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  1. Essence, Modality, and Intrinsicality.Gaétan Bovey - 2021 - Synthese 198 (8):7715-7737.
    Kit Fine famously objected against the idea that essence can be successfully analyzed in terms of de re necessity. In response, I want to explore a novel, interesting, but controversial modal account of essence in terms of intrinsicality and grounding. In the first section, I will single out two theoretical requirements that any essentialist theory should meet—the essentialist desideratum and the essentialist challenge—in order to clarify Fine’s objections. In the second section, I will assess Denby’s improved modal account, which appeals (...)
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  • On the Metaphysics of Species.Judith K. Crane - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (2):156-173.
    This paper explains the metaphysical implications of the view that species are individuals (SAI). I first clarify SAI in light of the separate distinctions between individuals and classes, particulars and universals, and abstract and concrete things. I then show why the standard arguments given in defense of SAI are not compelling. Nonetheless, the ontological status of species is linked to the traditional "species problem," in that certain species concepts do entail that species are individuals. I develop the idea that species (...)
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  • Two Approaches to Natural Kinds.Judith K. Crane - forthcoming - Synthese:1-22.
    Philosophical treatments of natural kinds are embedded in two distinct projects. I call these the philosophy of science approach and the philosophy of language approach. Each is characterized by its own set of philosophical questions, concerns, and assumptions. The kinds studied in the philosophy of science approach are projectible categories that can ground inductive inferences and scientific explanation. The kinds studied in the philosophy of language approach are the referential objects of a special linguistic category—natural kind terms—thought to refer directly. (...)
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  • Vague Objects and Vague Identity: New Essays on Ontic Vagueness.Ken Akiba & Ali Abasnezhad (eds.) - 2014 - Springer.
  • How Does a Theoretical Term Refer?Ataollah Hashemi - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-12.
    This paper deals with the question of what the most appropriate semantic theory for theoretical terms would be. Traditionally, in the contemporary literature of philosophy of language, there have been two widely held semantic theories: the descriptivist theory and the causal theory. Comparing theoretical terms with natural kind terms, I attempt to show that the causal theory of reference applies to natural kinds owing to certain ontological and epistemological assumptions of natural kinds realism. I argue that there is no reason (...)
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  • On the Epistemic Value of Students’ Conceptions in Science Education.Pedro J. Sánchez Gómez - forthcoming - Science & Education.
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  • The Epistemology of Modality and the Problem of Modal Epistemic Friction.Anand Jayprakash Vaidya & Michael Wallner - 2018 - 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 (...)
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  • Actualism, Presentism and the Grounding Objection.Nina Emery - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (1):23-43.
    Presentism is the view that only presently existing things exist. Actualism is the view that only actually existing things exist. Although these views have much in common, the position we take with respect to one of them is not usually thought to constrain the position that we may take toward the other. In this paper I argue that this standard attitude deserves further scrutiny. In particular, I argue that the considerations that motivate one common objection to presentism—the grounding objection—threaten to (...)
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  • Counteractuals, Counterfactuals and Semantic Intuitions.Jesper Kallestrup - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (1):35-54.
    Machery et al. claim that analytic philosophers of language are committed to a method of cases according to which theories of reference are assessed by consulting semantic intuitions about actual and possible cases. Since empirical evidence suggests that such intuitions vary both within and across cultures, these experimental semanticists conclude that the traditional attempt at pursuing such theories is misguided. Against the backdrop of Kripke’s anti-descriptivist arguments, this paper offers a novel response to the challenge posed by Machery et al., (...)
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  • A Hyperintensional Theory of (Empty) Names.Miloš Kosterec - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-19.
    This paper presents an original semantic theory of proper names that aims to cover both non-empty and empty proper names. According to the theory, proper names have simple assignable hyperintensions as their content. This content provides the referent for which the proper name stands. The paper further describes the role of the proposed content of proper names within the compositional semantics of problematic sentences. I stress the difference between the content of a sentence and the proposition denoted by that sentence.
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  • Single-domain free logic and the problem of compositionality.Dolf Rami - forthcoming - Synthese:1-45.
    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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  • 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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  • A Note on Science and Essentialism.Alice Eleanor Drewery - 2004 - Theoria 19 (3):311-320.
    This paper discusses recent attempts to use essentialist arguments based on the work of Kripke and Putnam to ground causal necessity in the world. I argue in particular that arecent argument by Alexander Bird relies on controversial intuitions about the natures of substances which no Humean would accept. While a case can be made that essentialism reflects some assumptions within scientific practice, the same can be said of Humeanism; ultimately neither Bird’s arguments, nor any empirical facts, can decide the question (...)
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  • The Problem of Processes and Transitions: Are Diseases Phase Kinds? [REVIEW]Stefan Dragulinescu - 2012 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 15 (1):79-89.
    In this paper I discuss a central objection against diseases being natural kinds—namely, that diseases are processes or transitions and hence they should not be conceptualized in the ‘substantish’ framework of natural kinds. I indicate that the objection hinges on conceiving disease kinds as phase kinds, in contrast to the non-phase, natural kinds of the exact sciences. I focus on somatic diseases and argue, via a representative comparison, that if disease kinds are phase kinds, then exact science kinds are phase (...)
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  • Modal Paradox II: Essence and Coherence.Nathan Salmon - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-14.
    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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  • Is Putnam's Causal Theory of Meaning Compatible with Internal Realism?Valer Ambrus - 1999 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 30 (1):1-16.
    Putnam originally developed his causal theory of meaning in order to support scientific realism and reject the notion of incommensurability. Later he gave up this position and adopted instead what he called ‘internal realism’, but apparently without changing his mind on topics related to his former philosophy of language. The question must arise whether internal realism, which actually is a species of antirealism, is compatible with the causal theory of meaning. In giving an answer I begin with an analysis of (...)
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  • Against the Modal Argument.Christopher S. Gifford - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (3):627-646.
    The relationship between alethic modality and indeterminacy is yet to be clarified. A modal argument—an argument that appeals to alethic modality—against vague objects given by Joseph Moore offers a potential clarification of the relationship; it is proposed that there are cases for which the following holds: if it is indeterminate whether A = B then it is possible that it is determinate that A = B. However, the argument faces three problems. The problems remove the argument’s threat against vague objects (...)
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  • Problems of Context and Knowledge.Jacques Jayez - 1989 - Argumentation 3 (3):303-319.
    In spite of alleged differences in purpose, descriptive and computational linguistics share many problems, due to the fact that any precise study on language needs some form of knowledge representation. This constraint is mostly apparent when interpretation of sentences takes into account elements of the so-called “context”. The parametrization of context, i.e. the explicit listing of features relevant to some intepretation task, is difficult because it requires flexible formal structures for understanding or simulating inferential behaviour, as well as a large (...)
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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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  • Contingency Anxiety and the Epistemology of Disagreement.Andreas L. Mogensen - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (4):590-611.
  • Free Actions as a Natural Kind.Oisín Deery - 2021 - Synthese 198 (1):823-843.
    Do we have free will? Understanding free will as the ability to act freely, and free actions as exercises of this ability, I maintain that the default answer to this question is “yes.” I maintain that free actions are a natural kind, by relying on the influential idea that kinds are homeostatic property clusters. The resulting position builds on the view that agents are a natural kind and yields an attractive alternative to recent revisionist accounts of free action. My view (...)
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  • How Science and Semantics Settle the Issue of Natural Kind Essentialism.Christian Nimtz - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (1):149-170.
    Standard arguments for essentialism with respect to natural kinds such as gold, star, water or tiger enlist essentialist principles or essentialist intuitions. I argue that we need neither. All it takes to establish essentialism for the kinds in question are insights from science and semantics. Semantics establishes that natural kind predicates such as “is gold” or “is a star” are paradigm terms whose application conditions are relationally determined, object involving, and actuality dependent. Science assures us that a posteriori hypotheses such (...)
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  • A PosterioriPhysicalism and Introspection.Andreas Elpidorou - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (4):474-500.
  • 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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  • General Terms and Relational Modality.Kathrin Glüer & Peter Pagin - 2012 - Noûs 46 (1):159-199.
    Natural kind terms have exercised philosophical fancy ever since Kripke, in Naming and Necessity, claimed them to be rigid designators. He there drew attention to the peculiar, name-like behavior of a family of prima facie loosely related general terms of ordinary English: terms such as ‘water’, ‘tiger’, ‘heat’, and ‘red’. Just as for ordinary proper names, Kripke argued that such terms cannot be synonymous with any of the definite descriptions ordinary speakers associate with them. Rather, the name-like behavior of these (...)
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  • On The‐Law Property Ascriptions to the Facts.Flávio Manuel Póvoa De Lima - 2018 - Ratio Juris 31 (2):231-250.
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  • 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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  • Kinds Behaving Badly: Intentional Action and Interactive Kinds.Sophie R. Allen - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 12):2927-2956.
    This paper investigates interactive kinds, a class of kinds suggested by Ian Hacking for which classification generates a feedback loop between the classifiers and what is classified, and argues that human interactive kinds should be distinguished from non-human ones. First, I challenge the claim that there is nothing ontologically special about interactive kinds in virtue of their members being classified as such. To do so, I reject Cooper’s counterexample to Hacking’s thesis that kind descriptions are necessary for intentional action, arguing (...)
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  • Two Notions of Metaphysical Modality.Antonella Mallozzi - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 6):1-22.
    The paper explores the project of an ambitious modal epistemology that attempts to combine the a priori methods of Chalmers’ 2D semantics with Kripke’s modal metaphysics. I argue that such a project is not viable. The ambitious modal epistemology involves an inconsistent triad composed of (1) Modal Monism, (2) Two-Dimensionalism, and what I call (3) “Metaphysical Kripkeanism”. I present the three theses and show how only two of those can be true at a time. There is a fundamental incompatibility between (...)
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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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  • Fall and Rise of Aristotelian Metaphysics in the Philosophy of Science.John Lamont - 2009 - Science & Education 18 (6-7):861-884.
  • Some Notes on Boolos’ Semantics: Genesis, Ontological Quests and Model-Theoretic Equivalence to Standard Semantics.Francesco Ferrari - 2018 - Axiomathes 28 (2):125-154.
    The main aim of this work is to evaluate whether Boolos’ semantics for second-order languages is model-theoretically equivalent to standard model-theoretic semantics. Such an equivalence result is, actually, directly proved in the “Appendix”. I argue that Boolos’ intent in developing such a semantics is not to avoid set-theoretic notions in favor of pluralities. It is, rather, to prevent that predicates, in the sense of functions, refer to classes of classes. Boolos’ formal semantics differs from a semantics of pluralities for Boolos’ (...)
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  • Language and Metaphysics: The Case of Theoretical Identities.Luis Fernández Moreno - 2017 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 3):831-848.
    Kripke holds the thesis that identity statements containing natural kind terms are if true, necessarily true; these statements can be denominated theoretical identities. Kripke alleges that the necessity of theoretical identities grounds on the linguistic feature that natural kind terms are rigid designators. Nevertheless, I argue that the conception of natural kind terms as rigid designators, in one of their most natural views, hinders the establishment of the truth of theoretical identities and thus of their necessity. However, in Kripke’s works (...)
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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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  • What Are Social Groups? Their Metaphysics and How to Classify Them.Brian Epstein - 2019 - Synthese 196 (12):4899-4932.
    This paper presents a systematic approach for analyzing and explaining the nature of social groups. I argue against prominent views that attempt to unify all social groups or to divide them into simple typologies. Instead I argue that social groups are enormously diverse, but show how we can investigate their natures nonetheless. I analyze social groups from a bottom-up perspective, constructing profiles of the metaphysical features of groups of specific kinds. We can characterize any given kind of social group with (...)
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  • Do We Need Two Notions of Natural Kind to Account for the History of “Jade”?Françoise Longy - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1459-1486.
    We need to distinguish two sorts of natural kinds, scientific and common NKs, because the notion of NK, which has to satisfy demands at three different levels—ontological, semantic and epistemological—, is subject to two incompatible sets of constraints. In order to prove this, I focus on the much-discussed case of jade. In the first part of the paper, I show that the current accounts are unsatisfactory because they are inconsistent. In the process, I explain why LaPorte’s analysis of “jade” as (...)
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  • 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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  • Russell-Names: An Introduction to Millian Descriptivism.Stefano Predelli - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 45 (5):603-622.
    This essay studies the semantic properties of what I call Russell-names. Russell-names bear intimate semantic relations with descriptive conditions, in consonance with the main tenets of descriptivism. Yet, they are endowed with the semantic properties attributed to ordinary proper names by Millianism: they are rigid and non-indexical devices of direct reference. This is not an essay in natural language semantics, and remains deliberately neutral with respect to the question whether any among the expressions we ordinarily classify as proper names behave (...)
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  • Reference, Modality, and Relational Time.J. A. Cover - 1993 - Philosophical Studies 70 (3):251 - 277.
  • Nondescriptionality and Natural Kind Terms.Barbara Abbott - 1989 - Linguistics and Philosophy 12 (3):269 - 291.
    The phrase "natural kind term" has come into the linguistic and philosophical literature in connection with well-known work of Kripke (1972) and Putnam (1970, 1975a). I use that phrase here in the sense it has acquired from those and subseqnent works on related topics. This is not the transparent sense of the phrase. That is, if I am right in what follows there are words for kinds of things existing in nature which are not natural kind terms in the current (...)
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  • Two Solutions to Chisholm's Paradox.Graeme Forbes - 1984 - Philosophical Studies 46 (2):171 - 187.
  • The Chemistry of Substances and the Philosophy of Mass Terms.J. Brakel - 1986 - Synthese 69 (3):291 - 324.
  • 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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  • Millian Descriptivism.Ben Caplan - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (2):181-198.
    In this paper, I argue against Millian Descriptivism: that is, the view that, although sentences that contain names express singular propositions, when they use those sentences speakers communicate descriptive propositions. More precisely, I argue that Millian Descriptivism fares no better (or worse) than Fregean Descriptivism: that is, the view that sentences express descriptive propositions. This is bad news for Millian Descriptivists who think that Fregean Descriptivism is dead.
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  • Reflections on Reflexivity.Nathan Salmon - 1992 - Linguistics and Philosophy 15 (1):53 - 63.
  • Putnam, Searle, and Externalism.Amir Horowitz - 1995 - Philosophical Studies 81 (1):27-69.
    To sum up, then, both kinds of Putnam's arguments established externalism, though they suffer from several defects. Yet, I think Searle's discussion of these arguments contributes to our understanding of what makes externalism true, and forces us to accept a moderate version of externalism. Searle's own account of the TE story shows us, within a solipsistic outline, how two identical mental states can be directed towards different objects, and further, that the content-determination of indexical thoughts does not necessarily involve external (...)
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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