Physical and metaphysical necessity

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (4):458–485 (2007)
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Abstract

I propose a different way of thinking about metaphysical and physical necessity: namely that the fundamental notion of necessity is what would ordinarily be called "truth in all physically possible worlds" – a notion which includes the standard physical necessities and the metaphysical ones as well; I suggest that the latter are marked off not as a stricter kind of necessity but by their epistemic status. One result of this reconceptualization is that the Descartes-Kripke argument against naturalism need no longer trouble us. I end by relating the difference between my view and the standard view to the question, whether there could have been a different world than ours.

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Stephen Leeds
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Citations of this work

Philosophy of Science and Metaphysics.Craig Callender - 2011 - In Steven French & Juha Saatsi (eds.), Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Science. Continuum. pp. 33--54.
The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Physics in Mathematics.Daniele Molinini - 2023 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 74 (4):853-874.
VI—Four Grades of Modal Naturalism.Alastair Wilson - forthcoming - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society.
Fine-Tuned of Necessity?Ben Page - 2018 - Res Philosophica 95 (4):663-692.

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References found in this work

Scientific Essentialism.Brian Ellis - 2001 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Essence and modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.
Natural laws in scientific practice.Marc Lange - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
» The Nature of Natural Laws «.Chris Swoyer - 1982 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 60 (3):1982.
Varieties of Necessity.Kit Fine - 2002 - In Tamar Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 253-281.

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