Two Notions of Metaphysical Modality

Synthese (Suppl 6):1-22 (2018)
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Abstract

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 Chalmers’ Modal Rationalism and Kripke’s modal metaphysics. Specifically, Chalmers’ conceivability entails possibilities that a Kripkean rejects as genuinely metaphysical. However, three positive stances in modal epistemology emerge from the combinations that the triad allows. One of those offers a promising way forward for 2D modal epistemologies. But it comes with a cost, as it requires abandoning modal monism and reshaping the scope of what a priori conceivability can give us access to.

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Author's Profile

Antonella Mallozzi
Providence College

Citations of this work

Putting Modal Metaphysics First.Antonella Mallozzi - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 8):1-20.
Superexplanations for counterfactual knowledge.Antonella Mallozzi - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1315-1337.
What Is Absolute Modality?Antonella Mallozzi - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

The character of consciousness.David John Chalmers - 2010 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Does conceivability entail possibility.David J. Chalmers - 2002 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 145--200.
The Philosophy of Philosophy.Timothy Williamson - 2007 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

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