Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Metaphysics: is a theory that has the claim to ask questions and provide answers beyond our available knowledge. It is objected that even for asking questions, a knowledge of the meanings of the words used is required. This knowledge is not given when experiences or at least theories using these terms are not available. See also essentialism, metaphysical possibility.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Peter van Inwagen on Metaphysics - Dictionary of Arguments

Schwarz I 27
Metaphysics/being/essential/van InwagenVsLewis/StalnakerVsLewis: knowing about contingent facts about the current situation would in principle not be sufficient to know all a posteriori necessities:
Def strong necessity/Chalmers: thesis: in addition to substantial contingent truths, there are also substantial modal truths: e.g. that Kripke is essentially a human being, e.g. that pain is essentially identical to XY.
, >a posteriori necessity, >necessity de re.
Important argument: knowledge of contingent facts is not sufficient to recognize these modal facts. How do we recognize them, perhaps we cannot do this (van Inwagen 1998)(1) or only hypothetically through methodological considerations (Block/Stalnaker 1999)(2).
A posteriori necessity/metaphysics/Lewis/Schwarz: normal cases are not cases of strong necessity. You can learn e.g. that Blair is premier or e.g. that the evening star corresponds to the morning star.
LewisVsInwagen/LewisVsStalnaker: other cases (which cannot be empirically found) do not exist.
LewisVsStrong Necessity: strong necessity has no place in his modal logic.
>LewisVsTelescope Theory: worlds are not like distant planets of which one can learn which ones exist.
>Possible worlds.

1. Peter van Inwagen [1998]: “Modal Epistemology”. Philosophical Studies, 92: 67–84.
2. Ned Block und Robert Stalnaker [1999]: “Conceptual Analysis, Dualism, and the Explanatory Gap”. The Philosophical Review, 108: 1–46.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Inwagen I
Peter van Inwagen
Metaphysics Fourth Edition

Schw I
W. Schwarz
David Lewis Bielefeld 2005

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2024-02-21
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