Single Idea 10927

[catalogued under 10. Modality / A. Necessity / 11. Denial of Necessity]

Full Idea

Necessity does not properly apply to the fulfilment of conditions by objects (such as the number which numbers the planets), apart from special ways of specifying them.

Gist of Idea

Necessity only applies to objects if they are distinctively specified


Willard Quine (Reference and Modality [1953], 3)

Book Reference

Quine,Willard: 'From a Logical Point of View' [Harper and Row 1963], p.151

A Reaction

This appears to say that the only necessity is 'de dicto', and that there is no such thing as 'de re' necessity (of the thing in itself). How can Quine deny that there might be de re necessities? His point is epistemological - how can we know them?