Continental Philosophy: Methods and Perspectives. Papers of the 37th International Wittgenstein Symposium. pp. 283-285.
    Considering the importance of possible-world semantics for modal logic and for current debates in the philosophy of modality, a phenomenologist may want to ask whether it makes sense to speak of “possible worlds” in phenomenology. The answer will depend on how "possible worlds" are to be interpreted. As that latter question is the subject of the debate about possibilism and actualism in contemporary modal metaphysics, my aim in this paper is to get a better grip on the former question by (...)
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  28. Hardcore Actualism and Possible Non‐Existence.Samuel Kimpton-Nye - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (2):122-131.
    According to hardcore actualism (HA), all modal truths are grounded in the concrete constituents of the actual world. In this paper, I discuss some problems faced by HA when it comes to accounting for certain alleged possibilities of non‐existence. I focus particular attention on Leech (2017)'s dilemma for HA, according to which HA must either sacrifice extensional correctness or admit mere possibilia. I propose a solution to Leech's dilemma, which relies on a distinction between weak and strong possibility. It remains (...)
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  29. Actualism, Serious Actualism, and Quantified Modal Logic.William H. Hanson - 2018 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 59 (2):233-284.
    This article studies seriously actualistic quantified modal logics. A key component of the language is an abstraction operator by means of which predicates can be created out of complex formulas. This facilitates proof of a uniform substitution theorem: if a sentence is logically true, then any sentence that results from substituting a predicate abstract for each occurrence of a simple predicate abstract is also logically true. This solves a problem identified by Kripke early in the modern semantic study of quantified (...)
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  30. Actualism and Modal Semantics.José L. Zalabardo - 2018 - Acta Analytica 33 (1):35-49.
    According to actualism, modal reality is constructed out of valuations (combinations of truth values for all propositions). According to possibilism, modal reality consists in a set of possible worlds, conceived as independent objects that assign truth values to propositions. According to possibilism, accounts of modal reality can intelligibly disagree with each other even if they agree on which valuations are contained in modal reality. According to actualism, these disagreements (possibilist disagreements) are completely unintelligible. An essentially actualist semantics for modal propositional (...)
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  31. Another World Is Possible - Conference on David Lewis.Mattia Cozzi & Mattia Sorgon - 2011 - Rivista Italiana di Filosofia Analitica Junior 2 (2):141-176.
    “Another world is possible”, the conference in memory and in honor of David Lewis (1941-2001), took place at the University “Carlo Bo” of Urbino, on the 16th, 17th and 18th of June. In these three days several philosophers have presented and discussed some of the most interesting Lewisian themes, showing their current research development. -/- The conference has been structured into five 90 minutes plenary talks, each one followed by a session focused on a particular topic. Andrea Bottani from University (...)
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  32. Strongly Millian Second-Order Modal Logics.Bruno Jacinto - 2017 - Review of Symbolic Logic 10 (3):397-454.
    The most common first- and second-order modal logics either have as theorems every instance of the Barcan and Converse Barcan formulae and of their second-order analogues, or else fail to capture the actual truth of every theorem of classical first- and second-order logic. In this paper we characterise and motivate sound and complete first- and second-order modal logics that successfully capture the actual truth of every theorem of classical first- and second-order logic and yet do not possess controversial instances of (...)
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  33. The Fragmentation of Being.Kris McDaniel - 2017 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Kris McDaniel argues that there are different ways in which things exist. For instance, past things don't exist in the same way as present things. Numbers don't exist in the same way as physical objects; nor do holes, which are real, but less real than what they are in. McDaniel's theory of being illuminates a wide range of metaphysical topics.
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