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Actualism and thisness

Synthese 49 (1):3-41 (1981)

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  1. Existentialism Entails Anti-Haecceitism.Kenneth Boyce - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (2):297-326.
    Existentialism concerning singular propositions is the thesis that singular propositions ontologically depend on the individuals they are directly about in such a way that necessarily, those propositions exist only if the individuals they are directly about exist. Haecceitism is the thesis that what non-qualitative facts there are fails to supervene on what purely qualitative facts there are. I argue that existentialism concerning singular propositions entails the denial of haecceitism and that this entailment has interesting implications for debates concerning the philosophy (...)
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  • Theistic Modal Realism I: The Challenge of Theistic Actualism.Michael Almeida - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (7):e12419.
    The main aim in the forthcoming discussion is to contrast theistic modal realism and theistic actualist realism. Actualist realism is the dominant view among theists and presents the most serious challenge to theistic modal realism. I discuss various prominent forms of theistic actualist realism. I offer reasons for rejecting the view of metaphysical reality that actualist realism affords. I discuss theistic modal realism and show that the traditional conception of God is perfectly consistent with the metaphysics of genuine modal realism. (...)
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  • Modal Realisms.Kris McDaniel - 2006 - Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1):303–331.
    Possibilism—the view that there are non-actual, merely possible entities—is a surprisingly resilient doctrine.1 One particularly hardy strand of possibilism—the modal realism championed by David Lewis—continues to attract both foes who seek to demonstrate its falsity (or at least stare its advocates into apostasy) and friends who hope to defend modal realism (or, when necessary, modify modal realism so as to avoid problematic objections).2 Although I am neither a foe nor friend of modal realism (but some of my best friends are!), (...)
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  • Defining Qualitative Properties.Vera Hoffmann-Kolss - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (5):995-1010.
    The aim of this paper is to provide a systematic account of the metaphysically important distinction between haecceitistic properties, such as being David Lewis or being acquainted with David Lewis, and qualitative properties, such as being red or being acquainted with a famous philosopher. I first argue that this distinction is hyperintensional, that is, that cointensional properties can differ in whether they are qualitative. Then I develop an analysis of the qualitative/haecceitistic distinction according to which haecceitistic properties are relational in (...)
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  • On a Sufficient Condition for Hyperintensionality.Vera Hoffmann-Kolss - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (260):336-354.
    Let an X/Y distinction be a distinction between kinds of properties, such as the distinctions between qualitative and non-qualitative, intrinsic and extrinsic, perfectly natural and less-than-perfectly natural or dispositional and categorical properties. An X/Y distinction is hyperintensional iff there are cointensional properties P and Q, such that P is an X-property, whereas Q is a Y-property. Many accounts of metaphysical distinctions among properties presuppose that such distinctions are non-hyperintensional. In this paper, I call this presupposition into question. I develop a (...)
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  • Presentism and the Grounding Objection.Thomas M. Crisp - 2007 - Noûs 41 (1):90–109.
  • Strong Pluralism, Coincident Objects and Haecceitism.Karol Lenart & Artur Szachniewicz - 2020 - Axiomathes 30 (4):347-370.
    According to strong pluralism, objects distinct by virtue of their modal properties can coincide. The most common objection towards such view invokes the so-called Grounding Problem according to which the strong pluralist needs to explain what the grounds are for supposed modal differences between the coincidents. As recognized in the literature, the failure to provide an answer to the Grounding Problem critically undermines the plausibility of strong pluralism. Moreover, there are strong reasons to believe that strong pluralists cannot provide an (...)
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  • On the Lewisian Principle of Recombination and Quidditism.Karol Lenart - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-15.
    In this paper, I discuss a connection between quidditism and the Lewisian principle of recombination. I begin by reconstructing a typical characterisation of a Lewisian principle of recombination, followed by an explanation of quidditism. In the remainder, I argue that a proponent of a Lewisian principle of recombination cannot endorse quidditism without some important modifications of her view.
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  • An Argument for Existentialism.Yannis Stephanou - 2020 - Acta Analytica 35 (4):507-520.
    Existentialism about propositions is the view that a proposition expressed in a sentence containing a nonempty name or indexical depends ontologically on the referent of the name or indexical: the proposition could not exist if the referent did not. The paper focuses on names. It discusses some arguments for existentialism and then presents a novel one. That argument does not presuppose that propositions have constituents, and it could be accepted by those who hold broadly Fregean views about names. It shows (...)
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  • The Logic of Contingent Existence.Daniel Michael Kervick - 1997 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Among modal claims, claims that involve the notions of broadly logical possibility and necessity, one that seems almost trivial is this: that if some proposition is possible, then it is possibly true. However, there is an argument, due in its essentials to the medieval philosopher and logician Jean Buridan, to the effect that this seemingly trivial claim is, in fact, untrue. ;Briefly put, the argument is this. Let Q be the proposition that Quine does not exist. Since Quine's existence is (...)
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  • Does Time Pass?Ned Markosian - 1990 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    My topic is the question 'Does time pass?'. Although much has been written in attempts to answer this question, not enough attention has been paid to the asking of the question itself. As a result, it has not been clear exactly what is at issue in this matter, and, consequently, it has not been clear just what are the different views available to one who wishes to give an answer to the question. I hope to ameliorate this situation. ;The aims (...)
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  • Counterfactuals and the Analysis of Necessity.Boris Kment - 2006 - Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1):237–302.
  • Russellians Can Solve the Problem of Empty Names with Nonsingular Propositions.Thomas Hodgson - 2020 - Synthese 197:5411–5433.
    Views that treat the contents of sentences as structured, Russellian propositions face a problem with empty names. It seems that those sorts of things cannot be the contents of sentences containing such names. I motivate and defend a solution to the problem according to which a sentence may have a singular proposition as its content at one time, and a nonsingular one at another. When the name is empty the content is a nonsingular Russellian structured proposition; when the name is (...)
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  • The Existence of the Past.Joseph Diekemper - 2014 - Synthese 191 (6):1085-1104.
    My goal in this paper is to address what I call the ‘Incoherence’ objection to the growing universe theory of time. At the root of the objection is the thought that one cannot wed objective temporal becoming with the existence of a tenseless past—which is apparently what the growing universe theorist tries to do. To do so, however, is to attribute both dynamic and static aspects to time, and, given the mutual exclusivity of these two aspects—so the thought goes—incoherence results. (...)
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  • Contingent Objects, Contingent Propositions, and Essentialism.Jonas Werner - forthcoming - Mind.
    Trevor Teitel has recently argued that combining the assumption that modality reduces to essence with the assumption that possibly some objects contingently exist leads to problems if one wishes to uphold that the logic of metaphysical modality is S5. In this paper I will argue that there is a way for the essentialist to evade the problem described by Teitel. The proposed solution crucially involves the assumption that some propositions possibly fail to exist. I will show how this assumption affords (...)
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  • Names and Obstinate Rigidity.Brendan Murday - 2013 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (2):224-242.
    Names are rigid designators, but what kind of rigidity do they exhibit? Both “obstinately” and “persistently” rigid designators pick out O at every world at which they pick out anything at all. They differ in that obstinately rigid designators also pick out O at worlds at which O fails to exist; persistently rigid designators have no extension whatsoever at worlds at which O fails to exist. The question whether names are obstinate or persistent arises in two contexts: in arguments against (...)
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  • On Kinds of Indiscernibility in Logic and Metaphysics.Adam Caulton & Jeremy Butterfield - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (1):27-84.
    Using the Hilbert-Bernays account as a spring-board, we first define four ways in which two objects can be discerned from one another, using the non-logical vocabulary of the language concerned. Because of our use of the Hilbert-Bernays account, these definitions are in terms of the syntax of the language. But we also relate our definitions to the idea of permutations on the domain of quantification, and their being symmetries. These relations turn out to be subtle---some natural conjectures about them are (...)
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  • Two Axes of Actualism.Karen Bennett - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (3):297-326.
    Actualists routinely characterize their view by means of the slogan, “Everything is actual.” They say that there aren’t any things that exist but do not actually exist—there aren’t any “mere possibilia.” If there are any things that deserve the label ‘possible world’, they are just actually existing entities of some kind—maximally consistent sets of sentences, or maximal uninstantiated properties, or maximal possible states of affairs, or something along those lines. Possibilists, in contrast, do think that there are mere possibilia, that (...)
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  • Philosophical Implications of Inflationary Cosmology.Joshua Knobe, Ken D. Olum & Alexander Vilenkin - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):47-67.
    Recent developments in cosmology indicate that every history having a nonzero probability is realized in infinitely many distinct regions of spacetime. Thus, it appears that the universe contains infinitely many civilizations exactly like our own, as well as infinitely many civilizations that differ from our own in any way permitted by physical laws. We explore the implications of this conclusion for ethical theory and for the doomsday argument. In the infinite universe, we find that the doomsday argument applies only to (...)
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  • Divine Knowledge and Qualitative Indiscernibility.Daniel S. Murphy - 2016 - Faith and Philosophy 33 (1):25-47.
    This paper is about the nature of God’s pre-creation knowledge of possible creatures. I distinguish three theories: non-qualitative singularism, qualitative singularism, and qualitative generalism, which differ in terms of whether the relevant knowledge is qualitative or non-qualitative, and whether God has singular or merely general knowledge of creatures. My main aim is to argue that qualitative singularism does not depend on a version of the Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles to the effect that, necessarily, qualitatively indiscernible individuals are identical. It (...)
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  • In Defense of Linguistic Ersatzism.Tony Roy - 1995 - Philosophical Studies 80 (3):217 - 242.
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  • Modal Paradox: Parts and Counterparts, Points and Counterpoints.Nathan Salmon - 1986 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 11 (1):75-120.
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  • Actuality and Essence.William G. Lycan & Stewart Shapiro - 1986 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 11 (1):343-377.
  • Duns Scotus and Peirce on the importance of Universals and Scientific Realism.Paniel Reyes Cárdenas - 2018 - Escritos 26 (56):83-106.
    Oferecendo uma visão histórica do problema dos universais, focando-se nas contribuições do filósofo medieval John Duns Scoto e do fundador do Pragmatismo Americano, Charles Pierce, este artigo apresenta a concepção de Pierce sobre o problema. Tal visão é rastreada explicando a conexão entre Aristóteles, Duns Scoto e Pierce. As considerações de Pierce foram chamadas por ele mesmo de “Realismo Escolástico” e tal Realismo dos universais tem com objetivo fornecer considerações factíveis para o Realismo Científico contemporâneo. O problema dos universais, depois (...)
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  • Advanced Modalizing Problems.Mark Jago - 2016 - Mind 125 (499):627-642.
    I present an internal problem for David Lewis’s genuine modal realism. My aim is to show that his analysis of modality is inconsistent with his metaphysics. I consider several ways of modifying the Lewisian analysis of modality, but argue that none are successful. I argue that the problem also affects theories related to genuine modal realism, including the stage theory of persistence and modal fictionalism.
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  • Deep Platonism.Chad Carmichael - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2):307-328.
    According to the traditional bundle theory, particulars are bundles of compresent universals. I think we should reject the bundle theory for a variety of reasons. But I will argue for the thesis at the core of the bundle theory: that all the facts about particulars are grounded in facts about universals. I begin by showing how to meet the main objection to this thesis (which is also the main objection to the bundle theory): that it is inconsistent with the possibility (...)
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  • In Defense of the Simplest Quantified Modal Logic.Bernard Linsky & Edward N. Zalta - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8:431-458.
    The simplest quantified modal logic combines classical quantification theory with the propositional modal logic K. The models of simple QML relativize predication to possible worlds and treat the quantifier as ranging over a single fixed domain of objects. But this simple QML has features that are objectionable to actualists. By contrast, Kripke-models, with their varying domains and restricted quantifiers, seem to eliminate these features. But in fact, Kripke-models also have features to which actualists object. Though these philosophers have introduced variations (...)
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  • God and Abstract Entities.Brian Leftow - 1990 - Faith and Philosophy 7 (2):193-217.
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  • Brute Necessity.James Van Cleve - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (9):e12516.
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  • Whatever Binds the World’s Innermost Core Together Outline of a General Theory of Ontic Predication.Luc Schneider - 2013 - Axiomathes 23 (2):419-442.
    Nexuses such as exemplification are the fundamental ties that structure reality as a whole. They are “formal” in the sense of constituting the form, not the matter of reality and they are “transcendental” inasmuch as they transcend the categorial distinctions between the denizens of reality, including that between existents and non-existents. I shall advocate a moderately particularist view about (external) nexuses and argue that it provides not only the best solution to Bradley’s regress, but also an elegant account of symmetrical (...)
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  • Worlds and Propositions Set Free.Otávio Bueno, Christopher Menzel & Edward N. Zalta - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (4):797–820.
    The authors provide an object-theoretic analysis of two paradoxes in the theory of possible worlds and propositions stemming from Russell and Kaplan. After laying out the paradoxes, the authors provide a brief overview of object theory and point out how syntactic restrictions that prevent object-theoretic versions of the classical paradoxes are justified philosophically. The authors then trace the origins of the Russell paradox to a problematic application of set theory in the definition of worlds. Next the authors show that an (...)
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  • 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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  • A Classical Logic of Existence and Essence.Sergio Galvan & Alessandro Giordani - forthcoming - Logic and Logical Philosophy:1.
    The purpose of this paper is to provide a new system of logic for existence and essence, in which the traditional distinctions between essential and accidental properties, abstract and concrete objects, and actually existent and possibly existent objects are described and related in a suitable way. In order to accomplish this task, a primitive relation of essential identity between different objects is introduced and connected to a first order existence property and a first order abstractness property. The basic idea is (...)
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  • Physicalism, Instrumentalism and the Semantics of Modal Logic.Graeme Forbes - 1983 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 12 (3):271 - 298.
    The delicate point in the formalistic position is to explain how the non-intuitionistic classical mathematics is significant, after having initially agreed with the intuitionists that its theorems lack a real meaning in terms of which they are true (S. C. Kleene, 1952).
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  • Conceivability Arguments for Haecceitism.Sam Cowling - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):4171-4190.
    According to haecceitism, some maximal possibilities differ even while they are qualitatively indiscernible. Since haecceitism is a modal thesis, it is typically defended by appeal to conceivability arguments. These arguments require us to conceive of qualitatively indiscernible possibilities that differ only with respect to the identity of the individuals involved. This paper examines a series of conceivability arguments for haecceitism and a variety of anti-haecceitist responses. It concludes that there is no irresistible conceivability argument for haecceitism even while anti-haecceitist responses (...)
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  • Nonexistence, Vague Existence, Merely Possible Existence.Iris Einheuser - 2012 - Disputatio 4 (33):427-443.
    This paper explores a new non-deflationary approach to the puzzle of nonexistence and its cousins. On this approach, we can, under a plausible assumption, express true de re propositions about certain objects that don’t exist, exist indeterminately or exist merely possibly. The defense involves two steps: First, to argue that if we can actually designate what individuates a nonexistent target object with respect to possible worlds in which that object does exist, then we can express a de re proposition about (...)
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  • The Epistemological Objection to Modal Primitivism.Jennifer Wang - forthcoming - Synthese:1-12.
    Modal primitivists hold that some modal truths are primitively true. They thus seem to face a special epistemological problem: how can primitive modal truths be known? The epistemological objection has not been adequately developed in the literature. I undertake to develop the objection, and then to argue that the best formulation of the epistemological objection targets all realists about modality, rather than the primitivist alone. Furthermore, the moves available to reductionists in response to the objection are also available to primitivists. (...)
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  • The Metaphysics of Alvin Plantinga.Matthew Davidson - 2009 - In Ernest Sosa & Gary Rosenkrantz (eds.), Blackwell Companion to Metaphysics. Oxford, UK:
    This is an article on the metaphysics of Alvin Plantinga. It is from the Blackwell Companion to Metaphysics (2009).
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  • A Solution to Frege's Puzzle.George Bealer - 1993 - Philosophical Perspectives 7:17-60.
    This paper provides a new approach to a family of outstanding logical and semantical puzzles, the most famous being Frege's puzzle. The three main reductionist theories of propositions (the possible-worlds theory, the propositional-function theory, the propositional-complex theory) are shown to be vulnerable to Benacerraf-style problems, difficulties involving modality, and other problems. The nonreductionist algebraic theory avoids these problems and allows us to identify the elusive nondescriptive, non-metalinguistic, necessary propositions responsible for the indicated family of puzzles. The algebraic approach is also (...)
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  • The Mill-Frege Theory of Proper Names.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2018 - Mind 127 (508):1107-1168.
    This paper argues for a version of metalinguistic descriptivism, the Mill-Frege view, comparing it to a currently popular alternative, predicativism. The Mill-Frege view combines tenets of Fregean views with features of the theory of direct reference. According to it, proper names have metalinguistic senses, known by competent speakers on the basis of their competence, which figure in ancillary presuppositions. In support of the view the paper argues that the name-bearing relation—which predicativists cite to account for the properties that they take (...)
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  • Logic, Essence, and Modality — Review of Bob Hale's Necessary Beings. [REVIEW]Christopher Menzel - 2015 - Philosophia Mathematica 23 (3):407-428.
    Bob Hale’s distinguished record of research places him among the most important and influential contemporary analytic metaphysicians. In his deep, wide ranging, yet highly readable book Necessary Beings, Hale draws upon, but substantially integrates and extends, a good deal his past research to produce a sustained and richly textured essay on — as promised in the subtitle — ontology, modality, and the relations between them. I’ve set myself two tasks in this review: first, to provide a reasonably thorough (if not (...)
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  • God and Counterpossibles.Richard Brian Davis - 2006 - Religious Studies 42 (4):371.
    In this paper I critically examine Brian Leftow's attempt to construct a theistic semantics for counterpossibles, one that can be used to make sense of the fact that propositions, which exist necessarily, nevertheless depend on God as their cause. I argue that the impressive theoretical framework erected by Leftow cannot guarantee an asymmetrical dependence of propositions on God, and ultimately leads to a semantic collapse in which every counterpossible comes out false. I end by defending an alternative account of God (...)
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  • The Dependence Problem: Theism, Counterpossibles, and Necessity.Richard Brian Davis - 1998 - Dissertation, University of Toronto
    This dissertation explores various attempts to solve the Dependence Problem problem posed by the following question: How can necessary truths stand to God in a one-way relation of dependence, given that neither they nor God could have failed to exist?
     
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  • The Conventional and the Analytic.Manuel García-Carpintero & Manuel Pérez Otero - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (2):239-274.
    Empiricist philosophers like Carnap invoked analyticity in order to explain a priori knowledge and necessary truth. Analyticity was “truth purely in virtue of meaning”. The view had a deflationary motivation: in Carnap’s proposal, linguistic conventions alone determine the truth of analytic sentences, and thus there is no mystery in our knowing their truth a priori, or in their necessary truth; for they are, as it were, truths of our own making. Let us call this “Carnapian conventionalism”, conventionalismC and cognates for (...)
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  • Reply to Fine.Timothy Williamson - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):571-583.
  • Possible Worlds and the Objective World.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (2):389-422.
    David Lewis holds that a single possible world can provide more than one way things could be. But what are possible worlds good for if they come apart from ways things could be? We can make sense of this if we go in for a metaphysical understanding of what the world is. The world does not include everything that is the case—only the genuine facts. Understood this way, Lewis's “cheap haecceitism” amounts to a kind of metaphysical anti-haecceitism: it says there (...)
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  • Actualism and Modal Semantics.José Zalabardo - 2018 - Acta Analytica 33 (1):35-49.
    According to actualism, modal reality is constructed out of valuations. 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 are completely unintelligible. An essentially actualist semantics for modal propositional logic specifies which sets of valuations are compatible with (...)
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  • Contingent Existence and Iterated Modality.Cian Dorr - 2017 - Analysis 77 (1):155-165.
    A discussion of a view, defended by Robert Adams and Boris Kment, according to which contingent existence requires rejecting many standard principles of propositional modal logic involving iterated modal operators.
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  • What is a Singular Proposition?Ephraim N. Glick - 2018 - Mind 127 (508):1027-1067.
    An account of the distinction between singular and general propositions should reflect the core ideas that have motivated the distinction. Those core ideas can be appreciated independently of many commitments regarding the metaphysics of propositions, but theorists with differing views on the latter have given quite different explanations of what it is for a proposition to be singular or general. Many of those explanations turn out not to reflect the core ideas adequately after all, either by misclassifying certain propositions or (...)
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  • Singular Thoughts and Singular Propositions.Joshua Armstrong & Jason Stanley - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (2):205 - 222.
    A singular thought about an object o is one that is directly about o in a characteristic way—grasp of that thought requires having some special epistemic relation to the object o, and the thought is ontologically dependent on o. One account of the nature of singular thought exploits a Russellian Structured Account of Propositions, according to which contents are represented by means of structured n-tuples of objects, properties, and functions. A proposition is singular, according to this framework, if and only (...)
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