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ModalityMetaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology$
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Bob Hale and Aviv Hoffmann

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199565818

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199565818.001.0001

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On the Source of Necessity

On the Source of Necessity

Chapter:
(p.137) 7 On the Source of Necessity
Source:
Modality
Author(s):

Ross P. Cameron

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199565818.003.0008

Simon Blackburn posed a dilemma for any realist attempt to identify the source of necessity. Either the facts appealed to ground modal truth are themselves necessary, or they are contingent. If necessary, we begin the process towards regress; but if contingent, we undermine the necessity whose source we wanted to explain. Bob Hale attempts to blunt both horns of this dilemma and this chapter defends Hale's conclusion that the dilemma can be resisted. The chapter ends by defending an account of the source of necessity, and showing why it does not fall victim to Blackburn's problem.

Keywords:   Blackburn's dilemma, necessity, conventionalism, regress, circularity

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