Logical truth in modal languages: reply to Nelson and Zalta [Book Review]

Philosophical Studies 167 (2):327-339 (2014)

Does general validity or real world validity better represent the intuitive notion of logical truth for sentential modal languages with an actuality connective? In (Philosophical Studies 130:436–459, 2006) I argued in favor of general validity, and I criticized the arguments of Zalta (Journal of Philosophy 85:57–74, 1988) for real world validity. But in Nelson and Zalta (Philosophical Studies 157:153–162, 2012) Michael Nelson and Edward Zalta criticize my arguments and claim to have established the superiority of real world validity. Section 1 of the present paper introduces the problem and sets out the basic issues. In Sect. 2 I consider three of Nelson and Zalta’s arguments and find all of them deficient. In Sect. 3 I note that Nelson and Zalta direct much of their criticism at a phrase (‘true at a world from the point of view of some distinct world as actual’) I used only inessentially in Hanson (Philosophical Studies 130:436–459, 2006), and that their account of the philosophical foundations of modal semantics leaves them ill equipped to account for the plausibility of modal logics weaker than S5. Along the way I make several general suggestions for ways in which philosophical discussions of logical matters–especially, but not limited to, discussions of truth and logical truth for languages containing modal and indexical terms–might be facilitated and made more productive
Keywords Modal logic  Logical truth  General validity  Real world validity  Interpretation  Model  Actuality  Possible worlds  Indexical
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-0088-0
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 48,926
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Two Notions of Necessity.Martin Davies & Lloyd Humberstone - 1980 - Philosophical Studies 38 (1):1-31.
A Completeness Theorem in Modal Logic.Saul A. Kripke - 1959 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 24 (1):1-14.
On the Logic of Demonstratives.David Kaplan - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):81 - 98.
Reference and Contingency.Gareth Evans - 1979 - The Monist 62 (2):161-189.
The Logic of What Might Have Been.Nathan Salmon - 1989 - Philosophical Review 98 (1):3-34.

View all 16 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Actuality and the a Priori.Fabio Lampert - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (3):809-830.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

A Defense of Contingent Logical Truths.Michael Nelson & Edward N. Zalta - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (1):153-162.
Logical and Analytic Truths That Are Not Necessary.Edward N. Zalta - 1988 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (2):57-74.
A (Leibnizian) Theory of Concepts.Edward N. Zalta - 2000 - Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy 3:137-183.
The Modal Logic of Inequality.Maarten De Rijke - 1992 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 57 (2):566 - 584.
Ray on Tarski on Logical Consequence.William H. Hanson - 1999 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 28 (6):605-616.
Adequacy Results for Some Priorean Modal Propositional Logics.Fabrice Correia - 1999 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 40 (2):236-249.


Added to PP index

Total views
52 ( #175,170 of 2,310,261 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #264,424 of 2,310,261 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature