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2/22/2017 4:42 am  #1


Modal Knowledge of entities and propositions

(1) I exist, I could've failed to exist. 

(2) I'm writing this post, I could've not written it.

The possibility of me not existing seems to be evidently true. The same goes for the second. How do we know such things though? My failing to exist or deleting my post is a state of affairs that isn't actualized. Here is my worry, 

(3a) What serve as truthmakers for modal truths?
(3b) Are modal truthmakers sufficient to ground knowledge of contingent entities and propositions?

 

2/22/2017 7:06 am  #2


Re: Modal Knowledge of entities and propositions

Just as an aside, the probability that any one of us were not to exist is very, very, close to 100%.  I think it is in the range of 10 to the power of a quadrillion zeros.  That's something to think about (for another time perhaps).

 

2/22/2017 10:25 pm  #3


Re: Modal Knowledge of entities and propositions

Hi, Dennis. I'm not sure what to make of (3b), but I have an idea about (3a)...
Let's see if I can get the codes right:*
What serve as truthmakers for modal truths?
In your examples (1) and (2), people tend to look at the conditions it takes for the actual state of affairs to obtain. In my mind at least, the procedure suggests that the truth-maker for any modal truth is simply the conjunction of the sufficient and necessary conditions for the relevant state of affairs.
The only thing about the idea is, if it even pans out, it seems to me that it means we need to evaluate the truth-makers for every modal truth.

There are a few other things I'm considering at the moment, but I think they should wait until I've fleshed them out.

* Nope.

Last edited by Grace and Rust (2/22/2017 10:31 pm)


Caution: Novice at Work!
 

2/23/2017 7:53 am  #4


Re: Modal Knowledge of entities and propositions

Hi Grace and Rust,

I'm skeptical of the claim that modal truths are just conjunctions of facts. But suppose this so, I take the material definition of an object to descend from the world, this then is conjoined with some other thing. So, "The ship floats on water." This describes a relation of the ship and the water, but if the ship was destroyed prior to it ever sailing--then it will never float on water. If Truth depends on being, what actual state of affairs makes the modal truth above, true? 

     Thread Starter
 

2/23/2017 7:56 am  #5


Re: Modal Knowledge of entities and propositions

Grace and Rust wrote:

In my mind at least, procedure suggests that the truth-maker for any modal truth is simply the conjunction of the sufficient and necessary conditions for the relevant state of affairs.

I'll try to be a bit clearer, but the conjunction of said things isn't actual, then in what sense can it make the proposition true?

     Thread Starter
 

2/23/2017 9:30 am  #6


Re: Modal Knowledge of entities and propositions

Dennis wrote:

(1) I exist, I could've failed to exist.

The Dennis exists in every possible world. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/grin.png

(That's a joke.)

(3a) What serve as truthmakers for modal truths?

Truthmaker necessitarianism says entity T is a truthmaker of <p> if and only if T makes <p> true in every possible world T exists. What exists in every possible world those modal truths are true?

 

2/23/2017 9:35 am  #7


Re: Modal Knowledge of entities and propositions

Grace and Rust wrote:

Let's see if I can get the codes right

We're updating our software in the near future. Until then, see here

 

2/24/2017 5:40 am  #8


Re: Modal Knowledge of entities and propositions

John West wrote:

Truthmaker necessitarianism says entity T is a truthmaker of <p> if and only if T makes <p> true in every possible world T exists. What exists in every possible world those modal truths are true?

Could you clarify what you mean by that?

     Thread Starter
 

2/24/2017 10:43 am  #9


Re: Modal Knowledge of entities and propositions

Hi again, Dennis.

Dennis wrote:

I'm skeptical of the claim that modal truths are just conjunctions of facts. But suppose this so, I take the material definition of an object to descend from the world, this then is conjoined with some other thing. So, "The ship floats on water." This describes a relation of the ship and the water, but if the ship was destroyed prior to it ever sailing--then it will never float on water. If Truth depends on being, what actual state of affairs makes the modal truth above, true?

Well, I don't believe my suggested truth-maker hypothesis commits me to saying that modal truths are merely conjunctions of facts, even if I'm giving a bad explanation. But maybe I missed something about that. Could you explain why?

Last edited by Grace and Rust (2/24/2017 10:44 am)


Caution: Novice at Work!
 

2/24/2017 10:55 am  #10


Re: Modal Knowledge of entities and propositions

Grace and Rust wrote:

In my mind at least, the procedure suggests that the truth-maker for any modal truth is simply the conjunction of the sufficient and necessary conditions for the relevant state of affairs.

I take this to mean something like an analytic connection between things. So, something like a rock is unable to think just by unpacking the material definition of the term. Am I wrong? If so, I'd ask you to elaborate on what you meant.

     Thread Starter
 

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