Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy


Necessity by Accident [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 14 • Author/s: Nathan Wildman
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Modal Logic, Ontology

General consensus has it that contingencies lack the requisite modal umph to serve as explanations for the modal status of necessities. The central aim of this paper is to show that this received opinion is incorrect: contingent necessity-makers are in fact possible. To do so, I identify certain conditions the satisfaction of which entail the possibility of contingent necessity-makers. I then argue for two broad instances where these conditions are satisfied. Consequently, the associated necessities in fact have contingent necessity-makers.

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.

On Blackburn’s Dilemma and the “Antinaturalistic Core” of Necessity [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 14 • Author/s: William Bondi Knowles
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Modal Logic, Ontology

Blackburn’s dilemma (as commonly understood) is that in explaining truths of the form ‘Necessarily-P’ we have to appeal either to a necessary truth, in which case we don’t seem to make the right kind of progress, or to a contingent truth, in which case we seem to undermine the necessity we were meant to be explaining. This paper advances two claims. First, it is argued that the dilemma is wider in scope than usually supposed. The standard assumption (evident also in Blackburn’s original paper (1993)) is that the dilemma applies…

Hale on Logical and Absolute Necessity: What You Put In Is What You Get Out [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 14 • Author/s: Simon Babbs, Joshua Mendelsohn
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Modal Logic, Ontology

What does it take for a necessity operator to capture an absolute as opposed to merely relative sense of necessity? Bob Hale (2013) delineates and formalizes three conceptions of absolute necessity, which he takes to be co-extensive, and to permit non-logical, absolutely necessary truths. We raise problems with Hale’s three conceptions of absolute necessity, both on their own terms and as regards the compatibility of all the features Hale wants them to possess. We show that Hale’s formulations are less informative than they may seem. They are all in important…

Modal Logicism and De Re Necessity [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 14 • Author/s: Tobias Wilsch
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Modal Logic, Ontology

This article introduces Logicism about Necessity as a competitor to the currently popular Essentialism. The main point of contention between the two views concerns the ultimate source of metaphysical necessity. Essentialists take essences to ultimately ground metaphysical necessity, Logicists take logic to play that role. I provide some support for the claim that one of these two views is correct, and I use recent material from Fabrice Correia and Alex Skiles to develop a specific version of Logicism in some detail. The main ambition of the article is to present…

Logical Essence [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 14 • Author/s: Jessica Leech
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Modal Logic, Ontology, Philosophical logic

An increasingly popular view at the intersection of logic and metaphysics is that logical necessities have their source in the essences of logical entities: metaphysical necessity has its source in the essences or natures of things, and logical necessity is a restriction of metaphysical necessity. But logical and metaphysical necessity are, nevertheless, importantly distinct: there are metaphysical necessities that are not logical necessities. I raise a serious problem for this essentialist view. It seems as though they must misclassify some merely metaphysical necessities as logical necessities. I argue that the…

Proper Names as Demonstratives [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 15 • Author/s: Maciej Tarnowski
Topics: Epistemology, Meta-Philosophy, Philosophy of language

The paper considers the hypothesis that proper names are simple demonstratives. In the first part, I provide the general motivation for an indexical treatment of proper names as well as assess the strengths and weaknesses of existing indexical accounts. The second part is devoted to proposing a new account that treats proper names as simple demonstratives, where referents are determined by the speaker’s referential intention. In my proposal, I use the hybrid approach toward indexical expressions developed by Wolfgang Künne (1992) and Stefano Predelli (2006). I argue that this approach…

Metaphor Identification beyond Discourse Coherence [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 15 • Author/s: Inés Crespo, Andreas Heise, Claudia Picazo
Topics: Epistemology, Meta-Philosophy, Philosophy of language

In this paper, we propose an account of metaphor identification on the basis of contextual coherence. In doing so, we build on previous work by Nicholas Asher and Alex Lascarides that appeals to rhetorical relations in order to explain discourse structure and the constraints on the interpretation of metaphor that follow from it. Applying this general idea to our problem, we will show that rhetorical relations are sometimes insufficient and sometimes inadequate for deciding whether a given utterance is a case of metaphor. They are insufficient, since rhetorical relations fall…

Lying and Misleading in Context [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 15 • Author/s: Palle Leth
Topics: Epistemology, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

In this paper I question the lying/misleading distinction from three different angles. I argue, first, that if speakers are responsible for what they explicitly say only and hearers for what they infer that speakers implicitly convey, it is practically impossible to enforce speaker responsibility. An implication of this view is that the lying/misleading distinction is untenable. Other attempts at questioning the distinction have been countered by empirical evidence of the robustness of the distinction. However, there is also contrasting empirical evidence that people do think that it is possible to…

Conscious Experiences as Ultimate Seemings: Renewing the Phenomenal Concept Strategy [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 02 • Author/s: François Kammerer
Topics: Epistemology, Philosophy of mind

The Phenomenal Concept Strategy is a popular strategy used to support physicalism in the realm of conscious experience. This Strategy accounts for dualist intuitions but uses the ways in which we think about our experiences to explain these intuitions in a physicalist framework, without any appeal to ontological dualism. In this paper, I will raise two issues related to the currently available versions of the Phenomenal Concept Strategy. First, most of the theories belonging to the Phenomenal Concept Strategy posit that phenomenal concepts are exceptional and sui generis concepts, and…
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