About this topic
Summary This is a catch-all category for theories of modality which do not fall naturally into the other categories. Notably, it includes dispositional theories of modality.
Key works Fine 1994 reduces modality to essence. Vetter 2010 reduces modality to dispositionality.
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148 found
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1 — 50 / 148
  1. added 2020-05-05
    Replies.Barbara Vetter - 2020 - Philosophical Inquiries 1 (8):199-222.
    This paper responds to the contributions by Alexander Bird, Nathan Wildman, David Yates, Jennifer McKitrick, Giacomo Giannini & Matthew Tugby, and Jennifer Wang. I react to their comments on my 2015 book Potentiality: From Dispositions to Modality, and in doing so expands on some of the arguments and ideas of the book.
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  2. added 2020-03-10
    Potentiality.Jessica Leech - 2017 - Analysis 77 (2):457-467.
    Vetter's Potentiality is an exposition and development of a new account of possibility and necessity, given in terms of potentialities. In this critical notice, I give an outline of some of the key claims of the book. I then raise some issues for the extent to which Vetter's view can accommodate genuine de re modalities, especially those of possible existence and non-existence.
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  3. added 2020-03-07
    Categoricity and Possibility. A Note on Williamson's Modal Monism.Iulian D. Toader - forthcoming - In Martin Blicha & Igor Sedlár (eds.), The Logica Yearbook 2019. London: College Publications. pp. 1-11.
    The paper sketches an argument against modal monism, more specifically against the reduction of physical possibility to metaphysical possibility. The argument is based on the non-categoricity of quantum logic.
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  4. added 2019-11-14
    Essential Properties Are Super-Explanatory: Taming Metaphysical Modality.Marion Godman, Antonella Mallozzi & David Papineau - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
    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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  5. added 2019-10-30
    A Strange Kind of Power: Vetter on the Formal Adequacy of Dispositionalism.David Yates - 2020 - Philosophical Inquiries 8 (1):97-116.
    According to dispositionalism about modality, a proposition <p> is possible just in case something has, or some things have, a power or disposition for its truth; and <p> is necessary just in case nothing has a power for its falsity. But are there enough powers to go around? In Yates (2015) I argued that in the case of mathematical truths such as <2+2=4>, nothing has the power to bring about their falsity or their truth, which means they come out both (...)
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  6. added 2019-09-30
    Précis Zu Potentiality: From Dispositions to Modality.Barbara Vetter - 2015 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 69 (3):391-395.
    In this paper, I outline the argument of my book "Potentiality: from dispositions to modality". The paper is part of a symposium on the book (in German).
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  7. added 2019-09-30
    Repliken.Barbara Vetter - 2015 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 69 (3):408-412.
    In this paper, I respond to criticism raised by Markus Schrenk and Ralf Busse on my book "Potentiality: From Dispositions to Modality". The paper is part of a symposium on the book (in German).
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  8. added 2019-09-27
    A Plenitude of Powers.Barbara Vetter - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    Dispositionalism about modality is the view that metaphysical modality is a matter of the dispositions possessed by actual objects. In a recent paper, David Yates has raised an important worry about the formal adequacy of dispositionalism. This paper responds to Yates’s worry by developing a reply that Yates discusses briefly but dismisses as ad hoc: an appeal to a ’plenitude of powers’ including such powers as the necessarily always manifested power for \ to be 4. I argue that the reply (...)
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  9. added 2019-09-13
    Existential Import and Relations of Categorical and Modal Categorical Statements.Jiri Raclavsky - 2018 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 27 (3): 271-300.
    I examine the familiar quadruple of categorical statements “Every F is/is not G.”, “Some F is/is not G.” as well as the quadruple of their modal versions “Necessarily, every F is/is not G.”, “Possibly, some F is/is not G.”. I focus on their existential import and its impact on the resulting Squares of Opposition. Though my construal of existential import follows modern approach, I add some extra details which are enabled by framing my definition of existential import within expressively rich (...)
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  10. added 2019-09-13
    Two Standard and Two Modal Squares of Opposition.Jiri Raclavsky - 2017 - In The Square of Opposition: A Cornerstone of Thought. 93413 Cham, Německo: pp. 119-142.
    In this study, we examine modern reading of the Square of Opposition by means of Tichý's Transparent intensional logic. Explicit use of possible world semantics helps us to sharply discriminate between standard and modal readings of categorial statements. We thus get two basic versions of the Square, whereas the Modal Square has not been fully introduced in the contemporary debate yet. Some properties ascribed by mediaeval logicians to the Square require a shift from its Standard to Modal version. Not inevitably, (...)
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  11. added 2019-09-10
    Scotism About Possible Natures.Thomas M. Ward - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (275):393-408.
    I motivate and develop a view, found in John Duns Scotus, concerning God's explanatory role in the possibility of possible natures. A possible nature is a nature which can be instanced. The view is that possible natures have their possibility due to the coherence of their simple parts, but the simples which make up natures are themselves ex nihilo productions of divine intellect.
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  12. added 2019-07-09
    Problems for Modal Reductionism: Concrete Possible Worlds as a Test Case.Jonathan Nassim - 2015 - Dissertation, Birkbeck College
    This thesis is an argument for the view that there are problems for Modal Reductionism, the thesis that modality can satisfactorily be defined in non-modal terms. -/- I proceed via a case study of David Lewis’s theory of concrete possible worlds. This theory is commonly regarded as the best and most influential candidate reductive theory of modality. Based on a detailed examination of its ontology, analysis and justification, I conclude that it does badly with respect to the following four minimal (...)
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  13. added 2019-06-13
    Leibniz's Formal Theory of Contingency.Jeffrey McDonough & Zeynep Soysal - 2018 - Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy 21:17-43.
    This essay argues that, with his much-maligned “infinite analysis” theory of contingency, Leibniz is onto something deep and important – a tangle of issues that wouldn’t be sorted out properly for centuries to come, and then only by some of the greatest minds of the twentieth century. The first two sections place Leibniz’s theory in its proper historical context and draw a distinction between Leibniz’s logical and meta-logical discoveries. The third section argues that Leibniz’s logical insights initially make his “infinite (...)
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  14. added 2019-06-07
    The Metaphysics of Modality.Phillip Bricker - 1988 - Philosophical Review 97 (1):127.
  15. added 2019-06-06
    Transforming Necessity: Transcendental Logic After Cavaillès.Kem Crimmins - 2007 - Philosophy Today 51 (Supplement):148-153.
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  16. added 2019-06-06
    Peacocke’s Principle-Based Account of Modality: “Flexibility of Origins” Plus S4.Sonia Roca Royes - 2006 - Erkenntnis 65 (3):405-426.
    Due to the influence of Nathan Salmon's views, endorsement of the "flexibility of origins" thesis is often thought to carry a commitment to the denial of S4. This paper rejects the existence of this commitment and examines how Peacocke's theory of the modal may accommodate flexibility of origins without denying S4. One of the essential features of Peacocke's account is the identification of the Principles of Possibility, which include the Modal Extension Principle, and a set of Constitutive Principles. Regarding their (...)
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  17. added 2018-12-13
    Metaphysical and Absolute Possibility.Justin Clarke-Doane - forthcoming - Synthese (special issue):1-12.
    It is widely alleged that metaphysical possibility is “absolute” possibility (Kripke [1980], Lewis [1986], Rosen [2006, 16], Stalnaker [2005, 203], Williamson [2016, 460]). Indeed, this is arguably its metaphysical significance. Kripke calls metaphysical necessity “necessity in the highest degree” ([1980, 99]). Williamson calls metaphysical possibility the “maximal objective modality” [2016, 459]. Rosen says that “metaphysical possibility is the [most inclusive] sort of real possibility” ([2006, 16]). And Stalnaker writes, “we can agree with Frank Jackson, David Chalmers, Saul Kripke, David Lewis, (...)
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  18. added 2018-09-30
    Модальности как фундаментальный элемент реальности: обзор книги «Williamson on Modality». [REVIEW]Lev Lamberov - 2018 - ФИЛОСОФИЯ НАУКИ 77:158-171.
    The paper provides a review of the collection of scientific works «Williamson on Modality» and contains a brief summary of the main ideas of the articles published in the book.
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  19. added 2018-09-13
    Modality is Not Explainable by Essence.Carlos Romero - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (274):121-141.
    Some metaphysicians believe that metaphysical modality is explainable by the essences of objects. In §II, I spell out the definitional view of essence, and in §III, a working notion of metaphysical explanation. Then, in §IV, I consider and reject five natural ways to explain necessity by essence: in terms of the principle that essential properties can't change, in terms of the supposed obviousness of the necessity of essential truth, in terms of the logical necessity of definitions, in terms of Fine's (...)
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  20. added 2018-08-10
    Essential Bundle Theory and Modality.Mark Jago - 2018 - Synthese:1-16.
    Bundle theories identify material objects with bundles of properties. On the traditional approach, these are the properties possessed by that material object. That view faces a deep problem: it seems to say that all of an object’s properties are essential to it. Essential bundle theory attempts to overcome this objection, by taking the bundle as a specification of the object’s essential properties only. In this paper, I show that essential bundle theory faces a variant of the objection. To avoid the (...)
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  21. added 2018-06-27
    An Object‐Based Truthmaker Semantics for Modals.Friederike Moltmann - 2018 - Philosophical Issues 28 (1):255-288.
    Possible worlds semantics faces a range of difficulties for at least certain types of modals, especially deontic modals with their distinction between heavy and light permissions and obligations. This paper outlines a new semantics of modals that aims to overcome some of those difficulties. The semantics is based on an a novel ontology of modal objects, entities like obligations, permissions, needs, as well as epistemic states, abilities, and essences. Moreover, it is based on truthmaking, in the sense of Fine’s recent (...)
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  22. added 2018-01-10
    The Psychological Representation of Modality.Jonathan Phillips & Joshua Knobe - 2018 - Mind and Language 33 (1):1-.
    A series of recent studies have explored the impact of people's judgments regarding physical law, morality, and probability. Surprisingly, such studies indicate that these three apparently unrelated types of judgments often have precisely the same impact. We argue that these findings provide evidence for a more general hypothesis about the kind of cognition people use to think about possibilities. Specifically, we suggest that this aspect of people's cognition is best understood using an idea developed within work in the formal semantics (...)
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  23. added 2017-10-14
    Ideology in a Desert Landscape.Alessandro Torza - 2017 - Philosophical Issues 27 (1):383-406.
    On one influential view, metaphysical fundamentality can be understood in terms of joint‐carving. Ted Sider has recently argued that (i) some first order quantifier is joint‐carving, and (ii) modal notions are not joint‐carving. After vindicating the theoretical indispensability of quantification against recent criticism, I will defend a logical result due to Arnold Koslow which implies that (i) and (ii) are incompatible. I will therefore consider an alternative understanding of Sider's metaphysics to the effect that (i) some first order quantifier is (...)
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  24. added 2017-09-04
    A Note on Morato on Modality and Explanation.Nathan Wildman - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (5):967-974.
    This brief note critically assesses the central arguments in Morato’s recent contribution to the growing literature on Blackburn’s dilemma about necessity. In particular, I demonstrate that neither of Morato’s two novel reconstructions of the dilemma’s contingency horn succeed, since both turn on false premises; and, Morato fails to adequately motivate his own response to these reconstructions. The upshot is that Morato has set himself a pair of flawed problems, then offered a flawed solution.
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  25. added 2017-03-27
    Necessary Truths and the Necessary Being.W. H. Sheldon - 1929 - Journal of Philosophy 26 (8):197-209.
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  26. added 2017-03-27
    Are There Any Necessary Truths?Edward Gleason Spaulding - 1929 - Journal of Philosophy 26 (12):309-329.
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  27. added 2017-02-15
    Descartes' Theory of Modality.Jonathan Bennett - 1998 - In John Cottingham (ed.), Descartes. Oxford University Press.
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  28. added 2017-02-11
    Outlining a Non-Possible-Worlds-Based Conception of Modality.John-Michael Kuczynski - 2005 - Metaphysica 6 (1):41-68.
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  29. added 2017-02-09
    Function and Modality.Osamu Kiritani - 2011 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 32 (1):1-4.
    Naturalistic teleological accounts of mental content rely on an etiological theory of function. Nanay has raised a new objection to an etiological theory, and proposed an alternative theory of function that attributes modal force to claims about function. The aim of this paper is both to defend and to cast a new light on an etiological theory of function. I argue against Nanay’s “trait type individuation objection,” suggesting that an etiological theory also attributes modal force to claims about function. An (...)
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  30. added 2017-02-09
    Modality and Function: Reply to Nanay.Osamu Kiritani - 2011 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 32 (2):89-90.
    This paper replies to Nanay’s response to my recent paper. My suggestions are the following. First, “should” or “ought” does not need to be deontic. Second, etiological theories of function, like provability logic, do not need to attribute modal force to their explanans. Third, the explanans of the homological account of trait type individuation does not appeal to a trait’s etiological function, that is, what a trait should or ought to do. Finally, my reference to Cummins’s notion of function was (...)
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  31. added 2017-02-07
    Review: Fraser MacBride (Ed.): Identity and Modality. [REVIEW]O. Linnebo - 2008 - Mind 117 (467):705-708.
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  32. added 2017-02-01
    The Principle-Based Conception of Modality: Sullivan's Question Addressed.Christopher Peacocke - 1998 - Mind 107 (428):847-849.
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  33. added 2017-01-30
    Modality.Joseph Melia - 2003 - Routledge.
    This introduction to modality places the emphasis on the metaphysics of modality rather than on the formal semetics of quantified modal logic. The text begins by introducing students to the "de re/de dicto" distinction, conventionalist and conceptualist theories of modality and some of the key problems in modality, particularly Quine's criticisms. It then moves on to explain how possible worlds provide a solution to many of the problems in modality and how possible worlds themselves have been used to analyse notions (...)
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  34. added 2016-12-19
    How to Reconcile Essence with Contingent Existence.Stephen K. McLeod - 2008 - Ratio 21 (3):314-328.
    To reconcile true claims of de re necessity with the supposedly contingent existence of the concrete objects those claims are typically about, Kripkean essentialists invoke weak necessity. The claim that a is necessarily F is held to be equivalent to the claim that necessarily, if a exists then a is F. This strategy faces a barrage of serious objections a proper subset of which shows that the strategy fails to achieve its intended purpose. Relief can be provided via recourse to (...)
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  35. added 2016-12-08
    Leibniz on the Modal Status of Absolute Space and Time.Martin Lin - 2016 - Noûs 50 (3):447-464.
  36. added 2016-10-26
    Modal Semantics Without Worlds.Craig Warmke - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (11):702-715.
    Over the last half century, possible worlds have bled into almost every area of philosophy. In the metaphysics of modality, for example, philosophers have used possible worlds almost exclusively to illuminate discourse about metaphysical necessity and possibility. But recently, some have grown dissatisfied with possible worlds. Why are horses necessarily mammals? Because the property of being a horse bears a special relationship to the property of being a mammal, they say. Not because every horse is a mammal in every possible (...)
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  37. added 2016-10-14
    Could There Have Been Nothing? Against Metaphysical Nihilism, by Geraldine Coggins. [REVIEW]Joshua Spencer - 2016 - Mind 125 (500):1255-1259.
    Could There Have Been Nothing? Against Metaphysical Nihilism, by CogginsGeraldine. Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. Pp. xii + 171.
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  38. added 2016-09-27
    Williamson on Modality.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri & Mark McCullagh - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):453-851.
    This special issue of the Canadian Journal of Philosophy is dedicated to Timothy Williamson's work on modality. It consists of a new paper by Williamson followed by papers on Williamson's work on modality, with each followed by a reply by Williamson. -/- Contributors: Andrew Bacon, Kit Fine, Peter Fritz, Jeremy Goodman, John Hawthorne, Øystein Linnebo, Ted Sider, Robert Stalnaker, Meghan Sullivan, Gabriel Uzquiano, Barbara Vetter, Timothy Williamson, Juhani Yli-Vakkuri.
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  39. added 2016-09-13
    On Williamson and Simplicity in Modal Logic.Theodore Sider - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):683-698.
    According to Timothy Williamson, we should accept the simplest and most powerful second-order modal logic, and as a result accept an ontology of "bare possibilia". This general method for extracting ontology from logic is salutary, but its application in this case depends on a questionable assumption: that modality is a fundamental feature of the world.
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  40. added 2016-08-04
    The Contingency Problem for Neo-Conventionalism.Jonathan Livingstone-Banks - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (3):653-671.
    Traditional conventionalism about modality claims that a proposition is necessarily true iff it is true by convention. In the wake of the widespread repudiation of truth-byconvention, traditional conventionalism has fallen out of favour. However, a family of theories of modality have arisen that, whilst abandoning truth-by-convention, retain the spirit of traditional conventionalism. These ‘neo-conventionalist’ theories surpass their forebears and don’t fall victim to the criticisms inherited through truth-by-convention. However, not all criticisms levelled at traditional conventionalism target truth-by-convention. Any conventional theory (...)
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  41. added 2016-08-02
    Utopia and the Place of Possibility: Peter Handke and the Ambitions of a Storyteller.Iain Macdonald - 1998 - Angelaki 3 (1):137 – 144.
    (1998). Utopia and the place of possibility: Peter Handke and the ambitions of a storyteller 1 . Angelaki: Vol. 3, Impurity, authenticity and humanity, pp. 137-144.
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  42. added 2016-06-24
    On the Error of Treating Functions as Objects.Karen Green - 2016 - Analysis and Metaphysics 15.
  43. added 2016-05-30
    A Causal Theory of Modality.Jose Tomas Alvarado - 2009 - Ideas Y Valores 58 (140):173-196.
    This work presents a causal conception of metaphysical modality in which a state of affairs is metaphysically possible if and only if it can be caused (in the past, the present or the future) by current entities. The conception is contrasted with what is called the "combinatorial" conception of modality, in which everything can coexist with anything else. This work explains how the notion of 'causality' should be construed in the causal theory, what difference exists between modalities thus defined from (...)
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  44. added 2016-05-30
    The Logic of Provability.George S. Boolos - 1993 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book, written by one of the most distinguished of contemporary philosophers of mathematics, is a fully rewritten and updated successor to the author's earlier The Unprovability of Consistency. Its subject is the relation between provability and modal logic, a branch of logic invented by Aristotle but much disparaged by philosophers and virtually ignored by mathematicians. Here it receives its first scientific application since its invention. Modal logic is concerned with the notions of necessity and possibility. What George Boolos does (...)
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  45. added 2016-05-11
    Can the Property Boom Last?Fraser MacBride - 2001 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 101 (3):225–246.
    The contemporary Humean programme that seeks to combine property realism with the denial of necessary connections between distinct existences is flawed. Objects and properties by their very natures are entangled in such connections. It follows that modal notions cannot be reductively analysed by appeal to the concept property, not even if the reducing theory posits an abundant supply of entities to fall under that concept.
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  46. added 2016-04-18
    Mahdollisuus.Ilkka Niiniluoto, Tuomas Tahko & Teemu Toppinen (eds.) - 2016 - Helsinki: Philosophical Society of Finland.
    Proceedings of the 2016 "one word" colloquium of the The Philosophical Society of Finland. The word was "Possibility".
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  47. added 2016-02-15
    Six Necessities.Albert Hofstadter - 1957 - Journal of Philosophy 54 (20):597-613.
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  48. added 2016-01-29
    Powers and Capacities in Philosophy: The New Aristotelianism. By Ruth Groff and John Greco. [REVIEW]Tamer Nawar - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (257):670-672.
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  49. added 2016-01-11
    Mind-Independence and Modal Empiricism.Sonia Roca-Royes - unknown
    The paper focuses on the Epistemic Challenge for mind-independent accounts of modality. The challenge can be formulated as an inconsistency problem among three premises and, therefore, any strategy to meet the challenge will require the negation of (at least) one of its premises. The aim of the paper is not to offer a positive solution to the challenge, but rather to argue for the claim that to follow a hybrid strategy is probably the best way to meet it. With some (...)
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  50. added 2016-01-11
    Michael Jubien, Possibility.Paolo Valore - 2010 - Rivista di Storia Della Filosofia 65 (2):374.
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