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  1. Against S5: Impossible Worlds in the Logic of What Might Have Been.Nathan Salmon - manuscript
    The dogma that the propositional logic of metaphysical modality is S5 is rebutted in related installments (previously published essays).
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  • Defining Global Supervenience.Alex Steinberg - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (2):367-380.
    What does it mean that certain properties globally supervene on others? The paper criticises the now standard way of spelling out the notion in terms of 1–1 correlations between world-domains and proposes a modification that escapes the difficulties. The new definition can secure the additional benefit of resisting an argument to the effect that global supervenience is theoretically dispensable.
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  • Vague Objects and Vague Identity: New Essays on Ontic Vagueness.Ken Akiba & Ali Abasnezhad (eds.) - 2014 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
    This unique anthology of new, contributed essays offers a range of perspectives on various aspects of ontic vagueness. It seeks to answer core questions pertaining to onticism, the view that vagueness exists in the world itself. The questions to be addressed include whether vague objects must have vague identity, and whether ontic vagueness has a distinctive logic, one that is not shared by semantic or epistemic vagueness. The essays in this volume explain the motivations behind onticism, such as the plausibility (...)
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  • A Millian Heir Rejects the Wages of Sinn.Nathan Salmon - 1990 - In C. A. Anderson & J. Owens (eds.), Propositional Attitudes: The Role of Content in Logic, Language, and Mind. CSLI Publications. pp. 215-247.
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  • Reflections on Reflexivity.Nathan Salmon - 1992 - Linguistics and Philosophy 15 (1):53 - 63.
  • Modal Paradox II: Essence and Coherence.Nathan Salmón - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3237-3250.
    Paradoxes of nested modality, like Chisholm’s paradox, rely on S4 or something stronger as the propositional logic of metaphysical modality. Sarah-Jane Leslie’s objection to the resolution of Chisholm’s paradox by means of rejection of S4 modal logic is investigated. A modal notion of essence congenial to Leslie’s objection is clarified. An argument is presented in support of Leslie’s crucial but unsupported assertion that, on pain of inconsistency, an object’s essence is the same in every possible world. A fallacy in the (...)
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  • On Singular Propositions.Richard L. Cartwright - 1997 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 27 (sup1):67-83.
  • Rigidity in Mathematical Discourse.Marián Zouhar - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (3):1381-1394.
    Rigid designators designate whatever they do in all possible worlds. Mathematical definite descriptions are usually considered paradigmatic examples of such expressions. The main aim of the present paper is to challenge this view. It is argued that mathematical definite descriptions cannot be rigid in the same sense as ordinary empirical definite descriptions because—assuming that mathematical facts are not determined by goings on in possible worlds—mathematical descriptions designate whatever they do independently of possible worlds. Nevertheless, there is a widespread practice of (...)
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  • Taking Frege's name in vain.James Zaiss - 1993 - Erkenntnis 39 (2):167 - 190.
    A widely held view about Fregean Sense has it that the determination of a sign's referent by the sign's sense is achieved viasatisfaction: the sense specifies a condition (or set of conditions) and the referent is that entity, if any, which uniquely satisfies that (set of) condition(s). This is usually held in conjunction with the claim that the sense is existentially and qualitatively independent of the referent: if the referent did not exist, or did not uniquely satisfy the sense, the (...)
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  • A new argument against the existence requirement.Takashi Yagisawa - 2005 - Analysis 65 (1):39–42.
    It may appear that in order to be any way at all, a thing must exist. A possible – worlds version of this claim goes as follows: (E) For every x, for every possible world w, Fx at w only if x exists at w. Here and later in (R), the letter ‘F’ is used as a schematic letter to be replaced with a one – place predicate. There are two arguments against (E). The first is by analogy. Socrates is (...)
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  • Proper names and the necessity of identity statements.Michael Wreen - 1998 - Synthese 114 (2):319-335.
    An identity statement flanked on both sides with proper names is necessarily true, Saul Kripke thinks, if it's true at all. Thus, contrary to the received view – or at least what was, prior to Kripke, the received view – a statement like(A) Hesperus is Phosphorus.
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  • Ontic vagueness and metaphysical indeterminacy.J. Robert G. Williams - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (4):763-788.
    Might it be that world itself, independently of what we know about it or how we represent it, is metaphysically indeterminate? This article tackles in turn a series of questions: In what sorts of cases might we posit metaphysical indeterminacy? What is it for a given case of indefiniteness to be 'metaphysical'? How does the phenomenon relate to 'ontic vagueness', the existence of 'vague objects', 'de re indeterminacy' and the like? How might the logic work? Are there reasons for postulating (...)
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  • Modal science.Timothy Williamson - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):453-492.
    This paper explains and defends the idea that metaphysical necessity is the strongest kind of objective necessity. Plausible closure conditions on the family of objective modalities are shown to entail that the logic of metaphysical necessity is S5. Evidence is provided that some objective modalities are studied in the natural sciences. In particular, the modal assumptions implicit in physical applications of dynamical systems theory are made explicit by using such systems to define models of a modal temporal logic. Those assumptions (...)
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  • Against the reduction of modality to essence.Nathan Wildman - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 6):1-17.
    It is a truth universally acknowledged that a claim of metaphysical modality, in possession of good alethic standing, must be in want of an essentialist foundation. Or at least so say the advocates of the reductive-essence-first view, according to which all modality is to be reductively defined in terms of essence. Here, I contest this bit of current wisdom. In particular, I offer two puzzles—one concerning the essences of non-compossible, complementary entities, and a second involving entities whose essences are modally (...)
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  • Against the reduction of modality to essence.Nathan Wildman - 2018 - Synthese 198 (S6):1455-1471.
    It is a truth universally acknowledged that a claim of metaphysical modality, in possession of good alethic standing, must be in want of an essentialist foundation. Or at least so say the advocates of thereductive-essence-firstview, according to which all modality is to be reductively defined in terms of essence. Here, I contest this bit of current wisdom. In particular, I offer two puzzles—one concerning the essences of non-compossible, complementary entities, and a second involving entities whose essences are modally ‘loaded’—that together (...)
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  • Many many problems.Brian Weatherson - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (213):481–501.
    Recently four different papers have suggested that the supervaluational solution to the Problem of the Many is flawed. Stephen Schiffer (1998, 2000a, 2000b) has argued that the theory cannot account for reports of speech involving vague singular terms. Vann McGee and Brian McLaughlin (2000) say that theory cannot, yet, account for vague singular beliefs. Neil McKinnon (2002) has argued that we cannot provide a plausible theory of when precisifications are acceptable, which the supervaluational theory needs. And Roy Sorensen (2000) argues (...)
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  • OK or OK*—Putnam’s Way to Essentialism.Weng-Fang Wang - 2005 - Journal of Philosophical Research 30:237-250.
    Hilary Putnam made the claim several times that the direct reference theory (DRT) he endorsed had startling consequences for the theory of necessary truth and essentialism. If DRT was correct, so he claimed, it followed that things belonging to natural kinds had their deep structures necessarily. Inspired by Keith Donnellan, Nathan Salmon tried to spell out what Putnam seemed to have in mind when making the claim, and Salmon called the result of his analysis “the OK mechanism.” Salmon showed that (...)
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  • Spacetime and Mereology.Andrew Virel Wake - 2011 - Erkenntnis 74 (1):17-35.
    Unrestricted Composition (UC) is, roughly, the claim that given any objects at all, there is something which those objects compose. (UC) conflicts in an obvious way with common sense. It has as a consequence, for instance, that there is something which has as parts my nose and the moon. One of the more influential arguments for (UC) is Theodore Sider’s version of the Argument from Vagueness. (A version of the Argument from Vagueness was first presented by David Lewis (1986), pp. (...)
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  • Are there all the alleged possible objects?Alberto Voltolini - 2000 - Topoi 19 (2):209-219.
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  • All the Existences that There Are.Alberto Voltolini - 2012 - Disputatio 4 (32):361-383.
    In this paper, I will defend the claim that there are three existence properties: the second-order property of being instantiated, a substantive first-order property (or better a group of such properties) and a formal, hence universal, first-order property. I will first try to show what these properties are and why we need all of them for ontological purposes. Moreover, I will try to show why a Meinong-like option that positively endorses both the former and the latter first-order property is the (...)
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  • Demonstrative sense and rigidity.Vojislav Bozickovic - 1993 - Philosophical Papers 22 (2):123-133.
    It is often thought that endowing a demonstrative with a Fregean sense leaves no room for maintaining that it is also a rigid designator. In addition, some philosophers claim that indexicals - surely the paradigms of singular reference - pose a serious threat to the Fregean sense/ reference approach as they do not comply with the view that singular terms have Fregean senses. In this paper I argue that neither of these is true.
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  • The epistemology of modality and the problem of modal epistemic friction.Anand Jayprakash Vaidya & Michael Wallner - 2021 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 8):1909-1935.
    There are three theories in the epistemology of modality that have received sustained attention over the past 20 years: conceivability-theory, counterfactual-theory, and deduction-theory. In this paper we argue that all three face what we call the problem of modal epistemic friction. One consequence of the problem is that for any of the three accounts to yield modal knowledge, the account must provide an epistemology of essence. We discuss an attempt to fend off the problem within the context of the internalism (...)
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  • Contingent Existence and the Reduction of Modality to Essence.Trevor Teitel - 2019 - Mind 128 (509):39-68.
    This paper first argues that we can bring out a tension between the following three popular doctrines: (i) the canonical reduction of metaphysical modality to essence, due to Fine, (ii) contingentism, which says that possibly something could have failed to be something, and (iii) the doctrine that metaphysical modality obeys the modal logic S5. After presenting two such arguments (one from the theorems of S4 and another from the theorems of B), I turn to exploring various conclusions we might draw (...)
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  • Bolzano's externalist semantics of natural kind terms.Sajed Tayebi - 2022 - European Journal of Philosophy 30 (4):1533-1546.
    Through a detailed explication of Bernard Bolzano's semantics of natural kind terms, I elucidate why and to what extent he should be recognized as a remarkable anticipator of semantic externalism. Bolzano deals with kind terms in a brief sub-section of the first volume of his Theory of Science. He divides such terms into two sub-categories, roughly corresponding to organic and inorganic kinds. It is Bolzano's account of inorganic kind terms, such as ‘gold’, that confers on him the status of an (...)
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  • Soames’s Deflationism About Modality.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (6):1367-1379.
    One type of deflationism about metaphysical modality suggests that it can be analysed strictly in terms of linguistic or conceptual content and that there is nothing particularly metaphysical about modality. Scott Soames is explicitly opposed to this trend. However, a detailed study of Soames’s own account of modality reveals that it has striking similarities with the deflationary account. In this paper I will compare Soames’s account of a posteriori necessities concerning natural kinds with the deflationary one, specifically Alan Sidelle’s account, (...)
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  • Counterfactuals and Modal Epistemology.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2012 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 86 (1):93–115.
    What is our epistemic access to metaphysical modality? Timothy Williamson suggests that the epistemology of counterfactuals will provide the answer. This paper challenges Williamson's account and argues that certain elements of the epistemology of counterfactuals that he discusses, namely so called background knowledge and constitutive facts, are already saturated with modal content which his account fails to explain. Williamson's account will first be outlined and the role of background knowledge and constitutive facts analysed. Their key role is to restrict our (...)
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  • The Epistemology of Modality.Margot Strohminger & Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2017 - Analysis 77 (4):825-838.
  • Perceptual Knowledge of Nonactual Possibilities.Margot Strohminger - 2015 - Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1):363-375.
    It is widely assumed that sense perception cannot deliver knowledge of nonactual (metaphysical) possibilities. We are not supposed to be able to know that a proposition p is necessary or that p is possible (if p is false) by sense perception. This paper aims to establish that the role of sense perception is not so limited. It argues that we can know lots of modal facts by perception. While the most straightforward examples concern possibility and contingency, others concern necessity and (...)
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  • Why sense cannot be made of vague identity.Nicholas J. J. Smith - 2008 - Noûs 42 (1):1–16.
    In this paper I present a new argument against vague identity — one that is more fundamental than existing arguments — and I also try to explain why we find the idea of vague identity puzzling, in a way that will dispel the puzzlement. In brief, my argument is this: to make clear sense of something, one must at least model it set-theoretically; but due to the special place of identity in set-theoretic models, any vague relation that one does model (...)
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  • The new theory of reference entails absolute time and space.Quentin Smith - 1991 - Philosophy of Science 58 (3):411-416.
    The New Theory of Reference (NTR) of Marcus, Kripke, Kaplan, Putnam and others is a theory in the philosophy of language and there has been much debate about whether it entails the metaphysical theory of essentialism. But there has been no discussion about whether the NTR entails another metaphysical theory, the absolutist theory of time and space. It is argued in this paper that the NTR carries this entailment; the theory of time is the main focus of the paper and (...)
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  • Temporal indexicals.Quentin Smith - 1990 - Erkenntnis 32 (1):5--25.
  • In Defence of Hybrid Contingentism.Lukas Skiba - 2022 - Philosophers' Imprint 22 (4):1-30.
    Hybrid contingentism combines first-order contingentism, the view that it is contingent what individuals there are, with higher-order necessitism, the view that it is non-contingent what properties and propositions there are (where these are conceived as entities in the range of appropriate higher-order quantifiers). This combination of views avoids the most delicate problems afflicting alternative contingentist positions while preserving the central contingentist claim that ordinary, concrete entities exist contingently. Despite these attractive features, hybrid contingentism is usually faced with rejection. The main (...)
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  • Grounding and a priori epistemology: challenges for conceptualism.Robert Weston Siscoe - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4).
    Traditional rationalist approaches to a priori epistemology have long been looked upon with suspicion for positing a faculty of rational intuition capable of knowing truths about the world apart from experience. Conceptualists have tried to fill this void with something more empirically tractable, arguing that we know a priori truths due to our understanding of concepts. All of this theorizing, however, has carried on while neglecting an entire cross section of such truths, the grounding claims that we know a priori. (...)
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  • Type-Ambiguous Names.Anders J. Schoubye - 2017 - Mind 126 (503):715-767.
    The orthodox view of proper names, Millianism, provides a very simple and elegant explanation of the semantic contribution of referential uses of names–names that occur as bare singulars and as the argument of a predicate. However, one problem for Millianism is that it cannot explain the semantic contribution of predicative uses of names. In recent years, an alternative view, so-called the-predicativism, has become increasingly popular. According to the-predicativists, names are uniformly count nouns. This straightforwardly explains why names can be used (...)
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  • The Legacy of Naming and Necessity.Nathan Salmón - 2021 - Theoria 88 (2):434-437.
    Theoria, Volume 88, Issue 2, Page 434-437, April 2022.
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  • Where Concepts Come from: Learning Concepts by Description and by Demonstration.Dylan Sabo - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (3):531-549.
    Jerry Fodor’s arguments against the possibility of concept learning, and the responses that have been offered in defense of the coherence of concept learning, have both by and large assumed that concept learning is a descriptive process. I offer an alternative, ostensive approach to concept learning and explain how descriptive concept learning can be explained as a version of ostensive concept learning. I argue that an ostensive view of concept learning offers an empirically plausible and philosophically adequate account of concept (...)
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  • The Causal Theory of Properties and the Causal Theory of Reference, or How to Name Properties and Why It Matters.Robert D. Rupert - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (3):579 - 612.
    forthcoming in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
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  • Conceivability and De Re Modal Knowledge.Sonia Roca-Royes - 2011 - Noûs 45 (1):22-49.
    The paper presents a dilemma for both epistemic and non-epistemic versions of conceivability-based accounts of modal knowledge. On the one horn, non-epistemic accounts do not elucidate the essentialist knowledge they would be committed to. On the other, epistemic accounts do not elucidate everyday life de re modal knowledge. In neither case, therefore, do conceivability accounts elucidate de re modal knowledge.
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  • The figure-ground model for the explanation of the determination of indexical reference.Lawrence D. Roberts - 1986 - Synthese 68 (3):441 - 486.
  • The foundations of Kaplan's direct reference theory for demonstratives.Lawrence D. Roberts - 1994 - Philosophia 23 (1-4):91-116.
  • Essentialism: Origin and order.Teresa Robertson - 2000 - Mind 109 (434):299-307.
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  • Does the new route reach its destination?Teresa Robertson & Graeme Forbes - 2006 - Mind 115 (458):367-374.
    A New Route to the Necessity of Origin’, Guy Rohrbaugh and Louis deRossett argue for the Necessity of Origin in a way that they believe avoids use of any kind of transworld constitutional sufficiency principle. In this discussion, we respond that either their arguments do imply a sufficiency principle, or else they entirely fail to establish the Necessity of Origin.
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  • A Puzzle About Kinds.Teresa Robertson Ishii - 2018 - Philosophical Perspectives 32 (1):352-364.
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  • Quinean predicativism.Michael Rieppel - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (1):23-44.
    In Word and Object, Quine proposed that names be treated as the predicate elements of covert descriptions, expressing the property of being identical to the named individual. More recently, many theorists have proposed a predicativist view according which a referential name expresses the property of being called by that name. Whereas this Being-Called Predicativism has received much attention in the recent literature, Quinean Predicativism has not. This neglect is undeserved. In this paper, I argue, first, that close appositive constructions suggest (...)
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  • Domains of discourse.François Recanati - 1996 - Linguistics and Philosophy 19 (5):445 - 475.
    In the first part of this paper I present a defence of the Austinian semantic approach to incomplete quantifiers and similar phenomena (section 2-4). It is part of my defence of Austinian semantics that it incorporates a cognitive dimension (section 4). This cognitive dimension makes it possible to connect Austinian semantics to various cognitive theories of discourse interpretation. In the second part of the paper (sections 5-7), I establish connections between Austinian semantics and four particular theories: • the theory of (...)
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  • The Kind Membership Theory of Reference Fixing for Proper Names.Eduardo García Ramírez - 2014 - Tópicos: Revista de Filosofía 47:113-138.
    Gareth Evans nos ofrece lo que parece ser un punto medio entre el descripcionismo y la teoría de la referencia directa sobre el mecanismo mediante el cual fijamos la referencia de los nombres propios. Ésta es la denominada “teoría de la fuente causal de la referencia”. En un artículo reciente Imogen Dickie presenta objeciones importantes a la teoría de Evans y concluye presentando una teoría alternativa, la denominada “teoría de la gobernabilidad”. En este trabajo quiero ofrecer una propuesta alternativa que (...)
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  • Single-domain free logic and the problem of compositionality.Dolf Rami - 2020 - Synthese 198 (10):9479-9523.
    In this paper, I will defend a new compositional semantics for single-domain free logic. This semantics makes use of a distinction between the semantic value of a singular term and its semantic referent. The semantic value of a singular term is conceived of as a set that either contains the semantic referent or no element at all. The semantic referent is the object that the term designates. Before I will introduce this new semantics for single-domain predicate and an S5-type modal (...)
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  • Names and Their Kind of Rigidity.Dolf Rami - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (2):257-282.
    In this paper, I will show that typical formal semantic reconstructions of the rigidity of proper names neglect the important aspect that the rigidity of names is determined by our ordinary use of a name relative to the actual world. This fact was clearly pointed out by Kripke, but overlooked by the subsequent discussion concerning this topic. Based on this diagnosis, I will distinguish three different actualized notions of rigidity. Firstly, I will introduce two different new varieties of known versions (...)
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  • Kripkean Counterpart Theory.Murali Ramachandran - 2008 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):89-106.
    David Lewis’s counterpart-theoretic semantics for quantified modal logic is motivated originally by worries about identifying objects across possible worlds; the counterpart relation is grounded more cautiously on comparative similarity. The possibility of contingent identity is an unsought -- and in some eyes, unwelcome -- consequence of this approach. In this paper I motivate a Kripkean counterpart theory by way of defending the prior, pre-theoretical, coherence of contingent directness. Contingent identity follows for free. The theory is Kripkean in that the counterpart (...)
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  • Wittgenstein on the substance of the world.Ian Proops - 2004 - European Journal of Philosophy 12 (1):106–126.
    The *Tractatus* contains an argument that there are simple, necessarily existent objects, which, being simple, are suited to be the referents of the names occuring in the final analysis of propositions. The argument is perplexing in its own right, but also for its invocation of the notion of "substance". I argue that if one locates Wittgenstein's conception of substance in the Kantian tradition to which his talk of "substance" alludes, what emerges is an argument that is very nearly--but not quite--cogent.
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