Can a Necessity Be the Source of Necessity? [Special Issue]
Issue: Issue 14 • Author/s: James L.D. Brown
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Modal Logic, Ontology
This paper asks whether a necessity can be the source of necessity. According to an influential argument due to Simon Blackburn, it cannot. This paper argues that although Blackburn fails to show that a necessity cannot be the source of necessity, extant accounts fail to establish that it is, with particular focus on Bob Hale’s essentialist theory and Christopher Peacocke’s ‘principle-based’ theory of modality. However, the paper makes some positive suggestions for what a satisfactory answer to the challenge must look like.