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Title: Making sense of metaphysical modal claims
Author: Mankowitz, Poppy Rebecca Mary
ISNI:       0000 0004 5990 7686
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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In my thesis, I will consider the topic of metaphysical modal claims. The problem with metaphysical modal claims is that it is not entirely clear how one goes about interpreting and assigning truth-values to some of them. It shall be argued that a exible, reductive account of the way in which speakers issue and interpret modal claims would address this sense of confusion. I will therefore motivate, develop and defend a reductive, linguistic er- satzer account in a deliberately simplied language of modal predicate logic. This account will construe possible worlds as maximal-consistent sets of sen- tences, dening these structures in such a way that modal notions are not employed. The idea of assumption-relative modal operators and accessibility relations will then be dened, in order to accommodate the fact that most modal claims do not concern broad logical possibility. Finally, a means of incorporating essentialist claims into assumption-sets shall be developed, in order to handle metaphysical modal claims in particular. An essentialist predicate must be construed non-modally in order to avoid compromising the reductive account. The developed account will also be assessed. I will argue that it is indeed reductive, that Lewis's criticism of reductive linguistic ersatzer accounts do not apply in this case, and that no other means of constructing possible worlds has the potential to give a similar reductive account. However, the commitment to a primitive essentialist predicate undermines the motivation for the proposal qua reductive account. I will consider this objection, in addition to others, and reiterate the theoretical benets of the account.
Supervisor: Meyer Viol, Wilfried Peter Marie Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available