Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Modalities: modalities are in modal logic possibility, necessity and contingency.

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
I 101
Modality/Necessity/Possibility/Modal/Montague/Bigelow/Pargetter: Montague is extreme by - Thesis: attributing modal operators (MO) to referents.
Bigelow/Pargetter: instead, we can assume functions.
Modality/Bigelow/Pargetter: our strategy will be an intermediate position: we only assign referents to names and open sentences. (Not to the modal operators "possible" and "necessary").
Name/individual constants/BigelowVsTarski: Tarski allowed only things as referents that can occupy a place at a time.
We, on the other hand, will also allow Possibilia.
Group: Possibilia: Bigelow pro Possibilia - - against: QuineVsPossibilia/TarskiVsPossibilia.
Possibilia/Bigelow/Pargetter: Things that are not located anywhere but could have been. They are not universals at first! In the end, however, we will argue that they are universals after all.
Definition predicate/Bigelow/Pargetter: at the end we will say that predicates refer to sets constructed from universals and possibilia.
Modality/Modal Operator/Bigelow/Pargetter: for "possible", "necessary", "likely" we do not introduce referents, but rules.
I 290
Necessity/Modality/Causality/Bigelow/Pargetter: although we do not define causes with necessary and sufficient conditions, there are connections between causes and necessity. In one sense, the effect is more than just a coincidental consequence.
There are two ways that leads causation to modalities.
This comes from two terms of "cause", we call them "fat" and "thin" in analogy to Armstrong's "thick" and "thin" single particulars. (Armstrong 1978)
a) Definition thin cause/terminology/Bigelow/Pargetter: is simply the complex of particulars, properties and relations that are causally related to the effect.
b) Definition thick cause/terminology/Bigelow/Pargetter: additionally the external properties, including all force relations.
Modality/Necessity/Bigelow/Pargetter: comes into play, because there is certainly a necessary connection between thick causes and their effects. This is because a relation cannot exist if its Relata does not exist.
Forces/necessity/Bigelow/Pargetter: this means that forces must be active.
I 291
Cause/effect/necessity/Bigelow/Pargetter: this trivial statement explains why causes are necessary for their effects.
Cause/Bigelow/Pargetter: we can also consider it the rest of all causal interaction when everything else is eliminated. Conversely, if we are the only ones to remove the effect from the interaction, the effect must follow.
Necessity/Modality/Causation/Explanation/Bigelow/Pargetter: the second way in which causation leads to modality has more to do with thin causes:
We have seen that thin causes are not always sufficient and necessary conditions for an effect.
Sometimes, however, thin causes are quite sufficient and necessary for the effect.
Modality: comes into play when we modify Lewis' analysis to say that the next possible worlds are where the cause has this or that effect. This is true for most of the causes, and so we also have counterfactual conditionals again.
Similarity metrics/similarity/next possible world/most similar/Bigelow/Pargetter: the proximity of possible worlds is determined by the individuals, properties and relations (1st and higher level) they have in common.
Similarity metrics/similarity/next possible world/most similar/Bigelow/Pargetter: the greater weight should have properties and relations of a higher level. That is, the next world will generally be the one that has most relations in common. If we then have the thick cause, the effect must also set in (necessity).
I 292
Effect/Cause/Bigelow/Pargetter: the effect will occur in the majority of the next possible worlds.
I 383
Modality/Mathematics/Bigelow/Pargetter: the hardness of the mathematical "must" is something that has to be foreseen.
Science: reveals necessities in nature. But these are only relative, conditional necessities.
Natural necessity/natN/Bigelow/Pargetter: is always only relative, a conditional necessity.
Absolute necessity/Bigelow/Pargetter: only arises from mathematics.
I 384
Necessity/Bigelow/Pargetter: imposes restrictions.
Science/Bigelow/Pargetter: Science also shows us possibilities that we would never have seen without it. Mathematics again plays a key role here.
Modality/Bigelow/Pargetter: derives from mathematics, which cannot be separated from science.
Realism/Bigelow/Pargetter. Problem: must also be realism in relation to mathematical objects, and thus it becomes platonism.
Nominalism/Bigelow/Pargetter: as a scientific realist, you can also be a nominalist. However, he must then either reject parts of the mathematics or take a strongly instrumentalistic view.
I 385
Quine/Bigelow/Pargetter: was driven away from nominalism by his scientific realism.
Lewis/Bigelow/Pargetter: much of his modal realism was formulated within a nominalist framework. His later preference for universals does not alter the fact that his central theories are based on individuals and sets.
Nominalism/Bigelow/Pargetter: is only committed to antirealist consequences if he nourishes "worldly" presuppositions.
Scientific Realism/Bigelow/Pargetter: should be a scientific Platonist at the same time. That means he needs mathematical entities and universals Bigelow/Pargetter pro.
Combinatorial theory/Bigelow/Pargetter: pro: the world contains a collection of particulars and universals. This also gives us modalities.
In this way, we obtain a world book that corresponds to a complex property that either instantiates the world or not.
I 386
We call these possible worlds.

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.

Big I
J. Bigelow, R. Pargetter
Science and Necessity Cambridge 1990

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2018-06-25