Chapter

Necessity

Colin McGinn

in Logical Properties

Published in print November 2000 | ISBN: 9780199241811
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598029 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199241813.003.0004
Necessity

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The view that modal expressions can be successfully paraphrased by means of quantification over possible worlds is rejected on the grounds that such translations are either circular or inadequate. It is argued instead that modal expressions function as ‘copula modifiers’, specifying whether an object instantiates a property in the ‘necessary mode’ or in the ‘contingent mode’. The chapter concludes with a brief examination of some metaphysical issues about modality, including whether it constitutes a sui generis ontological category and whether it is causally efficacious.

Keywords: copula modifier; modal truth; modality; naturalism necessity; possible world semantics; possible worlds; predicate modifier; supervenience; Tarskian semantics

Chapter.  7372 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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