From Combinatorialism to Primitivism

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):535-554 (2013)
Abstract
Many are reluctant to accept primitive modality into their fundamental picture of the world. The worry often traces to this thought: we shouldn't adopt any more primitive - that is, unexplained - notions than we need in order to explain all the features of the world, and primitive modal notions are not needed. I examine one prominent rival to modal primitivism, combinatorialism, and show that in order to account for all the modal features of the world the combinatorialist must adopt two additional primitive notions. My own modal primitivist view takes as primitive the notion of incompatibility between properties or relations. I show how the non-modal notions that the combinatorialist must adopt as primitive may be analyzed using my notion. The upshot is that with respect to the number of primitive notions, my modal primitivist theory comes out ahead.
Keywords combinatorialism  modal primitivism  modalism  Armstrong
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DOI 10.1080/00048402.2012.722114
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References found in this work BETA
New Work for a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction.Gideon Rosen - 2010 - In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 109--36.
Essence and Modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8:1-16.
Monism: The Priority of the Whole.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (1):31-76.

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Citations of this work BETA
Fundamentality And Modal Freedom.Jennifer Wang - 2016 - Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):397-418.
Sophisticated Modal Primitivism.Tobias Wilsch - 2017 - Philosophical Issues 27 (1):428-448.

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