In recent work, Peter Hanks and Scott Soames argue that propositions are types whose tokens are acts, states, or events. Let’s call this view the type view. Hanks and Soames think that one of the virtues of the type view is that it allows them to explain why propositions have semantic properties. But, in this paper, we argue that their explanations aren’t satisfactory. In Section 2, we present the type view. In Section 3, we present one explanation—due to Hanks (2007, (...) 2011) and Soames (2010)—of why propositions have semantic properties. We criticize this first explanation in Section 4. In Section 5, we present another explanation—due to Soames (2104)—of why propositions have semantic properties. We criticize this second explanation in Section 6. (shrink)
Relativized Metaphysical Modality (RMM: Murray and Wilson, 'Relativized metaphysical modality', Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, 2012; Murray, Perspectives on Modal Metaphysics, 2017) exploits 'two-dimensionalist' resources to metaphysical, rather than epistemological, ends: the second dimension offers perspective-dependence without contingency, diverting attacks on 'Classical' analyses of modals (in effect, analyses validating S5 and the Barcan Formulae). Here, we extend the RMM program in two directions. First, we harvest resources for RMM from Lewis's 1980 'Context--Index' (CI) framework: (a) the ban in CI on binding (...) into context-arguments (akin to Kaplan's 'monstrosity' ban) projects a bright line between perspective-dependence and contingency; and (b) CI-postulated connections among meaning, content, truth, argument-structure, context, and modality collectively generate a 'Generalized Humphrey Problem' for any non-Classical analysis (examples covered include appeals to accessibility, contingent domains, and counterpart relations). Second, we sharpen the tools of RMM-based metaphysical analysis, and extend their domain of coverage across familiar anomalies for Classical modals: we revisit earlier RMM-based bulwarks for S5 (against 'Chisholm's Paradox' for moderate flexibility of essence, and nomological necessitarianism); and we now similarly shore up the Barcan Formulae (against the apparent contingency of existence and nonexistence). (shrink)
It is commonly supposed that metaphysical modal claims are to be evaluated with respect to a single domain of possible worlds: a claim is metaphysically necessary just in case it is true in every possible world, and metaphysically possible just in case it is true in some possible world. We argue that the standard understanding is incorrect; rather, whether a given claim is metaphysically necessary or possible is relative to which world is indicatively actual. We motivate our view by attention (...) to discussions in Salmon 1989 and Fine 2005, in which various data are taken to support rejecting the transitivity of accessibility and modal monism ; we argue that relativized metaphysical modality can accommodate these data compatible with both standard modal logic and modal monism. Noting an analogy with two-dimensional semantics, we argue that metaphysical modality has a complex structure, reflecting what is counterfactually possible, relative to each indicatively actual world. In arguing for the need for relativization, we are broadly on the same side as Crossley and Humberstone and Davies and Humberstone ; our contribution here is, first, to offer distinctively metaphysical reasons for relativization, and second, to show that relativization can be incorporated in ways minimally departing from standard modal logic. (shrink)
Provides a comprehensive overview of the philosophy of propositions, from both historical and contemporary perspectives. Comprising 33 original chapters by an international team of scholars, the volume addresses both traditional and emerging questions concerning the nature of propositions.
My project in this paper is to fill a gap in Spinoza's theory of metaphysical individuation. In a few brief passages of the Ethics, Spinoza manages to explain his views on the nature of composition and the part-whole relation, the metaphysical facts which ground the individuation of simple bodies and the extended individuals they compose, and the persistence of one and the same individual through time and mereological change. Yet Spinoza nowhere presents a corresponding account of the individuation of simple (...) ideas, or the minds such ideas compose. While it is initially tempting to locate the details of such an account in Spinoza's views on the relation between the mental and physical domains, I argue here that such approaches fail, in conflicting with Spinoza's insistence that the mental and the physical are conceptually and explanatorily independent. By contrast, I show that for Spinoza, each idea essentially possesses the property of affirming the existence of its object, and that such properties are well-suited to serve as the principle of ideal individuation Spinoza never explicitly provided. (shrink)