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Mere PossibilitiesMetaphysical Foundations of Modal Semantics$
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Robert Stalnaker

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691147123

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691147123.001.0001

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Modal Realism, Modal Rationalism, Modal Naturalism

Modal Realism, Modal Rationalism, Modal Naturalism

(p.126) 5 Modal Realism, Modal Rationalism, Modal Naturalism
Mere Possibilities

Robert Stalnaker

Princeton University Press

This chapter summarizes the accounts of modal realism, modal rationalism, and modal naturalism. It details the author's attempt to develop a framework that is compatible with the denial of actualist accounts of modality. It also alludes to some ways that the contrast between modal naturalism and modal rationalism connects with many of the issues that have been the focus of attention in recent philosophical discussions about reference, intentionality, and knowledge: Frege puzzles about singular reference, the phenomenon of a posteriori necessities, the interpretation and application of two-dimensional modal semantics, contextualism about knowledge. This book has not been about those problems, but the development of the framework of modal semantics is motivated in large part by its relevance to them.

Keywords:   modal naturalism, modal rationalism, reference, intentionality, knowledge, modal realism, modality

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