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Contingentism about Individuals and Higher-Order Necessitism

Pérez Otero, Manuel (2013) Contingentism about Individuals and Higher-Order Necessitism. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 28 (3). pp. 393-406. ISSN 2171-679X

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Necessitism about individuals claims that necessarily every individual necessarily exists. An analogous
necessitist thesis attributes necessary existence to properties and relations. Both theses have been defended
by Williamson. Furthermore, Williamson specifically argues against the hybrid conjunction of first-order
contingentism (the negation of necessitism about individuals) and higher-order necessitism; a combination
that would bring about additional drawbacks. I work out a defence of the hybrid combination, including
some replies to Williamson’s additional objections. Considerations of ontological parsimony and pretheoretical
intuitions favour the hybrid view over necessitism at all orders (which Williamson mainly defends
by invoking considerations of simplicity).

Según el necesitismo sobre los individuos, necesariamente todo individuo necesariamente existe. Una tesis
necesitista análoga atribuye existencia necesaria a propiedades y relaciones. Ambas tesis han sido defendidas
por Williamson. Además, Williamson argumenta específicamente contra la conjunción híbrida de
contingentismo de primer orden (la negación del necesitismo sobre los individuos) combinado con necesitismo
de orden superior; una combinación que acarrearía problemas adicionales. En este artículo desarrollo
una defensa de esa combinación híbrida, incluyendo algunas réplicas a tales objeciones adicionales de Williamson.
Consideraciones de parsimonia ontológica e intuiciones pre-teóricas favorecen la concepción híbrida
frente al necesitismo en todos los órdenes (defendido por Williamson basándose, principalmente, en
consideraciones de simplicidad).

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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Pérez Otero,
Additional Information: ISSN: 0495-4548 (print)
Keywords: Williamson; ontological parsimony; pre-theoretical intuitions; Barcan Formula; simplicity; possible worlds semantics; modal logic; contingentism; necessitism; Williamson; parsimonia ontológica; intuiciones pre-teóricas; Fórmula Barcan; simplicidad; semántica de mundos posibles; lógica modal; contingentismo; necesitismo.
Depositing User: Jennifer Chan
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2013 20:02
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2013 20:52
Item ID: 10139
Journal or Publication Title: THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science
Publisher: Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
Official URL:
DOI or Unique Handle:
Date: July 2013
Page Range: pp. 393-406
Volume: 28
Number: 3
ISSN: 2171-679X

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