This conference looks amazing, and I’ll certainly go if I happen to be anywhere near Nebraska in March 2013, although I’m afraid that it’s quite unlikely. Kit Fine is the obvious attraction, but I expect that there might be an interesting dialogue between Boris Kment (whom I had the pleasure of meeting recently at the Carolina Metaphysics Workshop) and Tim Williamson. You can read about my take on Williamson’s counterfactual analysis of modality in my forthcoming paper, ‘Counterfactuals and Modal Epistemology‘. Alan Sidelle’s approach to modality is more deflationary, but should provide for equally interesting dialogue, whereas Markus Schrenk has some fascinating work on laws and necessity.
If you’re going to this one, let me know!
The Fifth Annual Chambers Philosophy Conference:
March 15-16, 2013
University of Nebraska at Lincoln
New York University
Universität zu Köln
University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Oxford
University of Toronto
California State University, Northridge
This conference was inspired by two fairly recent, and fairly independent, conversations about necessity. One, under the heading “metaphysics of science,” is about whether any purported distinction between nomological and metaphysical necessity is dissolved if natural kinds have essential, causally-relevant properties. Another, under the heading “modal metaphysics,” concerns what, if anything, makes necessity claims true. These conversations prompted the thought that an exploration of necessity that crosses philosophical sub-disciplines could be fruitful. A general investigation into the nature of necessity would welcome approaches from logic, philosophy of language, epistemology, as well as metaphysics and philosophy of science, and consider such questions as:
- What does it mean for a claim to be necessarily true?
- If any claims are necessarily true, what accounts for that? What are the truth-makers or “grounds” for necessity claims?
- How do we know that a claim is not only true, but necessarily true? How can necessity claims be epistemically justified?
- Are there different kinds of necessity claims: logical, metaphysical, physical …? If so, do different necessities differ with respect to their grounds, or epistemic accessibility?
- How is necessity related to analyticity, essence, natural kind, power, cause, or natural law?
For more information, please contact:
Jennifer McKitrick: email@example.com
Reina Hayaki: firstname.lastname@example.org