About this topic
Summary If something could not have been otherwise, no matter how the world had turned out, that thing is metaphysically necessary. Traditional examples of metaphysical necessity include analytic statements such as 'All bachelors are unmarried', mathematical statements such as '2 + 2 = 4', identity statements such as 'Hesperus is Phosphorus', and theoretical identifications such as 'Water is H2O'. Philosophical issues surrounding metaphysical necessity include: its relationship to other forms of necessity (e.g. physical necessity), its relationship to a priori knowledge, its relationship to meaning and language, and its metaphysical grounds (i.e. what makes it the case that something is metaphysically necessary). The very status of the notion and its role in human thought is also up for debate.
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 2004Soames 2011, Ballarin 2013, and Tahko 2013. Rosen 2006 argues that more than one notion fits Kripke's characterization of metaphysical necessity and his key examples. Divers 2018 argues for a form of 'pragmatic scepticism' about the notion.
Introductions Kripke 1980 Cameron 2010
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389 found
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  1. Plantinga's Ontological Argument.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    The ontological argument for the existence of God has enjoyed a recent renaissance among philosophers of religion. Alvin Plantinga's modal version is perhaps the most notable example. This essay critically examines Plantinga's rendition, uncovering both its strengths and weaknesses. The author concludes that while the argument is probably formally valid, it is ultimately unsound. Nonetheless, Plantinga's version has generated much interest and discussion. The author spends some time uncovering the reasons for the argument's powerful intuitive appeal. He concludes his essay (...)
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  2. If Counterfactuals Were Neg-Raisers, Conditional Excluded Middle Wouldn’T Be Valid.Patrick Todd & Brian Rabern - manuscript
    The principle of Conditional Excluded Middle has been a matter of longstanding controversy in both semantics and metaphysics. According to this principle, we are, inter alia, committed to claims like the following: If the coin had been flipped, it would have landed heads, or if the coin had been flipped, it would not have landed heads. In favour of the principle, theorists have appealed, primarily, to linguistic data such as that we tend to hear ¬(A > B) as equivalent to (...)
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  3. On a Priori Knowledge of Necessity.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri & Margot Strohminger - 2018
    The idea that the epistemology of modality is in some sense a priori is a popular one, but it has turned out to be difficult to precisify in a way that does not expose it to decisive counterexamples. The most common precisifications follow Kripke’s suggestion that cases of necessary a posteriori truth that can be known a priori to be necessary if true ‘may give a clue to a general characterization of a posteriori knowledge of necessary truths’. The idea is (...)
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  4. Essence, Modality, and Identity.Fabrice Correia & Alexander Skiles - forthcoming - Mind:fzab017.
    In a recent article forthcoming in *Mind*, Leech (2020) presents a challenge for essentialist accounts of metaphysical modality: why should it be that essences imply corresponding necessities? Leech’s main focus is to argue that one cannot overcome the challenge by utilizing an account of essence in terms of generalized identity due to Correia and Skiles (2019), on pain of circularity. In this reply, we will show how to use identity-based essentialism to bridge ‘epistemic’ and ‘explanatory’ understandings of this alleged essence-to-necessity (...)
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  5. Maybe Some Other Time.Martin Glazier - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    I develop a puzzle whose resolution I argue requires an unfamiliar distinction between two forms or senses of metaphysical modality, each bearing a different relationship to time. In one sense of ‘metaphysically possible’, it is metaphysically possible for it to be a time other than the time it is now; in another sense, this is not metaphysically possible.
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  6. The Strong Arm of the Law: A Unified Account of Necessary and Contingent Laws of Nature.Salim Hirèche, Niels Linnemann, Robert Michels & Lisa Vogt - forthcoming - Synthese 199 (3-4):10211-10252.
    A common feature of all standard theories of the laws of nature is that they are "absolutist": They take laws to be either all metaphysically necessary or all contingent. Science, however, gives us reason to think that there are laws of both kinds, suggesting that standard theories should make way for "non-absolutist" alternatives: theories which accommodate laws of both modal statuses. In this paper, we set out three explanatory challenges for any candidate non-absolutist theory and discuss the prospects of the (...)
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  7. An Imaginative Person’s Guide to Objective Modality.Derek Lam - forthcoming - In Amy Kind & Christopher Badura (eds.), Epistemic Uses of Imagination. Routledge.
    Imagination is a source of evidence for objective modality. It is through this epistemic connection that the idea of modality first gains traction in our intellectual life. A proper theory of modality should be able to explain our imagination’s modal epistemic behaviors. This chapter highlights a peculiar asymmetry regarding epistemic defeat for imagination-based modal justification. Whereas imagination-based evidence for possibility cannot be undermined by information about the causal origin of our imaginings, unimaginability-based evidence for impossibility can be undermined by information (...)
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  8. What Is Absolute Modality?Antonella Mallozzi - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    For a Special Issue of Inquiry on Pluralism, Relativism, and Skepticism (V. Mitova, S. Salem, and R. McIntyre Eds.) -/- Talk of metaphysical modality as “absolute” is ambiguous, as it appears to convey multiple ideas. Metaphysical possibility is supposedly completely unrestricted or unqualified; metaphysical necessity is unconditional and exceptionless. Moreover, metaphysical modality is thought to be absolute in the sense that it’s real or genuine and the most objective modality: metaphysical possibility and necessity capture ways things could and must have (...)
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  9. From Physical to Metaphysical Necessity.Alexander Roberts - forthcoming - Mind.
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  10. Descartes on Necessity and the Laws of Nature.Nathan Rockwood - forthcoming - Journal of Analytic Theology.
    This paper is on Descartes’ account of modality and, in particular, his account of the necessity of the laws of nature. He famously argues that the necessity of the “eternal truths” of logic and mathematics depends on God’s will. Here I suggest he has the same view about the necessity of the laws of nature. Further, I argue, this is a plausible theory of laws. For philosophers often talk about something being physically necessary because of the laws of nature, but (...)
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  11. The Power to Govern.Erica Shumener - forthcoming - Philosophical Perspectives.
    I provide a new account of what it is for the laws of nature to govern the evolution of events. I locate the source of governance in the content of law propositions. As such, I do not appeal to primitive notions of ground, essence, or production to characterize governance. After introducing the account, I use it to outline previously unrecognized varieties of governance. I also specify that laws must govern to have two theoretical virtues: explanatory power as well as a (...)
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  12. Possibility Precedes Actuality.Tuomas E. Tahko - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    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. Against Modal Dualism.Dirk Franken - 2022 - European Journal of Philosophy 30 (2):608-622.
    Modal dualism is the claim that there is a space of epistemically possible worlds that exceeds the space of metaphysically possible worlds. In the present paper, I argue that modal dualism is false. I do so via an argument that differs from most previous arguments against modal dualism in that it does not rely on controversial semantic or epistemological assumptions like descriptivism, internalism or modal rationalism. The point of my argument is, instead, that modal dualism is internally inconsistent because it (...)
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  14. Meaning and Metaphysical Necessity.Tristan Grøtvedt Haze - 2022 - New York: Routledge.
    This book is about the idea that some true statements would have been true no matter how the world had turned out, while others could have been false. It develops and defends a version of the idea that we tell the difference between these two types of truths in part by reflecting on the meanings of words. It has often been thought that modal issues—issues about possibility and necessity—are related to issues about meaning. In this book, the author defends the (...)
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  15. A Posteriori Necessity as Restricted Necessity.Bin Liu - 2022 - Philosophia.
    I argue that conventionalists should construe a posteriori necessity as restricted necessity. I take Sidelle’s defence of the conventionalist explanation of a posteriori necessity against the contingency problem as the starting point. Sidelle construes a posteriori necessity as unrestricted necessity and then argues that a posteriori necessity is to be considered under a fixed convention and is thus irrelevant to the contingent nature of our linguistic conventions. I offer a different solution to the contingency problem. I argue that conventionalists should (...)
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  16. Contingent Grounding.Nathaniel Baron-Schmitt - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):4561-4580.
    A popular principle about grounding, “Internality”, says that if A grounds B, then necessarily, if A and B obtain, then A grounds B. I argue that Internality is false. Its falsity reveals a distinctive, new kind of explanation, which I call “ennobling”. Its falsity also entails that every previously proposed theory of what grounds grounding facts is false. I construct a new theory.
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  17. Franklin Gamwell, On Metaphysical Necessity: Essays on God, the World, Morality, and Democracy. [REVIEW]Daniel Dombrowski - 2021 - Process Studies 50 (1):148-150.
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  18. The Bounds of Possibility: Puzzles of Modal Variation.Cian Dorr, John Hawthorne & Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2021 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    In general, a given object could have been different in certain respects. For example, the Great Pyramid could have been somewhat shorter or taller; the Mona Lisa could have had a somewhat different pattern of colours; an ordinary table could have been made of a somewhat different quantity of wood. But there seem to be limits. It would be odd to suppose that the Great Pyramid could have been thimble-sized; that the Mona Lisa could have had the pattern of colours (...)
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  19. That’s the Guy Who Might Have Lost.Tristan Grøtvedt Haze - 2021 - Analytic Philosophy 62 (4):418-426.
    In an influential passage of Naming and Necessity Kripke argues, with the help of a fictional dialogue, that de re metaphysical modal distinctions have intuitive content. In this note I clarify the workings of the argument, and what it does and does not support. I conclude that Kripke’s argument does not, despite possible appearances, support the view that metaphysical modal distinctions are made in common sense discourse. The argument does however support the view that if metaphysical modal distinctions make sense (...)
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  20. From Essence to Necessity Via Identity.Jessica Leech - 2021 - Mind 130 (519):887-908.
    An essentialist theory of modality claims that the source of possibility and necessity lies in essence, where essence is then not to be defined in terms of necessity. Hence such theories owe us an account of why it is that the essences of things give rise to necessities in the way required. A new approach to understanding essence in terms of the notion of generalized identity promises to answer this challenge by appeal to the necessity of identity. I explore the (...)
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  21. Grounding, Essence, and Contingentism.Karol Lenart - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (5):2157-2172.
    According to grounding necessitarianism if some facts ground another fact, then the obtaining of the former necessitates the latter. Proponents of grounding contingentism argue against this claim, stating that it is possible for the former facts to obtain without necessitating the latter. In this article I discuss a recent argument from restricted accidental generalisations provided by contingentists that advances such possibility. I argue that grounding necessitarianism can be defended against it. To achieve this aim, I postulate a relationship between grounding (...)
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  22. How Anti-Humeans Can Embrace a Thermodynamic Reduction of Time’s Causal Arrow.Eli I. Lichtenstein - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):1161-1171.
    Some argue that time’s causal arrow is grounded in an underlying thermodynamic asymmetry. Often, this is tied to Humean skepticism that causes produce their effects, in any robust sense of ‘produce’. Conversely, those who advocate stronger notions of natural necessity often reject thermodynamic reductions of time’s causal arrow. Against these traditional pairings, I argue that ‘reduction-plus-production’ is coherent. Reductionists looking to invoke robust production can insist that there are metaphysical constraints on the signs of objects’ velocities in any state, given (...)
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  23. New Directions in the Epistemology of Modality: Introduction.Antonella Mallozzi - 2021 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 8):1841-1859.
    The fourteen papers in this collection offer a variety of original contributions to the epistemology of modality. In seeking to explain how we might account for our knowledge of possibility and necessity, they raise some novel questions, develop some unfamiliar theoretical perspectives, and make some intriguing proposals. Collectively, they advance our understanding of the field. In Part I of this Introduction, I give some general background about the contemporary literature in the area, by sketching a timeline of the main tendencies (...)
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  24. New Directions in the Epistemology of Modality, Special Issue of Synthese.Antonella Mallozzi (ed.) - 2021 - Springer.
    The fourteen papers in this collection offer a variety of original contributions to the epistemology of modality. In seeking to explain our knowledge of possibility and necessity, they raise some novel questions, develop some unfamiliar theoretical perspectives, and make some intriguing proposals. In the Introduction (penultimate draft available for download), I give some general background about the contemporary literature in the area, by sketching a timeline of the main tendencies of the past twenty-five years or so, up to the present (...)
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  25. Superexplanations for Counterfactual Knowledge.Antonella Mallozzi - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1315-1337.
    I discuss several problems for Williamson’s counterfactual-theory of modal knowledge and argue that they have a common source, in that the theory neglects to elucidate the proper constraints on modal reasoning. Williamson puts forward an empirical hypothesis that rests on the role of counterfactual reasoning for modal knowledge. But he overlooks central questions of normative modal epistemology. In order for counterfactual reasoning to yield correct beliefs about modality, it needs to be suitably constrained. I argue that what is needed is, (...)
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  26. The Epistemology of Modality.Antonella Mallozzi, Michael Wallner & Anand Vaidya - 2021 - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  27. Impossible Fictions Part I: Lessons for Fiction.Daniel Nolan - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (2):1-12.
    Impossible fictions are valuable evidence both for a theory of fiction and for theories of meaning, mind and epistemology. This article focuses on what we can learn about fiction from reflecting on impossible fictions. First, different kinds of impossible fiction are considered, and the question of how much fiction is impossible is addressed. What impossible fiction contributes to our understanding of "truth in fiction" and the logic of fiction will be examined. Finally, our understanding of unreliable narrators and unreliable narration (...)
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  28. Imagination, Metaphysical Modality, and Modal Psychology.Michael Omoge - 2021 - In Christopher Badura & Kind Amy (eds.), Epistemic Uses of Imagination. Routledge. pp. 79-99.
    I develop a psychological account for how it is that we use imagination to metaphysically modalize, i.e., to reach conclusions about metaphysical modality. Specifically, I argue that Nichols and Stich’s (2003) cognitive theory of imagination can be extended to metaphysical modalizing. I then use the extension to explicate philosophical disagreements about whether a scenario is metaphysically possible. Thereafter, I address Nichols’ (2006) objection that psychologizing imagination makes it clear that imagination is unreliable when used to metaphysically modalize. The end result (...)
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  29. Chalmers and Semantics.Panu Raatikainen - 2021 - Theoria 87 (5):1193-1221.
    David Chalmers’ two-dimensionalism is an ambitious philosophical program that aims to “ground” or “construct” Fregean meanings and restore “the golden triangle” of apriority, necessity, and meaning that Kripke seemingly broke. This paper aims to examine critically what Chalmers’ theory can in reality achieve. It is argued that the theory faces severe challenges. There are some gaps in the overall arguments, and the reasoning is in some places somewhat circular. Chalmers’ theory is effectively founded on certain strong philosophical assumptions. It is (...)
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  30. A Note on Lange on Contingent Necessity-Makers.Nathan Wildman - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (3):763-771.
    Lange has argued that contingencies lack the modal strength to be necessity-makers. Here, I argue that Lange’s case turns upon a faulty premise, and that there is no obvious fixes he might pursue. The general upshot is that his argument gives us no reason to think that contingencies could not be necessity-makers after all.
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  31. Can Essence Provide Knowledge of Metaphysical Necessity? A Reply to Jago.Benjamin L. Curtis - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (3):931-933.
    In this paper I argue against Mark Jago’s recent suggestion that ordinary knowers can move from knowledge of essence to knowledge of metaphysical necessity.
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  32. Grounding Grounds Necessity.Julio De Rizzo - 2020 - Analysis 80 (4):639-647.
    Drawing from extensions of existing ideas in the logic of ground, a novel account of the grounds of necessity is presented, the core of which states that necessary truths are necessary because they stand in specific grounding connections.
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  33. The Reduction of Necessity to Essence.Andreas Ditter - 2020 - Mind 129 (514):351-380.
    In `Essence and Modality', Kit Fine proposes that for a proposition to be metaphysically necessary is for it to be true in virtue of the nature of all objects whatsoever. Call this view Fine's Thesis. This paper is a study of Fine's Thesis in the context of Fine's logic of essence (LE). Fine himself has offered his most elaborate defense of the thesis in the context of LE. His defense rests on the widely shared assumption that metaphysical necessity obeys the (...)
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  34. Diamonds Are Forever.Cian Dorr & Jeremy Goodman - 2020 - Noûs 54 (3):632-665.
    We defend the thesis that every necessarily true proposition is always true. Since not every proposition that is always true is necessarily true, our thesis is at odds with theories of modality and time, such as those of Kit Fine and David Kaplan, which posit a fundamental symmetry between modal and tense operators. According to such theories, just as it is a contingent matter what is true at a given time, it is likewise a temporary matter what is true at (...)
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  35. Metaphysics, Meaning, and Modality: Themes From Kit Fine.Mircea Dumitru (ed.) - 2020 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    This is the first book on the provocative and innovative contributions to philosophy of language, metaphysics, the philosophy of mathematics, and logic made by Kit Fine, one of the world's foremost philosophers. Topics covered include meaning and representation, arbitrary objects, essence, ontological realism, and the metaphysics of modality.
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  36. S5-Denying Approach to Relativized Metaphysical Modality.Fernando Furtado - 2020 - Manuscrito 43 (1):1-40.
    This paper is organised as follows: first, I present Salmon’s theory of modality and compare it with the standard interpretation of modality: ‘the nonrelativized S5-friendly interpretation of metaphysical modality’. Second, I explain Murray and Wilson’s ‘two-dimensional S5-friendly interpretation of relativized metaphysical modality’. In the third and last part, I put forward a few arguments against Murray and Wilson’s attempt to provide an essentialist S5-friendly theory for modality. In general, this paper argues that if one wants to hold an essentialist theory (...)
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  37. New Powers for Dispositionalism.Giacomo Giannini - 2020 - Synthese (ST: New Foundations for Disposit):1-30.
    Establishing Dispositionalism as a viable theory of modality requires the successful fulfilment of two tasks: showing that all modal truths can be derived from truths about actual powers, and offering a suitable metaphysics of powers. These two tasks are intertwined: difficulties in one can affect the chances of success in the other. In this paper, I generalise an objection to Dispositionalism by Jessica Leech and argue that the theory in its present form is ill-suited to account for de re truths (...)
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  38. Potentiality: Actualism Minus Naturalism Equals Platonism.Giacomo Giannini & Matthew Tugby - 2020 - Philosophical Inquiries 1 (8):117-40.
    Vetter (2015) develops a localised theory of modality, based on potentialities of actual objects. Two factors play a key role in its appeal: its commitment to Hardcore Actualism, and to Naturalism. Vetter’s commitment to Naturalism is in part manifested in her adoption of Aristotelian universals. In this paper, we argue that a puzzle concerning the identity of unmanifested potentialities cannot be solved with an Aristotelian conception of properties. After introducing the puzzle, we examine Vetter’s attempt at amending the Aristotelian conception (...)
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  39. Essential Properties Are Super-Explanatory: Taming Metaphysical Modality.Marion Godman, Antonella Mallozzi & David Papineau - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association (3):1-19.
    This paper aims to build a bridge between two areas of philosophical research, the structure of kinds and metaphysical modality. Our central thesis is that kinds typically involve super-explanatory properties, and that these properties are therefore metaphysically essential to natural kinds. Philosophers of science who work on kinds tend to emphasize their complexity, and are generally resistant to any suggestion that they have “essences”. The complexities are real enough, but they should not be allowed to obscure the way that kinds (...)
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  40. Rabern’s Semantics for Metaphysical and Epistemic Modalities and the Nesting Problem.Fabian Heimann - 2020 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 49 (3):497-507.
    In a recent paper, Brian Rabern suggests a semantics for languages with two kinds of modality, standard Kripkean metaphysical modality as well as epistemic modality. This semantics presents an alternative to two-dimensionalism, which was developed in the last decades. Both Rabern’s semantics and two-dimensionalism are subject to a puzzle that Chalmers and Rabern, 210–224 2014) call the nesting problem. I will investigate how Rabern’s semantics answers this puzzle.
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  41. Relativized Metaphysical Modality: Index and Context.Benj Hellie, Adam Russell Murray & Jessica Wilson - 2020 - In Otávio Bueno & Scott 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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  42. On Metaphysically Necessary Laws From Physics.Niels Linnemann - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (2):1-13.
    How does metaphysical necessity relate to the modal force often associated with natural laws? Fine argues that natural necessity can neither be obtained from metaphysical necessity via forms of restriction nor of relativization — and therefore pleads for modal pluralism concerning natural and metaphysical necessity. Wolff, 898–906, 2013) aims at providing illustrative examples in support of applying Fine’s view to the laws of nature with specific recourse to the laws of physics: On the one hand, Wolff takes it that equations (...)
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  43. Metaphysical Explanations for Modal Normativists.Theodore Locke - 2020 - Metaphysics 3 (1):33-54.
    I expand modal normativism, a theory of metaphysical modality, to give a normativist account of metaphysical explanation. According to modal normativism, basic modal claims do not have a descriptive function, but instead have the normative function of enabling language users to express semantic rules that govern the use of ordinary non-modal vocabulary. However, a worry for modal normativism is that it doesn’t keep up with all of the important and interesting metaphysics we can do by giving and evaluating metaphysical explanations. (...)
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  44. Problems for the Argument From Logic: A Response to the Lord of Non-Contradiction.Alex Malpass - 2020 - Sophia 60 (2):239-253.
    James Anderson and Greg Welty have resurrected an argument for God’s existence, which we will call the argument from logic. We present three lines of response against the argument, involving the notion of necessity involved, the notion of intentionality involved, and then we pose a dilemma for divine conceptualism. We conclude that the argument faces substantial problems.
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  45. Correct Conceivability and its Role in the Epistemology of Modality.Robert Michels - 2020 - Les Principes Métaphysiques.
    The starting point of this paper is an argument to the conclusion that the definition of metaphysical possibility in terms of correct conceivability, conceivability informed by knowledge of relevant essences, found in Rosen (2006) is equivalent to a version of the essentialist definition of metaphysical necessity. This argument appears to show that correct conceivability is a notion of conceivability by name only and is therefore of no interest to epistemologists of modality. In this paper, I present the equivalence argument, explain (...)
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  46. Are the Categorical Laws of Ontology Metaphysically Contingent?Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3775-3781.
    Are the categorical laws of ontology metaphysically contingent? I do not intend to give a full answer to this question in this paper. But I shall give a partial answer to it. In particular, Gideon Rosen, in his article “The Limits of Contingency”, has distinguished a certain conception of metaphysical necessity, which he calls the Non-Standard conception, which, together with the assumption that all natures or essences are Kantian, is supposed to entail that many laws of ontology are metaphysically contingent. (...)
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  47. Ontological Dependence.Tuomas E. Tahko & E. J. Lowe - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Ontological dependence is a relation—or, more accurately, a family of relations—between entities or beings. For there are various ways in which one being may be said to depend upon one or more other beings, in a sense of “depend” that is distinctly metaphysical in character and that may be contrasted, thus, with various causal senses of this word. More specifically, a being may be said to depend, in such a sense, upon one or more other beings for its existence or (...)
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  48. The Structure of Essentialist Explanations of Necessity.Michael Wallner - 2020 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (1):4-13.
    Fine, Lowe and Hale accept the view that necessity is to be explained by essences: Necessarily p iff, and because, there is some x whose essence ensures that p. Hale, however, believes that this strategy is not universally applicable; he argues that the necessity of essentialist truths cannot itself be explained by once again appealing to essentialist truths. As a consequence, Hale holds that there are basic necessities that cannot be explained. Thus, Hale style essentialism falls short of what Wilsch (...)
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  49. Potential Problems? Some Issues with Vetter's Potentiality Account of Modality.Nathan Wildman - 2020 - Philosophical Inquiry 8 (1):167-184.
    As Vetter says, we are at the “beginning of the debate, not the end” (2015: 300) when it comes to evaluating her potentiality-based account of metaphysical modality. This paper contributes to this developing debate by highlighting three problems for Vetter’s account. Specifically, I begin (§1) by articulating some relevant details of Vetter’s potentiality-based view. This leads to the first issue (§2), concerning unclarity in the idea of degrees of potentiality. Similarly, the second issue (§3) raises trouble for Vetter’s proposed individuation (...)
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  50. 'On a Supposed Puzzle Concerning Modality and Existence'.Thomas Atkinson, Daniel J. Hill & Stephen K. McLeod - 2019 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 26 (3):446-473.
    Kit Fine has proposed a new solution to what he calls ‘a familiar puzzle’ concerning modality and existence. The puzzle concerns the argument from the alleged truths ‘It is necessary that Socrates is a man’ and ‘It is possible that Socrates does not exist’ to the apparent falsehood ‘It is possible that Socrates is a man and does not exist’. We discuss in detail Fine’s setting up of the ‘puzzle’ and his rejection, with which we concur, of two mooted solutions (...)
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