Combining Texts

Ideas for 'Difference and Repetition', 'Meaning and Reference' and 'The Unimportance of Identity'

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2 ideas

10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 1. A Priori Necessary
A statement can be metaphysically necessary and epistemologically contingent [Putnam]
     Full Idea: A statement can be (metaphysically) necessary and epistemologically contingent. Human intuition has no privileged access to metaphysical necessity.
     From: Hilary Putnam (Meaning and Reference [1973], p.160)
     A reaction: The terminology here is dangerously confusing. 'Contingent' is a term which (as Kripke insists) refers to reality, not to our epistemological abilities. The locution of adding the phrase "for all I know" seems to handle the problem better.
10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 4. Conceivable as Possible / a. Conceivable as possible
Conceivability is no proof of possibility [Putnam]
     Full Idea: Conceivability is no proof of possibility.
     From: Hilary Putnam (Meaning and Reference [1973], p.159)
     A reaction: This strikes me as a really basic truth which all novice philosophers should digest. It led many philosophers, especially rationalists, into all sorts of ill-founded claims about what is possible or necessary. Zombies, for instance…