Reductive Theories of Modality

Theodore Sider

in The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780199284221
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Reductive Theories of Modality


Modality is important to philosophy for many reasons. A first reason derives from philosophy's traditional association with logic. Advances in modal logic in the middle of the twentieth century provided a reason to be interested in the modalities. Moreover, propositions that are logically true seem necessarily true. Another source of modality's importance is that necessary truth, according to one tradition, demarcates philosophical from empirical inquiry. Science identifies contingent aspects of the world, whereas philosophical inquiry reveals the essential nature of its objects; philosophical propositions are therefore necessarily true when true at all.

Keywords: modal logic; modalities; empirical inquiry; philosophical inquiry; philosophical propositions; reductive theories

Article.  13957 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Metaphysics

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