(Underlined abstracts are from The Philosopher's Index)
Abraham, William. 1972. "The Incompatibility of Individuals", Noûs
An analysis and defence of Leibniz's notion of compossibility and
its fecundity in clarifying modality. Outlines a combinatorial treatment
of possibility, necessity, contingency, impossibility. The incompossibility
of individuals is connected with the notion of a maximal consistent set
of existential formulas, and with the analysis of an individual as an integral
(not mere sum) of its properties, creating a new subject-predicate distinction.
Adams, Robert Merrihew. 1981. "Actualism And Thisness", Synthese49:
The thesis of this essay is that all possibilities are purely qualitative
except insofar as they involve individuals that actually exist. This thesis
is expounded and defended, and some of its implications for modality are
developed; the chief implication is that what modal facts "de re" there
are depends on what individuals actually exist.
Alanen, Lilli K. 1999. "Logical Modality and Attitudes to Propositions"
in Actions, Norms, Values, Meggle, Georg (ed) (de-Gruyter : Hawthorne).
In discussing the nature and foundation of logical necessity Georg
Henrik von Wright fights against a tendency to mystify necessity which
Wittgenstein was fighting in criticizing the prejudice of the "crystalline
purity of logic" and the idea of the "hardness of the logical must". The
necessity attributed to the principles or laws of logic is not founded
on any preformed logical structure of the world but stems, von Wright argues,
from an attitude we take to some propositions. This paper examines the
view of logic and logical necessity that emerges from his paper on "Logical
Modality" and some of its implications. It outlines some traditional conceptions
of modality and compares von Wright's view more particularly to Descartes's
radical view of modality as dependent on the divine will and also to some
contemporary views Descartes has been seen as anticipation. It purports
to show that von Wright's way of detranscendentalizing modality by relating
necessity to our attitudes or ways of treating sentences does not commit
him to conventionalism or subjectivism.
Almog, Joseph. 1991. "The What and the How", Journal of Philosophy
Armstrong, D. M. 1997. A World of States of Affairs. (New York:
Cambridge University Press).
In this study David Armstrong offers a comprehensive system of analytical
metaphysics that synthesizes but also develops his thinking over the last
twenty years. Armstrong's analysis, which acknowledges the logical atomism'
of Russell and Wittgenstein, makes facts (or states of affairs, as the
author calls them) the fundamental constituents of the world, examining
properties, relations, numbers, classes, possibility and necessity, dispositions,
causes and laws. All these, it is argued, find their place and can be understood
inside a scheme of states of affairs. This is a comprehensive and rigorously
this-worldly account of the most general features of reality, argued from
a distinctive philosophical perspective, and it will appeal to a wide readership
in analytical philosophy.
Armstrong, D. M. 1993. "Reply to Lycan's 'Armstrong's New Combinatorialist
Theory...', in John Bacon, Keith Campbell, and Lloyd Reinhardt, eds., Ontology,
Causality and Mind: Essays in Honour of D M Armstrong, Bacon, John,
eds., (New York: Cambridge University Press).
Lycan directs criticism of Armstrong's combinatorialist theory of
possibility particularly at the fictionalist nature of the theory. In reply,
Armstrong argues that the combinatorialism can be used to regiment the
fiction, so that it can be a "useful" one, as, for instance, the physicist's
phase-spaces are useful fictions.
Ashby, R. W. 1963. Entailment And Modality", Proceedings of the Aristotelian
Society 63: 203-216.
Bacon, John. 1965. "Entailment and the Modal Fallacy", Review of
Metaphysics 18: 566-571
In his 1964 article, "A Question of Entailment," John O Nelson proposed
a definition of entailment intended to support Anderson and Belnap's rejection
of fallacies of modality in "The Pure Calculus of Entailment" (1962). However,
the author argues here that Nelson misconstrued Anderson and Belnap's statement
of the fallacies; that his explication of entailment is incompatible with
theirs; and that his definition of entailment is, in any case, unacceptable.
Baldwin, Thomas. 1998. "Modal Fictionalism and the Imagination", Analysis58:
Rosen's fictionalist' treatment of modality draws on the work of
David Lewis, but seeks to neutralize any commitment to nonactual worlds
by treating Lewis's description of other worlds as a fiction'. But Rosen
has to be selective in his choice among modal fictions, and the question
arises as to how he can justify any one choice without endorsing it as
true'. He says that his choice is guided by the fact that his preferred
fiction captures the principles that guide the imagination. But if this
appeal to the imagination is sufficient to justify his choice, we may as
well apply it generally to the understanding of possibility and omit the
complexities of the fictionalist' strategy.
Baldwin, Thomas. 1984. "Lowe on Modalities 'De Re'", Mind 93:
My aim is to discuss the thought that de re modalities are best understood
through the use of predicate modal operators. I relate Lowe's account of
de re modalities to this thought, as developed by Wiggins and myself, and
argue that Lowe's position is unsatisfactory.
Baldwin, T. 1975. "The Philosophical Significance of Intensional Logic: Part 2", Aristotelian Society Supplementary volume 49: 67-80.
The philosophical significance of intensionality derives largely
from its implications for semantic theories and thus for ontology. These
implications are manifest in possible world theories of modality, and lead
to a realist view of possible worlds. This view contrasts with a non-realist
view of them as sets of sentences, but distinct from and more fundamental
than the realist/non-realist issue is that of the choice between absolute
and relational theories of possibility. The latter seems preferable, although
it introduces modal concepts into the metalanguage. In the end, a realist
relational theory that uses only non-maximal possible worlds is sketched.
Benardete, Jose A. 1962. "Is There a Problem About Logical Possibility?",
Bennett, Jonathan. 1994. "Descartes's Theory of Modality", The Philosophical
Review 103: 639-667.
Descartes propounded the allegedly "strange", "peculiar", "curious"
and "incoherent" doctrine that necessary truths are made true by God's
voluntary act. It is generally held that this doctrine must be kept out
of sight while other Cartesian topics are being discussed. This paper offers
an interpretation of this Cartesian doctrine under which it comes out as
reasonable, consistent with the rest of his philosophy, and possible even
true. According to this interpretation--which is more respectful of and
close to Descartes's text than is the customary one--Descartes equated
the alethic modalities with facts about human intellectual limitations,
somewhat in the manner of Wittgenstein. Thus, God created modalities creating
humans in the way he did.
Bennett, Jonathan. 1955. "Iterated Modalities", Philosophical Quarterly5:45-56.
Bigelow, John. 1988. "Real Possibilities", Philosophical Studies
Blackburn, Simon. 1986. "Morals And Modals", in Graham Macdonald, ed.,
Science And Morality (Oxford: Blackwell), 119- 141.
This paper displays a "quasi-realist" theory of necessary truths,
in which our propensity to attach modal values to propositions is compared
with our propensity to moral attitudes. The theory offers an alternative
to quinean scepticism to 'as if' theories, and to modal realism.
Blackburn, Simon (ed.). 1975. Meaning, Reference and Necessity: New
Studies in Semantics. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
Blanche, Robert. 1952. "Quantity, Modality, And Other Kindred Systems
of Categories", Mind61: 369-375.
Boghossian, Paul. 1996. "Analyticity Reconsidered", Noûs 30: 360-391.
Very helpful paper.
Bonjour, Lawrence. 1998. In Defense of Pure Reason. (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press).
good stuff on conventionalism, though he's interested in the epistemological
problem of a priori knowledge rather than the metaphysics of necessity
Bricker, Phillip. 1996. "Isolation and Unification: The Realist Analysis
of Possible Worlds",
Philosophical Studies 84: 225-238.
If realism about possible worlds is to succeed in eliminating primitive
modality, it must provide an "analysis" of possible world: nonmodal criteria
for demarcating one world from another. This David Lewis has done. Lewis
holds, roughly, that worlds are maximal unified regions of logical space.
So far, so good. But what Lewis means by unification' is too narrow, I
think, in two different ways. First, for Lewis, all worlds are (almost)
"globally" unified: at any world, (almost) every part is directly linked
to (almost) every other part. I hold instead that some worlds are "locally"
unified: at some worlds, parts are directly linked only to "neighboring"
parts. Second, for Lewis, each world is (analogically) "spatiotemporally"
unified; every world is "spatiotemporally" isolated from every other. I
hold instead: a world may be unified by nonspatiotemporal relations; every
world is "absolutely" isolated from every other. If I am right, Lewis's
conception of logical space is impoverished: perfectly respectable worlds
Bricker, Phillip. 1991. "Plenitude of Possible Structures", Journal
of Philosophy: 607-619.
Which mathematical structures are possible, that is, instantiated
by the concrete inhabitants of some possible world? Are there worlds with
four-dimensional space? With infinite-dimensional space? Whence comes our
knowledge of the possibility of structures? In this paper, I develop and
defend a principle of plenitude according to which any mathematically natural
generalization of possible structure is itself possible. I motivate the
principle pragmatically by way of the role that logical possibility plays
in our inquiry into the world.
Britton, Karl. 1947. "Are Necessary Truths True by Convention?", Proceedings
of the Aristotelian Society, supplementary volume 21: 78-103.
Brock, Stuart. 1993. "Modal Fictionalism: A Response to Rosen", Mind102:
Gideon Rosen, in his paper Modal Fictionalism' ("Mind", 1990) puts
forward and defends what is intended to be an ontologically neutral alternative
to modal realism. I argue that Rosen does not achieve this goal. His fictionalism
entails realism about possible worlds. Moreover, any attempts to modify
the analysis results in an undesirable multiplication of the modal primitives,
a problem faced by those who take the standard modal operators as primitive.
Burgess, John P. 1997. "Quinus ab Omni Naevo Vindicatus", in Ali A. Kazmi, ed., Meaning and Reference, Canadian Journal of Philosophy Supplementary volume 23: 25-65.
useful discussion of Quine's attack on de re modality.
Campbell, Richard. 1964. "Modality 'De Dicto' And 'De Re'", Australasian
Journal of Philosophy 42: 345-358.
By proposing the distinction between two types of modal operators
(de re and de dicto) the author shows that these different ways of applying
the operators explain many puzzles, including metaphysical ones which cannot
be solved by "a simple broadshot fired in the name of logic."
Carnap, Rudolf. 1947. Meaning and Necessity, a Study in Semantics
and Modal Logic. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press).
Carter, William R., and John E. Bahde. 1998. "Magical Antirealism",
Philosophical Quarterly 35: 305-325.
The paper critically examines various forms of antirealism concerning
modality and identity. It is argued that modal antirealism inevitably has
identity as its corollary. Since identity antirealism entails objectual
antirealism, endorsements of modal antirealism commit us to an antirealist
conception of what there is (what exists). All of which strikes us as indefensible.
We argue for a realist position concerning the world and its inhabitants.
Castañeda, Hector-Neri. 1975. "Identity and Modality", Philosophia5:
Chalmers, David J. 1999. "Materialism and the Metaphysics of Modality",
and Phenomenological Research 59: 473-496.
Chihara, Charles. 1998. The Worlds of Possibility : Modal Realism
and the Semantics of Modal Logic. (Oxford: Clarendon Press).
Contains a long critical discussion of Lewis's theory of worlds,
an interesting critical discussion of Plantinga-style worlds, and an interesting
account of how to use formal possible worlds models to give an account
of modal inference in natural language.
Code, Alan. 1976 "Aristotle's Response to Quine's Objections to Modal Logic", Journal of Philosophical Logic 5: 159-186.
It is shown that some of the Quinean objections to modal logic can
be transferred to the notions used to describe and account for temporal
change, and then argued that Aristotle's predecessors had already formulated
problems similar to the temporal puzzles so generated. The three most prominent
reactions to Quine's puzzles were also anticipated by certain ancient Greek
philosophers, and Aristotle's own reaction (as manifested in his analysis
of the elements of change in "Physics" A7) can be seen to involve concepts
which easily lend themselves to the kind of semantical analysis which has
recently enhanced our understanding of modality.
Cover, J. A., and John Hawthorne. "Leibnizian Essentialism, Transworld
Identity, and Counterparts", History of Philosophy Quarterly 9;
The standard view of Leibnizian modality reckons Leibniz committed
to superessentialism and to denying trans-world identity. We present historical
and philosophical arguments against the standard view. In particular, we
argue that Leibnizian essentialism is "consistent" with trans-world identity,
and that his modal metaphysics allows for the possibility of a counterpart
semantics for "de re" moral predication.
Davidson, Donald and Hintikka, Jaakko, Eds. 1969. Words And Objections,
Essays on The World of W. V. Quine. (Dordrecht: Reidel).
Davies, Martin and Lloyd Humberstone. 1980. "Two Notions of Necessity", Philosophical Studies 38: 1-30.
Dejnozka, Jan. 1999. Bertrand Russell on Modality and Logical Relevance. (Ashgate).
Dejnozka, Jan. 1990. "The Ontological Foundation of Russell's Theory
Erkenntnis 32: 383-418.
Prominent thinkers such as Kripke and Rescher hold that Russell has
no modal logic, even that Russell was indisposed toward modal logic. In
Part I, I show that Russell had a modal logic which he repeatedly described
and that Russell repeatedly endorsed Leibniz's multiplicity of possible
worlds. In Part II, I describe Russell's theory as having three ontological
levels. In Part III, I describe six Parmenidean theories of being Russell
held, including: literal in 1903, universal in 1912, timeless in 1914,
transcendental in 1918-1948. The transcendental theory underlies the primary
level of Russell's modal logic. In Part IV, I examine Rescher's view that
Russell and modal logic did not mix.
Divers, John. 1999. "A Modal Fictionalist Result", Noûs 33:
In the first half of the paper, I offer new responses to the Brock-Rosen
and Hale objections based on the claim that the fictionalist may, and ought
to, hold that the hypothesis of the plurality of worlds is false but necessarily
possible. In the second half of the paper, I state a consequence result
that is crucial to the justification of the practice of modal logic by
proxy. I then formulate a primitively modal version of the consequence
result, before motivating and presenting a fictionalist proof of the result.
Finally, I argue that while the fictionalist position that emerges has
much in common with a traditional modalist conception of modality and possible
worlds, there remain differences between the positions in respect of which
the fictionalist might claim theoretical advantage.
Divers, John. 1997. "The Analysis of Possibility and the Possibility
of Analysis", Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 97:
Deals with modal realism.
Divers, John. 1995. "Modal Fictionalism Cannot Deliver Possible Worlds
Semantics", Analysis 55: 81-88.
Donnellan, Keith. 1962. "Necessity and Criteria", Journal of Philosophy
Downes, Stephen. "Models and Modality", Eidos 6: 37-52.
Elder, Crawford L. 1992. "An Epistemological Defence of Realism about
Philosophical Quarterly 42: 317-336.
Realists about necessity think there is a difference, independent
of our habits of thought, between A's uniformly happening to have property
P, and A's necessarily having P--or, again, between property F's merely
"accompanying" property G, in A's, and its "causing" A's to have G. "What"
differences? Existing answers make the differences seem "so" independent
of our thought that we could neither detect them nor assert them. This
paper shows that by avoiding the answer about the first difference that
is offered by Lewis and "modal realists", and the answer about the second
difference that is offered by Dretske, Tooley, and Armstrong, realists
can meet these challenges.
Ewing, A. C. 1939-40. "The Linguistic Theory of A Priori Propositions",
of the Aristotelian Society 40: 207-244.
Fine, Kit. 1995. "The Logic of Essence", Journal of Philosophical
Logic 24: 241-273.
Fine, Kit. 1994a. "Essence and Modality" in James Tomberlin, ed., Philosophical
Perspectives, 8: Logic and Language, (Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview Publishing).
Several objections are levelled against the modal conception of essence
and an alternative conception is proposed.
Fine, Kit. 1994b. "Senses of Essence" in Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, ed.,
Morality, and Belief (New York: Cambridge University Press).
The notion of essence is clarified in an attempt to provide a firm
foundation for the theory of essence.
Fine, Kit. 1991. "A Study of Ontology", Noûs ??: 263-294.
A constructional ontology is one which serves to construct complexes
from simples. The paper is concerned with the general nature of such ontologies
and with their study. It attempts to say how they are constituted and by
what principles they are governed; and it also attempts to see how their
study may lead one to adopt certain positions and to give certain definitions.
In the course of making the framework precise, a certain approach to modality,
in terms of the concept of requirement, is developed.
Fine, Kit. 1990. "Quine on Quantifying In", in ???, ed., Propositional
Attitudes: The Role of Content in Logic, Language, and Mind (Stanford:
The paper attempts to evaluate Quine's argument against quantifying
into modal contexts. Two versions of the argument are distinguished, one
of a broadly logical sort and the other relating to the nature of necessity.
The first version is seen to depend upon an assumption of linguistic uniformity,
which may be reasonable for certain ideal formal languages but which is
problematic for natural languages; and the second version is seen to have
some force in application to a metaphysical conception of modality, but
to have none in application to a logical or analytic conception of modality.
Fine, Kit. 1989. "The Problem of De Re Modality", in Joseph Almog, John
Perry and Howard Wettstein, eds., Themes From Kaplan (New York:
Oxford University Press): 197-272.
This paper attempts to evaluate Quine's arguments against quantifying
into modal contexts and, as such, both complements and expands on my paper
"Quine on Quantifying In". Special attention is given to the conditions
for quantification to be intelligible and the question of whether quantification
must be referential.
Fine, Kit. 1978a. "Model Theory for Modal Logic Part I: the "De Re/de
Journal of Philosophical Logic 7: 125-156.
This series attempts to bring the methods of model theory closer to
certain philosophical concerns in modal logic. In the first part, I deal
with two related philosophical positions, "de re" scepticism and anti-haecceitism.
The main result is that a sentence is equivalent to a "de dicto" one if
and only if its truth-value does not turn on the identity of individuals
across possible worlds. However, there are also extensions of the result
to different languages, different logics, and generalisations of the concept
of "de dicto".
Fine, Kit. 1978b. "Model Theory for Modal Logic Part II: the Elimination
of 'De Re' Modality" Journal of Philosophical Logic 7: 277-306.
A modal theory is said to permit formula (sentence) eliminability
if each formula (sentence) is equivalent, in the theory, to a "de dicto"
formula. Various particular and general results on theories which permit
eliminability are established. It is shown, for example, that no consistent
theory with "de dicto" axioms permits sentence eliminability and that there
is only one natural logic which permits formula eliminability.
Fine, Kit. 1977. "Properties, Propositions and Sets", Journal of
Philosophical Logic 6: 135-191.
This paper presents a theory of extensional and intensional entities.
It takes a possible-worlds account of these entities for granted and, in
terms of that account, attempts to characterize and investigate various
features of the entities. These features include existence in a world,
being purely general or qualitative, being logical, having an individual
as a constituent, and being essentially modal. The characterizations are
given abstractly, in terms of a relevant notion of isomorphism, and linguistically,
in terms of expressibility within an ideal language.
Fisher, Mark. 1963. "Category-absurdities", Philosophy and Phenomenological
Research 24, 260-267.
It is maintained that to show a statement to be absurd, one shows
that it can't be true, that it is necessarily false, for a particular kind
of reason. Sometimes category-absurdities arise because linguistic rules
are broken. The author holds that one can solve the problem of what makes
category-mistakes mistakes without mentioning meaning at all. Then one
can go on to discuss the different kind of error that arises when meaning
rules are ignored.
Føllesdal, Dagfinn. 1968. Quine on Modality. Synthese19:
An appraisal of the current status of the modalities and of Quine's
arguments against them. The author accepts "Quine's thesis," that one cannot
quantify into referentially opaque contexts, and argues that nobody has
succeeded in making sense of such quantification. However, it is shown
that modal constructions, being constructions on general terms and sentences,
can be referentially transparent and extensionally opaque and that consequently
the collapse of modal distinctions warned against by Quine in "Word and
Object" can be avoided. This combination of referential transparency and
extensional opacity is just what Quine means by essentialism, and the author
therefore agrees with Quine that quantified modal logic commits one to
Forbes, Graeme. 1992. "Melia on Modalism", Philosophical Studies
This paper is a brief reply to one in the same issue by Joseph Melia,
which criticizes my defense of modalism that I gave in my book "Languages
of Possibility". Modalism is the thesis that modal operators, not quantifiers
over possibilities, are the fundamental means of expressing facts about
what is and is not possible.
Forbes, Graham. 1985. The Metaphysics of Modality. (Oxford: Clarendon
The book describes the logical background to recent work on problems
about necessity, then discusses the "de re/de dicto" distinction and the
ontological commitments of possible worlds semantics. The rest of the book
provides a unified theory of the essential properties of various categories
Forbes, Graeme. 1982. "Canonical Counterpart Theory", Analysis42:
The original counterpart theory of D K Lewis is modified in a fairly
straightforward way using a 3-place counterpart relation. It is shown that
the resulting system is free of the main technical drawbacks to the original
theory of lewis; in particular, contingent existence is no longer a problem.
A class of 'natural' applications for counterpart theory is suggested,
for which some philosophical objections to the theory lapse.
Forrest, Peter. 1986. "Ways Worlds Could Be", Australasian Journal
of Philosophy 64: 15-24.
This paper proposes that suitable uninstantiated properties can be
used as replacement for merely possible worlds, in a theory of modality.
It discusses the operations on properties required if we are to have enough
structural properties to provide a satisfactory theory. And it argues that
the theory so obtained conserves more of our modal intuitions than its
rivals, in particular than David Lewis's realism about possible worlds.
Griffin, Nicholas. 1995. "Modality and the 'Tractatus'", Dialogue34:
A review of R Bradley's "The Nature of All Being: A Study of Wittgenstein's
Modal Atomism". Bradley argues that Wittgenstein's modal commitments in
the "Tractatus" are more extensive than usually appreciated. I argue that,
nonetheless, Bradley's attempt to see Wittgenstein as a major contributor
to modal "logic" is hard to square with Wittgenstein's pervasive conflation
modal issues with significance ones.
Goodman, Nelson. 1978. Ways of Worldmaking. (Indianapolis: Hackett).
Grice, Paul and Peter Strawson. 1956. "In Defense of a Dogma", Philosophical Review 65: 141-158.
Reply to Quine's "Two Dogmas of Empiricism"
Hacking, Ian. 1975. "All Kinds of Possibility" Philosophical Review
Hale, Bob. 1995a. "Modal Fictionalism: A Simple Dilemma", Analysis
Hale, Bob. 1995b. "A Desperate Fix", Analysis 55: 74-81.
Deals with Rosen's 1995 reply to Hale's 1995a.
Hale, Susan. 1991. "Modal Realism Without Counterparts", Southwest
Philosophy Review 7: 77-86.
In "On the Plurality of Worlds" (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986),
David Lewis argues that modal realism needs counterpart theory, rather
than transworld individuals, to make sense of our modal claimsabout ordinary
individuals. I argue that transworld mereological sums, transworld individuals
which exist at different worlds by having different parts at those worlds,
can do this job just as well as counterparts can.
Hanson, William H. 1997. "The Concept of Logical Consequence", Philosophical
Review 106: 365-409.
This article is concerned with our informal, pretheoretic notion
of logical consequence and with the question of whether it is adequately
represented by the standard model-theoretic account. The author argues
that this pretheoretic notion should be seen as including elements of necessity,
generality, and apriority. He also argues that in reconstructing this notion
there is no need to recognize a special logical sense of necessity and
that the choice of terms to serve as logical constants is ultimately a
pragmatic matter. Finally, he shows that the informal account of logical
consequence that he has presented and defended coincides with the usual
model-theoretic definition for certain limited ways of selecting logical
constants. The article includes criticisms of some claims and arguments
found in recent works of Gila Sher and John Etchemendy.
Harman, Gilbert. 1972. "Is Modal Logic Logic?", Philosophia 2:
(1) modal logic is not needed, since there are alternative accounts
of modality. (2) Modal logic does not function as logic even in the thinking
of its advocates, as is revealed, e.g., when the semantics of modal logic
is presented in an extensional metalanguage. Furthermore, (3) when a wider
view is taken, one sees that modal logic treats as logical constants expressions
that belong to a large and open syntactic class, unlike other logical constants.
Finally, (4) modal logic treats as sentential operators devices that function
in natural language as underlying predicates. The last two points also
indicate that a theory of modality making use of modal predicates is to
be preferred to an account that explains away modality in terms of quantification
over possible worlds.
Hart, W. D. 1989. "The Price of Possibility", Pacific Philosophical
Quarterly 70: 225-239.
Why is modality of philosophical interest? Objective modal truths
should answer to possibilities independent of our conceptions of them.
But then it is obscure how we might have epistemic access to such possibilities,
especially given the natural analogy that sensuous imagination is to knowledge
of mere possibility as perception is to knowledge of actuality. For actuality
acts on us causally through perception, while it seems axiomatic that mere
possibility be utterly inert to us. Yet the cost, both to philosophy itself
and to our conception of deliberation among alternative courses of action,
of ceasing to take possibility seriously seems very high.
Hartshorne, Charles. 1963. "Real Possibility", Journal of Philosophy
A described state of affairs is logically possible if the description
makes sense and involves no contradiction. For the description to be really
possible, the minimal further requirement is that it violate no universally
valid law of nature. The theory put forward here is one of the ultimate
coincidence of real and logical possibility. It is argued that it is only
because of lack of clarity or definiteness that really impossible descriptions
appear to us logically possible. If we had a perfect command of our ideas
we should see the logical absurdity in any description that is really impossible.
Hazen, Allen. 1984. "Modality as Many Metalinguistic Predicates", Philosophical
Studies 46: 271-277.
Analogies between metalinguistic treatments of modality and the theory
of truth predicates are stressed. A speculative interpretative hypothesis
about Carnap's "Logische syntax" is suggested.
Heidelberger, Herbert and Stephens, G. Lynn. 1978. "Transparency and
Modality", Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 38: 549.
Harold Morick claims that sentences of necessity and possibility
"de re" are referentially transparent in the sense that replacement of
rigid designators by co-designative rigid designators and non-rigid designators
by co-designative non-rigid designators preserves truth value in every
case. We offer a counter-example to the claim.
Heller, Mark. 1998. "Property Counterparts in Ersatz Worlds", The
Journal of Philosophy 95: 293-316.
Hintikka, Jaakko. 1973. Time and Necessity: Studies in Aristotle's
Theory of Modality. (Oxford: Clarendon Press).
Hintikka, Jaakko. 1970. "The Semantics of Modal Notions and the Indeterminacy
Synthese 21: 408-424.
Quantification into modal contexts depends on cross-identifications
of individuals between possible worlds, which in turn depends on the structure
and interrelations of these worlds. There is hence no guarantee that cross-identification
always succeeds. It will fail for the worlds needed for realistic applications
of logical modalities, partly vindicating quine's criticism of them. In
general, world lines of individuals cannot always be extended from a world
Hintikka, Jaakko. 1961. "Modality And Quantification", Theoria27:
Hintikka, Jaakko. 1960. "Aristotle's Different Possibilities", Inquiry3:
The author analyzes Aristotle's notion of possibility as well as
two other closely connected modal notions, necessity and impossibility.
Hintikka, Jaakko. 1957. "Modality as Referential Multiplicity", Ajatus
Hirsch, Eli. 1986. "Metaphysical Necessity and Conceptual Truth", in P. French, T. Uehling, and H. Wettstein, eds., Midwest Studies in Philosophy, XI (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press), 243-256.
An interesting early version of the response to Kripke and Putnam's
cases of the necessary a posteriori that was later developed by people
like Sidelle and Chalmers.
Hiz, Henry. 1961. "Modalities and Extended Systems", Journal of Philosophy
Modal terms are interpreted meta-linguistically; necessity as consequence,
possibility as consistency with a system. But often systems are not complete--not
complete in the sense that not every sentence or its negation is provable,
or else in the sense that one can add a nonprovable formula without obtaining
as consequences all formulas. This makes modal terms nontrivial. Aristotle,
and many other philosophers, did not consider noncomplete systems, and
only for such systems are the modal terms interesting.
Hunter, Graeme. 1981. "The Discreet Charm of Counterpart Theory", Analysis41:
Hymers, Michael. 1991. "Something Less Than Paradise: The Magic of Modal
Australasian Journal of Philosophy: 251-263.
David Lewis defends his "genuine" modal realism against "ersatz"
modal realisms, which try to explain modality with "linguistic," "pictorial"
or "magical" versions of possible worlds. Each such attempt fails, because
it assumes a primitive notion of modality. Thus, Lewis argues, possible
worlds must be real physical systems, distinct from our own. Lewis's critique
is sound, but his own position faces the same problem: it assumes what
it tries to explain. "Lewis-worlds" are magical, intrinsically representational
entities. Thus, modal notions cannot be explained by possible worlds of
Ibberson, John R. 1979. "Necessity by Convention", Mind 88: 554-571.
Interesting paper developing Lewy's contingency objection to conventionalism.
Ishiguro, Hide. 1980. "Possibility", Proceedings of the Aristotelian
Society, supplementary volume 54: 73-87.
Kanger, Stig. 1957. "On The Characterization of Modalities", Theoria23:
Kaplan, David. 1994. "A Problem in Possible-World Semantics", in Walter
Sinnott-Armstrong, ed., Modality, Morality, and Belief (New York:
Cambridge University Press).
Kecskemeti, Paul. 1946. "On the Interpretation of Modalities", Philosophy
and Phenomenological Research 7, 161-163.
Kidd, Robert. 1988. "In Search of Necessity", Dialogue 31:
Kneale, William. 1947. "Are Necessary Truths True by Convention?", Proceedings
of the Aristotelian Society, supplementary volume 21: 118-133.
Comments on Karl Britton's paper by the same name.
Kraut, Robert. 1980. "The Metaphysics of Counterpart Theory", Australasian
Journal of Philosophy 58: 150-157.
The technical apparatus of modal semantics--possible worlds, world-lines,
counterparts, etc.--continues to arouse suspicion among philosophers of
various persuasions. A way to dispel at least some of the suspicion is
to provide a naturalistic interpretation of the semantical machinery. My
goal here is precisely that. More specifically, I provide a behavioristically
acceptable interpretation of David Lewis' counterpart theory. Reference
to worlds and counterparts is construed in sober, quinean terms. The result
is a "metalinguistic" construal of counterpart semantics, and thus, of
modality. Having shown that counterpart theory rests on no dubious philosophical
assumptions, I briefly explore some of the metaphysical consequences of
the resulting theory of modality.
Kroon, Frederick W. 1981. "Kant And Kripke on The Identifiability of
Modal And Epistemic Notions", Southern Journal of Philosophy 19:
It is sometimes claimed that Kripke's work in "Naming and Necessity"
has demonstrated that Kant was "right" in his acceptance of the synthetic
"a priori", even though perhaps "wrong" in his choice of examples. This
article disputes such a claim by showing that, in accepting the identification
of the empirically necessary and the "a priori", Kant's position is incompatible
with an acceptance of the Kripkean synthetic "a priori" (as well as the
Kripkean necessary "a posteriori").
Kvart, Igal. 1982. "Quine And Modalities De Re: a Way Out?", Journal
of Philosophy 79: 295-328.
Johnson, David. 1991. "Induction and Modality", Philosophical Review
Langford, C. H. 1947. "On a Certain Modal Proposition", Mind56:
Lewis, David. 1996. "Maudlin and Modal Mystery", Australasian Journal
of Philosophy 74: 683-684.
An alleged refutation of modal realism by Tim Maudlin relies upon
an Aristotelian' principle: whatever cannot be refuted is possibly true.
If that principle is disambiguated in the way that meets the needs of Maudlin's
argument, it will engender contradiction in all manner of theories of modality,
realist or not; wherefore it should be rejected.
Lewis, David. 1992. "Critical Notice of D M Armstrong, A Combinatorial
Theory of Possibility",
Australasian Journal of Philosophy 70:
This critical notice discusses four questions: (1) Armstrong's positive
and negative views about the range of possibilities; (2) his principle
that all truths require truthmakers; (3) whether he succeeds in avoiding
primitive modal concepts; and (4) his fictionalism about possibilities.
Lewis, David. 1971. "Counterparts of Persons And Their Bodies", Journal
of Philosophy 68: 203-211.
It can be argued that persons and their bodies are not identical
because something is true of a person but not of his body; that he could
have been (or occupied) some other body. According to my "Counterpart Theory
and Quantified Modal Logic" (J. Phil. 1968) this argument is valid. But
if my method of counterparts is modified to allow for a multiplicity of
counterpart relations between things at different possible worlds, the
Lewis, David. 1970. "Anselm and Actuality", Noûs 4:
A version of Anselm's first ontological argument is symbolized in
nonmodal logic with explicit reference to conceivable worlds and beings
that exist therein. An ambiguity appears: one symbolization yields an invalid
argument with credible premises while another symbolizations yields a valid
argument with premises we have no good, non-circular reason to accept.
The credibility of one premise of the second version turns on the nature
of actuality; I propose that "actual" is an indexical term closely analogous
Lewis, David. 1968. "Counterpart Theory And Quantified Modal Logic",
Quantified modal logic can profitably be replaced by a theory, formulated
extensionally, about possible worlds and their inhabitants. The crucial
innovation is that things are never deemed literally identical from one
world to another. Rather, something in one world may be a counterpart of
something in another. The counterpart relation is a matter of similarity
in important respects; unlike identity, it need not be presumed to be an
equivalence relation. Modality 'de re' is vindicated: a property belongs
to the real essence of a thing if every counterpart of the thing, in every
possible world, has the property. The same treatment can be applied to
physical, epistemic, deontic, and other modalities.
Lewy, Casimir. 1976. Meaning and Modality. (Cambridge: Cambridge
The author considers what relations hold between the sentences "'vixen'
means the same as 'female fox'," "'vixen' means 'female fox'" and "a vixen
may be defined as a female fox." he lays emphasis on the need to separate
"the proposition that..." and "the proposition expressed by the sentence
'...'," and he draws other distinctions relevant to an understanding of
propositions which generate problems involving reference and modality.
Lewy, Casimir. 1940. "Logical Necessity", Philosophical Review 49:
Linsky, Bernard. 1994. "Truth Makers for Modal Propositions", Monist77:
Truth Makers can be motivated as an integral part of a correspondence
theory of truth, combining that notion in D M Armstrong's work with the
role of situations in situation theory. This paper investigates how possible
worlds should be added to an ontology of facts to provide truth makers
for modal propositions asserting the necessary or possible truth of other
propositions. Various alternatives are considered and rejected, leading
to a final ontology including possible facts, worlds and a property of
actuality. Comparisons with situation theory are made along the way.
Linsky, Bernard. 1991. "Truth at a World is a Modality", Philosophia??:
The Leibnizian notion that necessarily a is P if and only if a is
P at all worlds does not succeed in reducing a modality to a relation between
objects, properties and worlds. Nor does the analysis of 'truth at a world'
as a metalinguistic relation allow one to avoid primitive modalities. David
Lewis can analyze 'a is P at W' (as 'a is P and a is in w') but only at
the cost of abandoning trans-world individuals. I argue that only by treating
'at w' as a modality like 'necessarily' is it possible to have transworld
individuals and give an account of the Leibnizian notion.
Linsky, Leonard. 1969. "Reference Essentialism, And Modality", Journal
of Philosophy 66: 687-700.
the article first presents Quine's arguments against quantified modal
logic in a manner which gives them maximum clarity and force. The main
consideration is that, from the point of view of the semantics of classical
quantification theory, it makes no sense to quantify into referentially
opaque contexts. Ways of overcoming Quine's arguments are considered. (1)
Frege's recourse to intensions as values of the variables of quantified
modal logic; (2) the recourse to descriptions, with their attendant scope
differences, by Sulliyan and Fitch; (3) the recourse to substitutional
quantification by Ruth Barcan Marcus. Alternative (1) is not necessary.
Alternatives (2) and (3) must be predicated upon a clear semantics for
quantified modal logic. Kripke's semantics is considered for this role.
It is argued that Kripke's semantics vindicates Quine's claim that quantified
modal logic entails essentialism, but that this latter doctrine is intelligible.
Locke, Don. 1969. "The Necessity of Analytic Truths", Philosophy44:
Long, Peter. 1960. "Modality And Tautology", Proceedings of the Aristotelian
Society 60: 27-34.
Loux, Michael J., Ed. 1979. The Possible and the Actual. (Ithaca:
Cornell University Press).
Anthology of classic 60s-70s papers on possible worlds.
Lycan, William. 1993. "Armstrong's New Combinatorialist Theory of Modality",
in John Bacon, Keith Campbell, and Lloyd Reinhardt, eds., Ontology,
Causality and Mind: Essays in Honour of D M Armstrong, Bacon, John,
eds., (New York: Cambridge University Press).
Lycan, William, and Steward Shapiro. 1986. "Actuality And Essence",
Studies in Philosophy 11: 343-377.
The authors construct an "ersatz" system of possible worlds taking
"worlds" and "nonexistent individuals" to be complex sets of properties.
A modal language is developed and given a formal model-theoretic semantics.
The approach is then compared to competing metaphysical accounts of modality,
and a version of essentialism is defended.
MacBride, Fraser. 1999. "Could Armstrong Have Been a Universal?", Mind108:
There cannot be a reductive theory of modality constructed from the
concepts of sparse particular and sparse universal. These concepts are
suffused with modal notions. I seek to establish this conclusion by tracing
out the pattern of modal entanglements in which these concepts are involved.
In order to appreciate the structure of these entanglements a distinction
must be drawn between the lower-order necessary connections in which particulars
and universals apparently figure, and higher-order necessary connections.
Mackie, J. L. 1974. "De What re Is De re Modality?", Journal of Philosophy
This paper discusses such 'de re' modalities as those propounded
by kripke, in particular that a person or thing could not have had an origin
different from whatever origin it actually had, but could have had a different
subsequent career. It shows that these can be reconciled with empiricism,
being a result of our ways of handling identity along with counterfactual
possibility, and offers an explanation of why we think in those ways.
Marcus, Ruth Barcan. 1990. "A Backward Look at Quine's Animadversions
on Modalities", in Robert B. Barrett and Roger F. Gibson, eds., Perspectives
on Quine (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell).
Quine's grounds for the rejection of modal logic are traced. He sees
C I Lewis's original work as an outcome of use-mention confusions. Additional
grounds for rejection are (1) supposed problems of quantifying into modal
contexts in modal predicate logic as initiated by Barcan (later Marcus);
(2) substitution and identity puzzles in modal contexts; (3) apparent commitment
of modal logic to "intensional" entities; (4) an invidious commitment to
"essentialism." It is shown that none of the criticisms has been sustained.
However it is not supposed by the author that essentialism is an untenable
Marcus, Ruth Barcan and Others. 1962. "Discussion on The Paper of Ruth
B Marcus", Synthese14: 132-143.
Marcus, Ruth Barcan. 1961. "Modalities and Intensional Languages", Synthese13:
Marti, Genovena. 1997. "Rethinking Quine's Argument on the Collapse
of Modal Distinctions",
Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 38:
This paper examines and discusses an argument for the collapse of
modal distinctions offered by Quine in "Reference and Modality" and in
"Word and Object" that relies exclusively on a version of the "principle
of substitution". It is argued that the argument does not affect its historical
targets: Carnap's treatment of modality, presented in "Meaning and Necessity",
and Church's "Logic of Sense and Denotation", developed by Kaplan; nor
does it affect a treatment of modality inspired in Frege's treatment of
oblique contexts. It is argued, nevertheless, that the immunity of those
systems to Quine's argument depends on the success of their rejection of
the "principle of substitution" presupposed by Quine.
Martin, R. M. 1952. "On 'Analytic'", Philosophical Studies 3:
Mason, Richard. "Explaining Necessity", Metaphilosophy ??:
The aim is to show that The Problem of the Explanation of Necessary
Truth arises from a particular context, or set of assumptions. We can make
a Iprima facieD distinction between necessary truth and necessity. The
explanation of necessary truth poses further questions about truth and
meaning. In a rationalist framework, to be necessary IisD to be explicable.
Non-necessity may be seen as aberrant. The conclusion is not that we should
become rationalists. It is that a logical notion uprooted from one context
may not survive when transplanted to another.
Mayo, Bernard. 1983. "Conjectures and Modalities", Analysis 43:
McCarthy, Timothy. 1987. "Modality, Invariance, and Logical Truth",
of Philosophical Logic 16: 423-443.
McCarthy, Timothy. 1986. "Platonism And Possibility", Journal of
Philosophy 83: 275-290.
This paper argues, on a mixture of technical and philosophical grounds,
that metalinguistic interpretations of modality are incompatible with modal
interpretations of classical mathematics.
McGinn, Colin. 1981. "Modal Reality", in Richard Healey, ed., Reduction,
Time and Reality (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 143-187.
Deals with the truth conditions for modal statements.
McGinn, Colin. 1976. "'A Priori' And 'A Posteriori' Knowledge", Proceedings
of the Aristotelian Society 76: 195-208.
This paper proposes a criterion for distinguishing "a priori" from
"a posteriori" knowledge in which causality plays the key part. The criterion
is seen to be well-motivated and extensionally adequate by consideration
of different areas of knowledge. Relations between this epistemic distinction
and metaphysical modality are articulated, and some points of disagreement
with Saul Kripke noted.
McKay, Thomas. 1986. "Lowe And Baldwin on Modalities", Mind 95:
Mckay, Thomas. 1975. "Essentialism in Quantified Modal Logic", Journal
of Philosophical Logic 4: 423-438.
Quine's thesis that quantified modal logic (QML) involves essentialism
is examined within the framework of Kripke's semantics. It is shown that,
despite parson's proof that anti-essentialist models for modal theories
exist, there are important respects in which QML involves the commitments
Quine alleges. Given any interpreted theory, quantifying in (de re modality)
is eliminable if the interpretation is anti-essentialist. Thus, ineliminable
uses of the characteristic resources of QML must involve essentialism.
In addition, if Kripke's semantics is modified slightly, then for every
QML formula a, there exists a formula b lacking quantifying in (lacking
de re modality) such that a is necessarily equivalent to b with respect
to all anti-essentialist models.
McNamara, Paul. 1990. "Leibniz on Creation, Contingency and Per-Se Modality",
Leibnitiana 22: 48-68.
Leibniz's first problem with contingency stems from his doctrine
of divine creation (not his later doctrine of truth) and is solved via
his concepts of necessity per se, etc. (not via his later concept of infinite
analysis). I scrutinize some of the earliest texts in which the first problem
and its solution occur. I compare his "per se modal concepts" with his
concept of analysis and with the traditional concept of metaphysical necessity.
I then identify and remove the main obstacle to Leibniz's employment of
these concepts by reflecting on his concept of a world and comparing it
with contemporary conceptions. Finally I sketch the place that this early
problem and its solutions had in the context of his mature philosophy.
A disagreement between Sleigh and Adams which hinges on the assumption
that there is just one problem with competing solutions is seen to dissolve
in this light.
Meixner, Uwe. 1992. "An Alternative Semantics for Modal Predicate-Logic",
The semantical framework is fundamentally intensional: neither possible
worlds nor sets as basic entities, but rather, besides individuals, propositions,
properties and relations (in intension). Logical truth is defined in terms
of logical form (without mentioningthis notion) without employing sets
of models and the concept of truth in a model. Truth itself is explicitly
defined (without recursion); the truth-conditions for the logical constants
of the object-language become theorems derivable from the axioms for "to
intend"--the basic semantical relation.
Melia, Joseph. 1992. "Against Modalism", Philosophical Studies 68:
I examine Modalism: the position that the modal sentences of ordinary
language should not be analysed in terms of possible worlds, but should
be analysed with operators such as the box and diamond. Notoriously, there
are certain modal sentences not analyzable using only the box and diamond,
so some philosophers have introduced new operators to analyse them. I argue
that the operators hitherto introduced cannot be understood without taking
them to refer to possible objects.
Menzies, Peter, and Philip Pettit. 1994. "In Defence of Fictionalism
about Possible Worlds",
Analysis 54: 27-36.
Modal functionalism is the view that talk about possible worlds should
be construed as talk about fictional objects. The version of modal fictionalism
originally presented by Gideon Rosen adopted a simple prefixing strategy
for fictionalising possible worlds analyses of modal propositions. However,
Stuart Brock and Rosen himself in a later article have independently advanced
an objection that shows that the prefixing strategy cannot serve fictionalist
purposes. In this paper we defend fictionalism about possible worlds by
showing that there are other strategies besides the prefixing strategy
for fictionalising talk about possible worlds, and that these strategies
are proof against the objection advanced by Brock and Rosen.
Menzel, C. 1990. "Actualism, Ontological Commitment, and Possible World
Synthese ??: 355-389.
Actualism is the doctrine that the only things there are, that have
being in any sense, are the things that actually exist. In particular,
actualism eschews possibilism, the doctrine that there are merely possible
objects. It is widely held that one cannot both be an actualist and at
the same time take possible world semantics seriously--that is, take it
as the basis for a genuine theory of truth for modal languages, or look
to it for insight into the modal structure of reality. For possible world
semantics, it is supposed, commits one to possibilism. In this paper I
take issue with this view. To the contrary, I argue that one can take possible
world semantics seriously and yet remain in full compliance with actualist
Miller, Richard. 1992. "Concern for Counterparts", Philosophical
Papers 21: 133-140.
This paper refutes an old objection to genuine modal realism. The
difficulty was first offered by Saul Kripke and has recently been reformulated
by Simon Blackburn and Gideon Rosen. This problem alleges that an analysis
of counterfactuals in terms of what is true of our counterparts can never
adequately capture our sense of immediate and personal concern with the
truth of counterfactuals about ourselves because we can never be concerned
with what befalls others (our counterparts) the way we are concerned with
what happens to ourselves. This objection fails because we have an immediate
and personal concern that we should be happier than those to whom we compare
ourselves, especially our counterparts. And the truth conditions for counterfactuals
about ourselves involve just such comparisons of ourselves with others
similar to us.
Millar, Richard. 1991. "Reply of a Mad Dog", Analysis ??: 50-54.
In this paper I seek to defend "Mad Dog Modal Realism" from an objection
by Devitt and Sterelny. Devitt and Sterelny allege that explanations invoking
possible worlds are not explanations because they are not causal explanations.
Strange to say, Lewis agrees that possibilia cannot figure in any "explanations."
He accepts this restriction on the use of "explanation" and prefers to
call the benefits of possibilia "analyses." I then go on to show how Lewis's
answer to the epistemological objections of Lycan, Richards, et al. can
be reformulated to answer Devitt and Sterelny.
Miller, Richard. 1989. "Dog Bites Man: A Defence of Modal Realism",
Journal of Philosophy 67: 476-478.
The recent attempt by William Lycan to find fault with what he calls
"Mad Dog Modal Realism" is compared to other recent criticism and examined
in its own right. Lycan objects that Lewis cannot explicate the crucial
notion of a world without implicitly invoking the notion of possibility,
which it is meant to explain. It is admitted that this would be a grave,
even fatal, flaw in any philosophical account of modality. But examination
of Lewis's work shows that he can define "world" without modal notions
while, ironically, Lycan is forced to admit that he cannot do so himself.
Millican, Peter. 1993. "Statements and Modality: Strawson, Quine and
Wolfram", International Journal of Moral and Social Studies 8: 315-326.
Sybil Wolfram extended the Strawsonian tradition in Philosophical
Logic, applying the sentence- statement distinction to a range of important
issues. 1) One of her major concerns is to oppose Quine's Necessity Argument',
which seems to show that statements cannot coherently be assigned a modal
status based on the analyticity of the sentences which express them. 2)
She does so by defining a necessary statement as one which "can be" expressed
by an analytic sentence. 3) Unfortunately this encounters problems with
Kripke's weak' notion of necessity ( true whenever the relevant objects
exist'), and 4) can be refuted by sentences which are guaranteed to express
a truth (i.e., which are analytic), even though the statement expressed
is manifestly contingent. 5) However this new category of the "contingent
analytic" can be accommodated within a Strawsonian framework, by simply
defining a necessary statement as one necessarily true of the relevant
objects. It even provides an argument in favor of some such multi- level
framework of analysis.
Milmed, B. K. 1957. Counterfactual Statements And Logical Modality,
A counterfactual conditional statement is interpreted as expressing
a modal (logically necessary) implication, in a logical system that includes
a physical axiom suitable to make the counterfactual statement tautological.
The axiom is usually a physical law, because it is pointless to adopt an
axiom that is true for only one occasion; but the means of justifying laws
(i.e., induction) need not be considered in interpreting the counterfactuals
that depend on them.
Mondadori, Fabrizio. 1976. "Modal Realism: The Poisoned Pawn", Philosophical
Review 85: 3-20.
Montague, Richard. 1960. "Logical Necessity, Physical Necessity, Ethics
Inquiry 3: 259-269.
The author attempts to contribute to the problem of interpreting
'it is logically necessary that', 'it is physically necessary that', and
'it is obligatory that'.
Mormann, Thomas. 1994. "Accessibility, Kinds, and Laws: A Structural
Philosophy of Science 61: 389-406.
"Accessibility" is a crucial concept of possible worlds semantics.
The simplest approach to accessibility is the "magical theory" that construes
this relation as analogous to spatial or temporal relations. In this paper
I give a nonmagical structural account of the accessibility relation that
can be used to give a necessitarian account of kinds an laws. Laws are
characterized in a structural way as stable invariants of the world's gestalt.
Finally, I point out how the structural approach can be embedded in a general
representational theory of modality.
Neale, Stephen. 2000. "On a Milestone of Empiricism", in Alex Orenstein and Petr Kotatko, eds., Knowledge, Language and Logic (Dordrecht: Kluwer), pp. 237-346.
Discusses Quine's attack on de re modality. Along the
way provides a useful and lengthy discussion of the history of modal logic
and the evolution of the concept of necessity.
Nelson, John. O. 1964. "A Question of Entailment", Review of Metaphysics
A R Anderson and N D Belnap, Jr., maintained in their 1962 Article,
"The Pure Calculus of Entailment," that necessary propositions can be entailed
only by necessary propositions, and not by contingent ones. Against this
R W Ashby offered an apparently conclusive counterexample in "Entailment
and Modality" (1963). In support of Anderson and Belnap, the author of
the present paper develops a definition of entailment and argues that contingent
propositions never entail necessary ones. However, psychological factors
may intervene in our logical perceptions to produce an appearance or illusion
of entailment between a contingent and a necessary proposition.
Nolan, Daniel. 1997. "Three Problems for "Strong" Modal Fictionalism",
Modal fictionalism, the theory that possible worlds do not literally
exist but that our talk about them should be understood in the same way
that we understand talk about fictional entities, is an increasingly popular
approach to possible worlds. This paper will distinguish three versions
of modal fictionalism and will show that the third, a version endorsed
by some of the most prominent modal fictionalists, faces at least three
serious objections: that it makes modality too artificial, the modal fiction
does not have the representative resources it needs and the approach has
trouble accounting for propositions.
Nolan, Daniel. 1996. "Recombination Unbound", Philosophical Studies
Good paper. Discusses the Forrest-Armstrong objection to Lewis's
Nolan, Daniel and John O'Leary-Hawthorne. 1996. "Reflexive Fictionalisms",
There is a class of fictionalist strategies (the reflexive fictionalisms)
which appear to suffer from a common problem: the problem that the entities
which are supposedly fictional turn out, by the lights of the fictionalist
theory itself, to exist. The appropriate solution is to reject so-called
strong fictionalism in each case: that is, to reject the variety of fictionalism
which takes appeal to the domain of fictional entities to provide an explanation
or analysis of the operators or predicates with which the objects are systematically
Nolt, John E. 1980. "Abstraction And Modality", Philosophical Studies
Abstraction is usually regarded as a property of certain objects--sets,
numbers, propositions, properties, etc. this paper proposes that it be
viewed instead as a feature of the languages or conceptual systems by means
of which we conceive such objects--specifically, the property of being
predicate-poor. Thus there are no abstract objects--only possible concrete
ones understood in the terms of language of various degrees of abstraction.
Noonan, Harold. 1994. "In Defence of the Letter of Fictionalism", Analysis54: 133-139.
Important reply to the Rosen-Brock objection to Rosen's fictionalism
Norton, Bryan G. 1980. "De re Modality, Generic Essences and Science",
Otte, Richard. 1982. "Modality as a Metalinguistic Predicate", Philosophical
Studies 41: 153-160.
Pap, Arthur. 1958. Semantics and Necessary Truth. (New Haven: Yale University Press).
Essential reading on older views about modality, including conventionalism
and the thesis that necessity is analyticity.
Pap, Arthur. 1955. "Strict Implication, Entailment, And Modal Iteration",
Pargetter, Robert and Barbara Davidson. 1980. "Possible Worlds and a
Theory of Meaning for Modal Language", Australasian Journal of Philosophy
Possible world semantics has been seen by some as providing a plausible
account of the meaning of modal expressions in language. This account has
been rejected by many philosophers because of ontological worries about
possible world. They claim either that the concept of a possible world
is incomprehensible or that there are no possible world other than the
actual world. The possible world semantics is defended against such claims.
Comprehensibility is demonstrated by providing individuation and identity
criteria for possible world. Further, it is argued that the success of
the possible world semantics, plus the absence of any preferable alternative
theory, constitutes evidence for the existence of (merely) possible worlds.
Thus those who would reject the possible world semantics as an account
of the modalities in language must either provide grounds other than those
relating to the ontological commitments of the semantics for so doing,
or develop a preferable alternative theory.
Parsons, Terence. 1967. "Grades of Essentialism in Quantified Modal
Logic", Noûs 1: 181-191.
Peacocke, Christopher. 1998. "The Principle-Based Conception of Modality:
Sullivan's Question Addressed", Mind 107: 847-849.
Peacocke, Christopher, 1997. "Metaphysical Necessity: Understanding,
Truth and Epistemology", Mind 106: 521-574.
This paper presents an account of the understanding of statements
involving metaphysical modality, together with dovetailing theories of
their truth conditions and epistemology. The account makes modal truth
an objective matter, whilst avoiding both Lewisian modal realism and mind-dependent
or expressivist treatments of the truth conditions of modal sentences.
The theory proceeds by formulating constraints a world-description must
meet if it is to represent a genuine possibility. Modal truth is fixed
by the totality of the constraints. To understand modal discourse is to
have tacit knowledge of the body of information stated in these constraints.
Modal knowledge is attained by evaluating modal statements in accordance
with the constraints. The question of the general relations between modal
truth and knowability is also addressed. The paper includes a discussion
of which modal logic is supported by the presented theory of truth conditions
for modal statements.
Peacocke, Christopher. 1980. "Causal Modalities and Realism" in Mark
Platts, ed., Reference, Truth and Reality (London: Routledge and
Peacocke, Christopher. 1978. "Necessity and Truth Theories", Journal
of Philosophical Logic
Discusses giving a truth-theoretic, rather than model-theoretic,
semantic theory for modality.
Percival, Philip. 1992. "Thank Goodness That's Non-Actual", Philosophical
Papers 21: 191-213.
In contrast to Lewis at one extreme, and Prior at the other, Mellor
treats time and modality disanalogously by spatialising' the former but
not the latter. This asymmetrical position requires an argument for not
spatialising modality the temporal analogue of which isn't equally persuasive.
I consider whether the modal analogue of Prior's Thank goodness' argument--which
seems to be akin to an argument against Lewis by Adams--is one such. I
argue that it isn't. I consider various means of resisting this argument,
and show that all are no less cogent than their analogues resisting Prior's
original temporal argument. Of these alternatives, the one which refines
ideas of Evans is defended in both the temporal and modal cases.
Perszyk, Kenneth J. 1993. "Against Extended Modal Realism", Journal
of Philosophical Logic
Extended modal realism is David Lewis's realism about possible worlds
and their inhabitants. Takashi Yagisawa has given the most serious defence
in print of the conditional thesis that if Lewisian modal realism is to
be accepted, then extended modal realism is to be accepted. He has two
(main) arguments for this thesis, what I shall call the Parallel-Case Argument'
and the Theoretical-Benefits Argument'. A central issue in the metaphysics
of modality is whether Yagisawa's thesis is right. My aim in this paper
is to reject his thesis by rebutting his two arguments in support of it.
Place, Ullin T. 1997. "'De re' Modality without Possible Worlds", Acta-Analytica:
A distinction is drawn between "de dicto" modality which is a matter
of which propositions can, cannot and must be "true", given the laws of
logic, and "de re" modality which is a matter of which situations (events
or states of affairs) can, cannot and must "exist", given the laws of nature.
It is argued that Kripke's "de re" modality, defined in terms of what is
true in some possible world, no possible world and all possible worlds,
is an unsatisfactory amalgam of the two.
Plantinga, Alvin. 1987. "Two Concepts of Modality: Modal Realism and
Modal Reductionism", In James Tomberlin, ed., Philosophical Perspectives
(Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview) 189-231.
Plantinga, Alvin. 1974. The Nature of Necessity. (Oxford: Clarendon).
This book, one of the first full-length studies of the modalities
to emerge from the debate to which Saul Kripke, David Lewis, Ruth Marcus
and others have contributed, is an exploration and defence of the notion
of modality de re, the idea that objects have both essential and accidental
properties. The argument is developed by means of the notion of possible
worlds and ranges over key problems including the nature of essence, trans-world
identity, negative existential propositions, and the existence of unactual
objects in other possible worlds. In the final chapter the author applies
his logical theories to the elucidation of two problems in the philosophy
of religion: the problem of evil and the ontological argument. The first
of these, the problem of reconciling the moral perfection and omnipotence
of God with the existence of evil, can, he concludes, be resolved, and
the second given a sound formulation. The book ends with an appendix on
Quine's objection to quantified modal logic.
Plantinga, Alvin. 1969. "De re et De Dicto", Noûs 3:
This paper considers and rejects some objections to the idea of modality
de re and shows how to find, for any proposition expressing modality de
re an equivalent proposition expressing modality de dicto but not modality
de re .
Plantinga, Alvin. 1961. "It's Actual, So it must Be Possible", Philosophical
Studies 12: 61-64.
In an earlier paper Norwood Hanson argues that the following two
propositions are inconsistent: (a) if p is true, then p is logically possible
and b. if p is logically contingent, then p entails no necessary propositions.
They are inconsistent, says hanson, for it can be demonstrated that: c.
if p is logically contingent, then "p is logically possible" is necessary.
Further, he argues, by the first principle p entails "p is possible," while
by principle c, "p is possible" is necessary; hence a necessary proposition
is entailed by a contingent one, which contradicts principle b. the author
argues that what hanson has actually shown is that the conjunction of "p
is contingent" with "p is logically impossible" is contradictory, which,
he says, is quite different from what he claims to prove.
Prakel, Judith. 1977. "Some Preliminary Suggestions for the Mirroring
of Non-metaphysical Modalities in Lesniewski's Ontology", Studia Logica36:
Priest, Graham. 1977. "A Refoundation of Modal Logic", Notre Dame
Journal of Formal Logic18: 340-354.
The paper provides a new foundation for modal logic. It argues that,
as presently conceived, modal logic is ill-founded and that it is precisely
for this reason that present modal predicate logics appear so unsatisfactory.
Necessary truth, like truth, is a semantic concept and should be treated
as such. The paper therefore sets up and examines a formal system for modal
logic, as conceived in this way. It then considers the semantics for such
languages, and constructs some new modal semantics appropriate to this
conception of modality. Some completeness results are proved, and a few
interesting corollories inferred. The last part of the paper shows how
most of the philosophical problems associated with quantified modal logics
vanish if modality is interpreted in this way. It is shown that this conception
clarifies the nature of identity in modal systems, and the nature of intensional
objects, and resolves quine's 'paradoxes'. This supports the final claim
that this conception of modality is the most natural one.
Priest, Graham. 1976. "Modality as a Meta-concept", Notre Dame Journal
of Formal Logic 17: 401-414.
The paper argues that logical necessity is a meta-linguistic feature
of a given language, in the sense that truth is, and that normal modal
logics are therefore linguistically muddled, since they contain both modal
and non-modal theses; it shows how, given any system of analytic sentences
in a language O, to construct a meta-language G, of sufficient power to
talk about the modalities of sentences of O. by semantic considerations,
it is proved that taking O to be the 2-valued propositional calculus, the
meta-language G, generated, bears a striking resemblance to the standard
modal logics T, S4, and S5.
Przelecki, M. 1976. "On Possibility And Possible Worlds", Poznan
Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and Humanities 2:
The paper is an attempt to show that model theoretic explications
of modal concepts do not grasp the traditional philosophical content of
modal notions. Within that approach, "possible worlds" are nothing else
but different possible interpretations of a given language, and possibility
defined as "truth in some possible world" simply amounts to truth under
some possible interpretation of the language. Being different from the
actual one, that possible interpretation assigns to a given statement some
meaning different from its usual sense, which seems to disagree with traditional
philosophical intuitions of modality.
Putnam, Hilary. 1975. "The Meaning of 'Meaning'", in K. Gunderson (ed.),
Mind and Knowledge, Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7
(Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press), reprinted in Hilary Putnam,
Language and Reality: Philosophical Papers, volume 2 (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1975).
Putnam, Hilary. 1962. "It Ain't Necessarily So", Journal of Philosophy
Quine, W. V. O. 1976. "Worlds Away", Journal of Philosophy 73:
The analogy between identifying an object from world to possible
world and identifying it from moment to moment has been offered to justify
quantifying over objects across worlds. It is no justification, because
the problem raised by so quantifying is not that of identifying objects
across worlds, but that of interpreting predicates across worlds. It reduces
to deciding what properties are essential to an object, or, equivalently,
what designators are rigid. In the logic of belief it reduces to deciding
what one knows when one knows who someone or what something is. But this
makes sense only relative to situations.
Quine, W. V. O. 1970. Philosophy of Logic. (Englewood: Prentice-Hall).
This book offers a survey of the central topics in the philosophy
of logic. There are chapters on "meaning and truth," "grammar," "truth,"
"logical truth," "the scope of logic," "deviant logics," and "the ground
of logical truth." some of the topics discussed are the status and elimination
of propositions, tarski's definition of truth and the notion of satisfaction,
the relation of logic to set theory, and the question of the viability
of alternative logics.
Quine, W. V. O. 1966. The Ways of Paradox. (New York: Random
Quine, W. V. O. 1960a. Word and Object. (Cambridge: MIT Press).
This is Quine's most ambitious semantical undertaking in which concessions
to the material object language accompany a stimulus-behavioral account
of verbal meaning. He further shores up favorite theses of the past, including
difficulties in the way of synonymy claims and the advantages for scientific
communication of formalizing ordinary discourse.
Quine, W. V. O. 1960b. "Carnap and Logical Truth", in Synthese12.
Reprinted in W. V. O. Quine, The Ways of Paradox (New York: Random
Quine, W. V. O. 1953a. From a Logical Point of View: 9 Logico-philosophical
Essays. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press).
Most of these logico-philosophical essays deal with semantics and
related areas, and have been rewritten from articles in seven different
journals. Among them is "new foundations for mathematical logic," which
first appeared in 1937, and to which some supplementary remarks have been
added. A bibliography is included for reference.
Quine, W. V. O. 1953b. "Three Grades of Modal Involvement", Proceedings
of the XIth International Congress of Philosophy, Brussels,
Volume 14 (Amsterdam: North-Holland Publishing Co.), reprinted in
W. V. O. Quine, The Ways of Paradox (New York: Random House, 1966).
Quine, W. V. O. 1936. "Truth by Convention", in O. H. Lee, ed., Philosophical Essays for A. N. Whitehead (New York: Longmans). Reprinted in W. V. O. Quine, The Ways of Paradox (New York: Random House, 1966).
Contains Quine's classic objections to conventionalism about logical
Ray, Greg. 1996. "Ontology-Free Modal Semantics", Journal of Philosophical
Logic 25: 333-361.
I offer a purely extensional, representational account and prove
that it does all the work that Menzel's account does. The result of this
endeavor is an account of model-theoretic semantics for modal languages
requiring nothing but pure sets and the actual objects of discourse. Since
ontologically beyond what is prima facie presupposed by the model theory
itself. Thus, the result is truly an ontology-free model-theoretic semantics
for modal languages. That is to say, getting genuine modal semantics out
of the model theory is ontologically cost-free. Since my extensional account
is demonstrably no less adequate, and yet is at the same time more ontologically
frugal, it is certainly to be preferred.
Reichenbach, Hans. 1976. Laws, Modalities, and Counterfactuals.
(Berkeley: University of California Press).
Reinhardt, William N. 1980. "Necessity Predicates And Operators", Journal
of Philosophical Logic 9: 437-450.
Many authors have suggested defining modal operators such as necessity
as predicates of sentences. This paper explains why observations of Godel-Lob-Montague
show that such an analysis does not work. The purpose of the paper is to
point out the nature of the error so that the relevant issues may be addressed
more adequately. Among these are the question whether there is a translation
procedure or a reduction of statements with operators to statements with
predicates only. The conclusion is that this is possible only in a weak
sense. The paper includes some suggestions for further work in this area.
Rescher, Nicholas. 1974. Studies in Modality (Oxford: Blackwell).
Rescher, Nicholas. 1964. "A Quantificational Treatment of Modality",
et Analyse 7: 34-42.
Rescher, Nicholas. 1962. Modality Conceived as a Status, Logique
et Analyse 5: 81-89.
Rescher, Nicholas. 1960. "Identity, Substitution, And Modality", Review
of Metaphysics 14: 159-167.
Rosen, Gideon. 1995. "Modal Fictionalism Fixed", Analysis 55:
Reply to Hale 1995a.
Rosen, Gideon. 1993. "A Problem for Fictionalism About Possible Worlds",
Fictionalism about possible worlds is the view that talk about worlds
in the analysis of modality is to be construed as ontologically innocent
discourse about the content of a fiction. Versions of the view have been
defended by D M Armstrong (in "A Combinatorial Theory of Possibility")
and by myself (in "Modal Fictionalism', "Mind" 99, July 1990). The present
note argues that fictionalist accounts of modality (both Armstrong's version
and my own) fail to serve the fictionalist's ontological purposes because
they imply that as a matter of necessity there exist many worlds.
Rosen, Gideon. 1990. "Modal Fictionalism", Mind 99: 327-354.
This paper develops an ontologically innocent alternative to Lewis's
modal realism. Statements of the form 'There is a world at which P' are
read as elliptical for 'According to the hypothesis of a plurality of worlds,
there is a world at which P', the latter being no more ontological loaded
than 'According to Frege's theory, there is a set of all sets'. An analysis
of modal discourse employing this fictionalist paraphrase is sketched--roughly:
'Possibly P' is true iff according to the hypothesis of a plurality of
worlds, there is a world at which P--and compared with Lewis's realist
construal of possible worlds talk.
Ross, James. 1989. "The Crash of Modal Metaphysics", Review of Metaphysics43:
"Possible Worlds" metaphysics is bankrupt. This is a series of arguments
to display that no "genuine semantics" for quantified modal logic is true.
Even the formalizations themselves, understood extensionally, revise what
we mean and commit us to realities we repudiate. Moreover, principles like
"whatever is possible is necessarily possible," and "whatever is necessary
is necessarily necessary," are demonstrably false. The merely possible,
unrooted in the actual, cannot be brought within the range of reference.
Whatever might have been, wholly other than what is ever actual, is logically
inaccessible because it is without content.
Routley, R. and Routley, V. 1979. "Some Bad Arguments for and against
International Logic Review 10: 84-90.
Routley, R. and Routley, V. 1969. "A Fallacy of Modality", Noûs3:129-153.
The ancient principle of distributivity of necessity (DN), that necessary
propositions only entail necessary propositions, has acquired an upstart
companion, the distributivity of contingency (DC), which threatens to borrow
some plausibility from DN; violations of these principles are sometimes
lumped together as "fallacies of modality". The DC principle, according
to which contingent statements only entail contingent statements, has played
a specially important role in the discussion of entailment. DC also deserves
attention because of the importance it appears to be assigned in many philosophies,
as the principle that facts, contingent matters such as relations of solid
bodies or linguistic data, can't tell one anything about logic or mathematics,
more precisely that contingent statements can't have any logically necessary
consequences. This thesis has often been taken (erroneously) to be very
reasonable. In this guise DC has frequently been used to criticise linguistic
theories of logical necessity and empiricist conceptions of mathematics.
We contend, however, that the DC principle, and minor modifications of
it, are false; and accordingly that criticisms based on it carry no weight.
Roy, Tony. 1995. "In Defense of Linguistic Ersatzism", Philosophical
Studies 80: 217-242.
David Lewis admits that his modal realism is often met with an "incredulous
stare". As an alternative, say a "world-story" is a maximal consistent
set of sentences, and modal notions are analyzed in terms of them. Lewis
argues that "ersatz" accounts of this sort are both circular and incorrect:
circular because the analysis of consistency depends on modality; incorrect
because world-stories fail to represent every way the world can be. Further,
Patrick Grim and others argue that there are no maximal sets of sentences
in the sort of language required. I respond that there are ways to resist
Roy, Tony. 1993. "Worlds and Modality", The Philosophical Review
What is it in virtue of which metaphysically modal statements are
true or false? Some appeal to quantification over possible worlds. But
I suggest that there are reasons to wonder whether possible worlds (as
developed by Lewis and by Plantinga) are even relevant to modal truth.
I then argue that there is a sense in which possible worlds of a certain
sort may be seen as relevant to modality. The "worlds" represent combinations
allowable under fixed constraints. On my account, for metaphysical modality,
the important constraints have to do with the actual structures of non-modal
Ryle, Gilbert. 1949. "Meaning and Necessity", Philosophy 24:
Schweizer, Paul. 1992. "A Syntactical Approach to Modality", Journal
of Philosophical Logic
The purpose of the work is to provide two closely related formalizations
of propositional modal logic, where the necessity device is treated as
a predicate of syntactical expressions. The basic strategy for addressing
Montague's inconsistency results is to require that the extension of the
modal predicate be defined with respect to a grounded hierarchy of formulas.
In the first system this is achieved by using structurally primitive quotation
names, and in the second by restricting the axiom schemas to the corresponding
grounded sublanguage. Both these approaches allow operator modal logic
to be embedded in a first-order setting, and hence possible worlds are
not used as model-theoretic primitives.
Schweizer, Paul, 1987. "Necessity Viewed as a Semantical Predicate",
Studies 52: 33-47.
The primary goal of the paper is to construct several infinite metalinguistic
hierarchies in which necessity is treated as a predicate of sentences rather
than as an operator. The salient feature of these languages is that the
formation rules do not place any special restrictions on the naming function,
so that quotational names of sentences behave as ordinary singular terms.
But the diagonal lemma still fails, and montague's inconsistency is thereby
averted. The necessity predicate can attach to names of open formulas,
but quantification into modal contexts is treated as vacuous, while the
non-modal logic remains first order.
Seddon, George. 1972. "Logical Possibility", Mind 81:
Sellars, Wilfred. 1953. "Inference And Meaning", Mind 62:
This discussion is focused on the notions of inference in enthymeme
expressions. This is presented as problematic in that in a given enthymeme,
one must admit that the inference is based on a non-logical or material
necessity. The contention is that there are material rules of inference
as regarding the strictly formal rules of logical inference, but they are
remanded to second-class status in that, unlike formal rules, they are
not necessarily conditions of the very existence of terms or concepts.
Also, their authority is purely derivative.
Shalkowski, Scott. 1996. "Conventions, Cognitivism, and Necessity",
Philosophical Quarterly 33: 375-392.
The major question of this paper is "Is there a viable reduction
of necessity in terms of linguistic phenomena"? Substantival accounts,
standard conventionalism and latter-day modal noncognitivism are examined.
It is argued that all reductive approaches are deficient because they confront
a fatal dilemma: either the reductive base is modally unconstrained and
the proposal is arbitrary or the reductive base is modally constrained
and the proposal is circular. Common mistakes about necessity, which make
linguistic theories attractive and which hinder progress in the epistemology
of modality, are noted and discussed.
Shalkowski, Scott. 1994. "The Ontological Ground of the Alethic Modality",
Philosophical Review 103: 669-688.
This paper is concerned with the wholly metaphysical question of
whether necessity and possibility rest on nonmodal foundations--whether
the truth conditions for modal statements are, in the final analysis, nommodal.
It is argued that Lewis's modal realism is either arbitrary and stipulative
or else it is circular. Even if there were Lewisean possible worlds, they
could not provide the grounds for modality. D M Armstrong's combinatorial
approach to possibility suffers from similar defects. Since more traditional
reductions to cognitive or linguistic facts suffer similar fates, the conclusion
that the alethic modality is primitive and incapable of reduction is offered.
Shalkowski, Scott A. 1992. "Supervenience and Causal Necessity", Synthese90:
Causal necessity typically receives only oblique attention. Causal
relations, laws of nature, counterfactual conditionals, or dispositions
are usually the immediate subject(s) of interest. All of these, however,
have a common feature. In some way, they involve the causal modality, some
form of natural or physical necessity. In this paper, causal necessity
is discussed with the purpose of determining whether a completely general
empiricist theory can account for the causal in terms of the noncausal.
Based on an examination of causal relations, laws of nature, counterfactual
conditionals, and dispositions, it is argued that no reductive program
devoid of essentialist commitments can account for all the phenomena that
involve causal necessity. Hence, neo-Humean empiricism fails to provide
a framework adequate for understanding causal necessity.
Shapiro, Stewart 1993. "Modality and Ontology", Mind 102:
This paper concerns the relationship between ideology and ontology.
The starting point is a series of recent programs whose strategy is to
reduce ontology in mathematics by invoking some ideology, typically a modal
operator. In each case, there are straightforward, often trivial, translations
from the set-theoretic language of the realist to the proposed language
with added ideology, and vice-versa. The contention is that, because of
these translations, neither system can claim a major epistemological advantage
over the other. The prima facie intractability of knowledge of abstract
objects indicates an intractability concerning knowledge of the "new" notions.
The prevailing criterion of ontological commitment, due to Quine, is that
the ontology of a theory is the range of its bound variables; but recall
that Quine insists on a fixed, and very austere ideology. It is proposed
here that, when this constraint is relaxed, the Quinean criterion is flawed,
and an alternative, in structuralist terms, is developed.
Shaw, J. L. 1980. "Some Reflections of Kripke", Logique et Analyse23:
The aim of this paper is to discuss the view of Kripke as formulated
in his articles on 'naming and necessity' and 'identity and necessity'.
In this context Kripke's criticism of philosophers like Frege, Russell,
Wittgenstein, Searle, and Strawson have been discussed. It is also claimed
that Kripke's criticism of the sense theory of Frege is wide of the mark.
Following Frege one might develop three different types of sense of a designator.
Kripke's distinction between proper names and descriptions in modal contexts
has also been dismissed. Kripke's causal chain theory of proper names cannot
be considered as a substitute for Frege's sense theory of proper names.
Kripke's method of providing a contingent "a priori" truth is not justifiable.
As regards the meaning of "a posteriori" truths it is claimed that some
of his examples do not represent this type of truth, and some other examples
can be substantiated by extending Russell's thesis on this topic. Finally
it has been pointed out that the concept of necessity can be distinguished
from the concept of universality.
Shope, Robert K. 1988. "Powers, Causation, and Modality", Erkenntnis28:
A complex theory concerning powers, natures, and causal necessity
has emerged from the writing of P. H. Hare, E. H. Madden, and R. Harre.
In the course of rebutting objections that other critics have raised to
the "power account of causation", I correct three of its genuine difficulties:
its attempt to analyze power attributions in terms of conditional statements;
its characterization of the relation between something's powers and its
nature; and its doctrines concerning conceptual necessity. The resulting
interpretation of causal modalities is then subsumed under a more general
"power account of modality", related at a number of points to considerations
concerning powers, and further illustrating their philosophical importance.
Sidelle, Alan. 1989. Necessity, Essence, and Individuation: a Defense
of Conventionalism. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press).
Recent philosophical work has been deeply influenced by a realistic
understanding of modality, essence and individuation suggested by the discovery
of necessary "a posteriori" truths. The present book argues that the necessary
"a posteriori" and associated phenomena can be given a conventionalist
account, and that on epistemological, metaphysical and semantic grounds,
this account is superior to that of the realist. The legitimacy and need
for appeals to analyticity is defended, and a semantic approach is sketched
which, while acknowledging the important insights of causal theorists of
reference, incorporates the semantic structure needed to ground modality
and individuation. Overall, the book is a contemporary defense of empiricist
metaphysics and semantics.
Simons, Peter. "Lewy on C. I. Lewis And Entailment", Analysis38:
In "Meaning and Modality" Lewy claims the only ground for rejecting
disjunctive syllogism as acceptable for entailment is rejection of bivalence.
Examining Lewis's 'proofs' of the paradoxes of strict implication he suggests
the proof of 'if a then (b or not-b)' suppresses a premiss, restoration
of which blocks the paradox, whereas the proof of 'if (a and not-a) then
b' cannot be so blocked. But the paradoxes are dual, so he should have
treated them dually by restoring a suppressed disjunct in the consequent
of the second. When this is done, the second paradox is blocked and disjunctive
syllogism fares no better than the principle Lewy discarded.
Skorupski, John. 1980. "Possibility", Proceedings of the Aristotelian
Society, supplementary volume 54: 89-104.
Skyrms, Brian. 1978. "An Immaculate Conception of Modality", Journal
of Philosophy 75: 368-387.
A natural metalinguistic interpretation is developed for both S-4
and S-5. It is shown that purported proofs that this cannot be done prove
something less. The semantics of Kripke can be reinterpreted according
to the lights of Quine, Carnap, and Lewis.
Sloman, Aaron. 1968. "Explaining Logical Necessity", Proceedings
of the Aristotelian Society
Smart, J. J. C. 1959. "Incompatible Colors", Philosophical Studies
Deals with convention and modality.
Stalnaker, Robert. 1978. "Assertion", Syntax and Semantics 9:
??. Reprinted in Robert Stalnaker, Context and Content (Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 1999), 78-95.
Stenius, Erik. 1960. Wittgenstein's "Tractatus:" a Critical Exposition
of Its Main Lines of Thought. (Oxford: Blackwell).
The author describes himself as "trying to fill in the spaces of
meaning left out between (Wittgenstein's) aphorisms."
Sullivan, Peter M. 1998. "The 'Modal Extension Principle': A Question
About Peacocke's Approach to Modality", Mind 107: 653-660.
Peacocke has proposed a principles-based' elucidation of modal notions,
according to which implicitly known principles reflecting the identities
of thing, properties, and concepts constrain which among the categorially
suitable assignments to an expression or concept are admissible', that
is, reflect genuine possibilities. Central among those constraining principles
is his Modal Extension Principle, which restricts admissible assignments
to a concept (or expression) to those that, in some sense, are true to
its being the concept it is (or meaning what it does). The paper argues,
first, that this principle, as formulated by Peacocke, allows only the
actual state of affairs to be possible; and secondly, that revision of
the principle to avoid this consequence introduces a circularity to Peacocke's
Tannsjo,-Torbjorn. 1991. "Morality and Modality", Philosophical Papers
Various different theories about possible worlds are examined and
rejected. It is conjectured that, when doing moral philosophy, we ought
to give up the ambition to "reduce" model notions to talk about possible
worlds. Instead we ought to adopt a realistic stance to model notions.
When we say to a person that he can act otherwise than the way he actually
does, we ascribe a theoretical property to him. There is a wide variety
of possible evidence for this statement, but no item in particular is decisive.
Ascriptions of capability are underdetermined by the evidence at hand.
Tennant, Neil. 1987. "Conventional Necessity and the Contingency of
Convention", Dialectica41: 79-95.
Abstract: I defend a conventionalist view of logical and (some) mathematical
truths against the criticisms of Quine and Stroud. Conventionalism is best
formulated by appealing to sense-conferring rules governing important logical
and mathematical expressions. Conventional necessity can be understood
as arising from these rules in a way that is immune to Quine's and Stroud's
criticisms of the earlier formulation of conventionalism, in which stress
was incorrectly laid on axiomatic systems of logic.
Reply to Quine's "Truth by Convention" that makes use of natural
Thomas, Holly. 1996. "Combinatorialism and Primitive Modality", Philosophical
Studies 83: 231-252.
Thomas, Holly. 1995. "The Principle of Recombination and the Principle
of Distinctness: A Puzzle for Armstrong's Theory of Modality", Australasian
Journal of Philosophy 73: 444-457.
Thomas, Holly. 1993. "Modal Realism and Inductive Scepticism", Noûs
Thomason, Richmond and Stalnaker, Robert. 1968. "Modality And Reference",
This paper deals with a problem concerning the behavior of singular
terms in modal and intensional contexts. To deal with this problem we introduce
an abstraction operator into first-order modal logic and present informally
its semantic interpretation. This allows us to give a formal account of
the difference between what have been called the attributive and the referential
uses of definite descriptions, and to give a general explanation of the
distinction between "de dicto" and "de re" modality. After introducing
and explaining our semantic apparatus we apply it to some traditional puzzles
arising with epistemic, deontic and tense logic, and counterfactual conditionals.
Thomason, Richmond H. 1980. "A Note on Syntactical Treatments of Modality",
Thornton, M. T. 1969. "Rundle on Referential Opacity", Analysis29:
In this article I discuss Rundle's treatment (in 'analytical philosophy',
second series, ed. R.j. Butler, Oxford, 1965) of Quine's views on referential
opacity. I show that his two key arguments have the consequence that contingent
identities collapse into necessary identities. Rundle's thesis is that
necessity is a trait of what is referred to, while quine holds that it
depends on the manner of referring. I argue, with Rundle, that Quine's
treatment of arithmetical propositions is question-begging, and, with Quine,
that Rundle's treatment of other necessary statements is defective.
Urmson, J. O. 1947. "Are Necessary Truths True by Convention?", Proceedings
of the Aristotelian Society, supplementary volume 21: 104-117.
Comments on Karl Britton's paper by the same name.
Van Fraassen, Bas. 1977. "The Only Necessity Is Verbal Necessity", Journal
of Philosophy 74: 71-85.
Van Fraassen, Bas. 1969. "Meaning Relations and Modalities", Noûs
This paper aims to present a certain philosophical perspective on the basic concepts of modal logic. It is argued that the view that 'necessarily, a' is true exactly if 'a' is true due to meaning relations among its terms ("ex vi terminorum") is adequate only in a special case. It is clearly not adequate for physical or tense modality, nor for alethic modality understood in a strict sense. We argue also however that there is an intimate relation between truth conditions for modal statements and truth or falsity ex vi terminorum. Since our approach is explicitly ametaphysical, it has implications for the current debate about essentialism in modal logic. We argue that this debate has left us, so far, with the dilemma of accepting essentialism or rejecting the completeness proofs for certain standard modal logics. But this is, in our view, a false dilemma, and we argue that on our interpretation no statement formulable in the language of modal logic commits us to essentialism.
Van Inwagen, Peter. 1990. "Indexicality And Actuality", Philosophical
Review 89: 403-426.
David Lewis maintains that "actual," as this term is used in philosophical
discussions of modality, is an indexical term. I discuss several possible
interpretations of this thesis and show that each has unacceptable consequences.
On one interpretation, for example, it has the consequence that "all" terms
are indexical. On another, it entails the collapse of all modal distinctions,
I conclude that on no known interpretation is Lewis's thesis a plausible
von-Wright, Georg. 1984. Truth, Knowledge, and Modality: Philosophical
Papers. (Oxford: Blackwell).
A major part of the material in this volume has not been published
before. Two essays on truth discuss logical systems which allow truth-value
gaps and truth-value overlaps. Frexsh treatment is given to aristotle's
problem of the sea-battle and to his dictum that everything which is is
necessary and to the medieval problem of whether god's omniscience is compatible
with human freedom of action. Three essays on modality exploit a distinction
between a synchronic and a diachronic conception of possibility and necessity.
Weiss, Paul. 1962. "Twenty-two Reasons for Continuing as Before", Philosophical
Studies 13: 65-67.
Weiss, Paul. 1956. The Paradox of Necessary Truth, Once More", Philosophical
Studies 7: 88.
Weiss, Paul. 1955. "The Paradox of Necessary Truth", Philosophical
Studies 6: 31-32.
Wertheimer, Roger. 1972. The Significance of Sense: Meaning, Modality
and Morality. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press).
The subtitle suggests that this is a study in ethical theory, but
the author's aim is to consider certain linguistic questions about modal
terms. His first chapter examines philosophic uses of 'good', 'right' and
'ought'--and the following four chapters study univocity as applied to
each of these terms. He is insistent that there is no distinctive moral
usage for good and right. Yet he concludes that "ethics is the most important
study" and further that the moral philosopher "will learn no more about
it [morality] by studying the word 'right' than he would by studying the
word 'true': nothing."
White, Alan Richard. 1975. Modal Thinking. (Oxford: Blackwell).
The author selects as the basic modal notions those expressed by
the modal auxiliaries 'can', 'may', 'must', 'ought', and 'need', together
with such related notions as those of possibility, ability, power, probability,
certainty, necessity and obligation.
Wilson, N. L. 1965. "Modality and Identity: a Defense", Journal of
Philosophy 62: 471-476.
Wilson, N. L. 1961. "Reply to Professor Rescher's "Identity, Substitution,
Review of Metaphysics 14: 714-720.
In his 1960 review article, "identity, substitution, and modality,"
nicholas rescher wrote that the primary aim of n l wilson's book, "the
concept of language" (toronto, 1959), was an attack on the logic of modality
on the ground of its clash with leibniz's rule. He further professed to
find a lack of fundamental or thematic unity in the book. The author responds
to these and other charges by tracing the logical development of his chapters,
discussing his notion of propositions, and clarifying his views, in opposition
to rescher's, on modal logic.
Wolterstorff, Nicholas. 1987. "Are Concept-users World-makers" in James Tomberlin, ed., Philosophical Perspectives (Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview), 233-267.