On some arguments for the necessity of necessity
Author: Hale B.
Source: Mind, Volume 108, Number 429, January 1999 , pp. 23-52(30)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Must we believe in logical necessity? I examine an argument for an affirmative answer given by Ian McFetridge in his posthumously published paper 'Logical Necessity: Some Issues', and explain why it fails, as it stands, to establish his conclusion. I contend, however, that McFetridge's argument can be effectively buttressed by drawing upon another argument aimed at establishing that we ought to believe that some propositions are logically necessary, given by Crispin Wright in his paper 'Inventing Logical necessity'. My contention is that Wright's argument, whilst it likewise fails, as it stands, to establish the necessity of necessity, established enough to close off what appears to me to be the only effective-looking sceptical response to McFetridge's original argument. My paper falls into four principal parts. In the first I expound McFetridge's argument and draw attention to the possibility of a certain type of sceptical counter to it. In the second, I begin a response to this sceptical move, taking it as far as I can without reliance upon argument of the kind given by Wright. Turning, then, to Wright's argument, I explain to what extent I think it is successful and seek to rebut some objections to the argument which, were they well-taken, would show that the argument cannot enjoy even the partial success I which to claim for it. Finally, I return to my main theme and try to show, with the assistance of what I take to be solidly established by Wright's argument, that the sceptical response collapses.
Document Type: Original article
Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, The University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK. E-mail: R.Hale@philosophy.arts.gla.ac.uk
Publication date: 1999-01-01
- Mind has long been a leading journal in philosophy. For well over 100 years it has presented the best of cutting edge thought from epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of logic, and philosophy of mind. Mind continues its tradition of excellence today. Mind has always enjoyed a strong reputation for the high standards established by its editors and receives around 350 submissions each year. The editor seeks advice from a large number of expert referees, including members of the network of Associate Editors and his international advisers. Mind is published quarterly.