Quine on modality

Synthese 19 (1-2):147 - 157 (1968)
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An appraisal of the current status of the modalities and of quine's arguments against them. The author accepts "quine's thesis," that one cannot quantify into referentially opaque contexts, And argues that nobody has succeeded in making sense of such quantification. However, It is shown that modal constructions, Being constructions on general terms and sentences, Can be referentially transparent and extensionally opaque and that consequently the collapse of modal distinctions warned against by quine in "word and object" can be avoided. This combination of referential transparency and extensional opacity is just what quine means by essentialism, And the author therefore agrees with quine that quantified modal logic commits one to essentialism



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Dagfinn Føllesdal
University of Oslo

Citations of this work

On Kinds of Indiscernibility in Logic and Metaphysics.Adam Caulton & Jeremy Butterfield - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (1):27-84.
Quinus ab Omni Nævo Vindicatus.John P. Burgess - 1997 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 27 (sup1):25-65.
What is Referential Opacity?J. M. Bell - 1973 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 2 (1):155 - 180.

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