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Oxford Studies in Metaphysics volume 7$
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Karen Bennett and Dean W. Zimmerman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199659081

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659081.001.0001

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Relativized Metaphysical Modality *

Relativized Metaphysical Modality *

Chapter:
(p.189) 7. Relativized Metaphysical Modality*
Source:
Oxford Studies in Metaphysics volume 7
Author(s):

Adam Murray

Jessica Wilson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659081.003.0007

It is commonly supposed that metaphysical modal claims are to be evaluated with respect to a single domain of possible worlds: a claim is metaphysically necessary just in case it is true in every possible world, and metaphysically possible just in case it is true in some possible world. This chapter argues that the standard understanding is incorrect; rather, whether a given claim is metaphysically necessary or possible is relative to which world is indicatively actual. We motivate our view by attention to discussions in Salmon 1989 and Fine 2005, in which various data are taken to support rejecting the transitivity of accessibility (Salmon) and modal monism (Fine); we argue that relativized metaphysical modality can accommodate these data compatible with both standard modal logic(s) and modal monism. Noting an analogy with two-dimensional semantics, we argue that metaphysical modality has a complex structure, reflecting what is counterfactually possible, relative to each indicatively actual world.

Keywords:   metaphysical modality, modal logic, necessity, possibility, possible worlds, accessibility, indicative actuality, two-dimensional semantics, S4/S5, modal monism

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