Dictionary of Arguments

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Metaphysics: is a theory that has the claim to ask questions and provide answers beyond our available knowledge. It is objected that even for asking questions, a knowledge of the meanings of the words used is required. This knowledge is not given when experiences or at least theories using these terms are not available. See also essentialism, metaphysical possibility.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Summary Meta data
Stalnaker I 201
Metaphysics/Episteme/Kripke/Stalnaker: the separation of metaphysical and epistemological distinctions made it possible to agree with the empiricists that substantial truths about the world are knowable only on the basis of empirical evidence, while one allows at the same time nontrivial metaphysical truths about the essential nature of the things.
Kripke/Stalnaker: it remains controversial, what Kripke actually showed.
Kripke/Alan Sidelle/Jackson/Chalmers/Stalnaker: (Sidelle 1989, Jackson 1998, Chalmers 1996) Thesis: Kripke's theses can be reconciled with this,...
I 202
...that all necessity has its root in language and our ideas. However, in a more complex way than empiricism assumed.
Then there is no irreducible necessity a posteriori.
Necessary a posteriori: is then divisible into necessary truth which is knowable a priori by conceptual analysis, and a part that is only a posteriori knowable, but this is contingent. Chalmers and Jackson show this with two-dimensional semantics.
I 203
Metaphysics/metaphysical laws/logic/analysis/Stalnaker: conceptual analysis and deduction (logic) are sufficient to show what is conceptually necessary. But they cannot reveal any metaphysical laws that exclude possibilities that are conceptually coherent, but metaphysically impossible.
Metaphysical possibility/Jackson/Chalmers: ditto, no different terms of necessity (Jackson 1998, 67-84, Chalmers 1996, 136-8).
I 204
Metaphysical necessity/Jackson/Chalmers/Kripke/Lewis/Stalnaker: metaphysical necessity is therefore necessity in the broadest sense.
E.g. It is not exactly the case that there are no metaphysical laws that might have excluded gold from being something else, but if there are such metaphysical laws, there is no such possibility for them to exclude it. Namely, in the light of empirical facts.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Jackson I
Frank C. Jackson
From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis Oxford 2000

Stalnaker I
R. Stalnaker
Ways a World may be Oxford New York 2003

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-05-24
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