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The Laws of Modality

Tugby, Matthew (2022) 'The Laws of Modality.', Philosophical Studies, 179 (8). pp. 2597-2618.


Nomic realists have traditionally put laws to work within a theory of natural modality, in order to provide a metaphysical source for causal necessitation, counterfactuals, and dispositions. However, laws are well-suited to perform other work as well. Necessitation is a widespread phenomenon and includes (for example) cases of categorial, conceptual, grounding, mathematical and normative necessitation. A permissive theory of universals allows us to extend nomic realism into these other domains. With a particular focus on grounding necessitation, it is argued that the sorts of reasons for positing laws in the natural causal domain also apply in other domains. Laws might well be the source of all first-order modality.

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Date accepted:11 January 2022
Date deposited:23 February 2022
Date of first online publication:11 February 2022
Date first made open access:23 February 2022

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