This book is about the idea that some true statements would have been true no matter how the world had turned out, while others could have been false. It develops and defends a version of the idea that we tell the difference between these two types of truths in part by reflecting on the meanings of words.
It has often been thought that modal issues—issues about possibility and necessity—are related to issues about meaning. In this book, the author defends the view that the analysis of meaning is not just a preliminary to answering modal questions in philosophy; it is not merely that before we can find out whether something is possible, we need to get clear on what we are talking about. Rather, clarity about meaning often brings with it answers to modal questions. In service of this view, the author analyzes the notion of necessity and develops ideas about linguistic meaning, applying them to several puzzles and problems in philosophy of language.
Meaning and Metaphysical Necessity will be of interest to scholars and advanced students working in metaphysics, philosophy of language, and philosophical logic.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Necessity, Meaning, and Method
1. Groundwork on Necessity
2. An Encouraging Link
3. Factorizing Necessity
Appendix to Chapter 3
4. Two Aspects of Linguistic Meaning
5. The Doctrine of Flexible Granularity
6. On the Theory of Propositions
7. Strongly Metaphysical Modality?
8. Toward a Form of Skepticism
Tristan Grøtvedt Haze is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne, Australia. His published work has appeared in Philosophical Studies, Analytic Philosophy, and Thought.