Edited by Tristan Haze (University of Sydney)
|Summary||Metaphysical necessity is typically considered to be stronger (or narrower) than physical necessity but weaker (or broader) than logical and conceptual necessity (there are exceptions, however). Traditional examples of metaphysical necessity involve theoretical identity statements such as "Water is H2O" and "Gold is the element with the atomic number 79"; both physically and metaphysically necessary, but not logically or conceptually necessary. It is sometimes thought that the various narrower notions of necessity could be defined by restriction of metaphysical necessity.|
|Key works||Although Kripke 1980 will surely remain the classic on the topic of metaphysical necessity, more recent discussion is abundant. For a discussion of the relationship between different types of necessity and the idea that narrower notions of necessity could be defined by restriction of metaphysical necessity, see Fine 2002. Fine 1994 presents an influential case in favour of reducing metaphysical necessity to essence, different aspects of which have since been discussed, e.g., in Hale 1996, Shalkowski 1997, Lowe 1998, Zalta 2006, Cameron 2010, and Correia 2012. For discussion on Kripke's and Putnam's contributions to the literature, see for instance Edgington 2004, Soames 2011, Ballarin 2013, and Tahko 2013.|
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David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
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