A dilemma about necessity

Erkenntnis 68 (1):129 - 148 (2008)
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Abstract

The problem of the source of necessity is the problem of explaining what makes necessary truths necessarily true. Simon Blackburn has presented a dilemma intended to show that any reductive, realist account of the source of necessity is bound to fail. Although Blackburn's dilemma faces serious problems, reflection on the form of explanations of necessities reveals that a revised dilemma succeeds in defeating any reductive account of the source of necessity. The lesson is that necessity is metaphysically primitive and irreducible.

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Peter Hanks
University of Minnesota

References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Malden, Mass.: Blackwell.
Meaning and Necessity: A Study in Semantics and Modal Logic.Rudolf Carnap - 1947 - Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press.
Language, truth and logic.Alfred Jules Ayer - 1936 - London,: V. Gollancz.
The problems of philosophy.Bertrand Russell - 1912 - New York: Barnes & Noble.

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