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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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Modal Commitments

Modal Commitments

(p.189) 10 Modal Commitments

John Divers

Oxford University Press

This chapter has three principal aims. Firstly, to promote interest in the question of the function, or utility, of judgements of modality (showing what it is that we presently lack in this regard, and defending the legitimacy of the question). Secondly, to endorse an alternative to orthodox contemporary methodology, advocating that we prioritize the question of function in modal philosophy (identifying exactly which modal judgements play a useful role, and constraining the accumulation of philosophically substantial commitments to the accommodation of those judgements). Thirdly, to consider among our modal judgements exactly which are the proper and exact source of various different kinds of substantial philosophical commitments in ontology, epistemology, and elsewhere. An illustration is offered, in the de dicto case, of how minimal a philosophical theory of modality might be if constructed properly, and carefully, according to functional methodology.

Keywords:   modality, function, methodology, commitments, ontology, epistemology

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