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Title: Three Papers on Logic and Contingency
Authors: Cohen, Eliya
Advisors: LedermanKment, HarveyBoris
Contributors: Philosophy Department
Subjects: Philosophy
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation consists of three papers related to logic and contingency. Each paper interacts with and is critical of methodologies that are cautious to the potential implications of metaphysical intuition for metaphysical theorizing. The first paper defends an account of future contingents for those attempting to remain neutral about the metaphysics of time. According to the influential account of MacFarlane, only the truth of sentences is relativized to contexts of assessment, possible situations in which the use of an expression might be assessed. I argue instead for a new account, on which both the truth of future contingent sentences---e.g. `there will be a sea-battle tomorrow’---and content of certain subsentential constituent expressions---e.g. `Newman-1’ introduced as the first born child of the twenty-second century---are relativized to contexts of assessment. The second paper defends first-order contingentism, roughly the view that it is contingent what individuals there are, against a new argument for its opponent, necessitism, called the Adjunction Argument. The methods employed in this argument make central use of formalism and abduction, relying in particular on the strength certain principles can lend to theories in which they figure. I argue that many contingentists endorse a conception of existence, which makes the relevant formal principles governing quantification inappropriate by their own lights. The third paper develops a variable domain model theory with accessibility to interpret the language of second-order propositional modal logic and establishes a number of incompleteness results. The results are extended to a related class of logics validating a higher-order comprehension principle. Although the results are primarily formal, they are also of interest to the debate over modal ontology and the recent attention to arguments against the efficacy of comprehension principles compatible with higher-order contingentism, the view that it is contingent what properties and propositions there are.
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Philosophy

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