Against relationalism about modality

Philosophical Studies 180 (8):2245-2274 (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

On a highly influential way to think of modality, that I call ‘relationalism’, the modality of a state is explained by its being composed of properties, and these properties being related by a higher-order and primitively modal relation. Examples of relationalism are the Dretske-Tooley-Armstrong account of natural necessity, many dispositional essentialist views, and Wang’s incompatibility primitivism. I argue that relationalism faces four difficulties: that the selection between modal relations is arbitrary, that the modal relation cannot belong to any logical order, that to explain how the modal relation can relate properties of different adicities additional ideological complexity has to be introduced, and that not all modal constraints are relational. From the discussion, I will extract desiderata for a successor theory of modality.

Similar books and articles

Dispositionalism and the Modal Operators.David Yates - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (2):411-424.
Dispositionalism: a Study on Properties.Andrea Raimondi - 2019 - Dissertation, Nottingham University
New powers for Dispositionalism.Giacomo Giannini - 2021 - Synthese 199:2671-2700.
New powers for Dispositionalism.Giacomo Giannini - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1):2671-2700.
Color relationalism and color phenomenology.Jonathan Cohen - 2010 - In Bence Nanay (ed.), Perceiving the World. Oxford University Press. pp. 13.

Analytics

Added to PP
2023-04-28

Downloads
294 (#60,646)

6 months
172 (#13,050)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Carlos Romero
Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso

References found in this work

Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
A World of States of Affairs.D. M. Armstrong - 1997 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
New work for a theory of universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
What is a Law of Nature?D. M. Armstrong - 1983 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Sydney Shoemaker.
Nature's Metaphysics: Laws and Properties.Alexander Bird - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.

View all 72 references / Add more references