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The Inaugural Address: Kantian Modality

Tom Baldwin
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes
Vol. 76 (2002), pp. 1-24
Published by: Wiley on behalf of The Aristotelian Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4106963
Page Count: 24
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The Inaugural Address: Kantian Modality
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Abstract

Kant's claim that modality is a 'category' provides an approach to modality to be contrasted with Lewis's reductive analysis. Lewis's position is unsatisfactory, since it depends on an inherently modal conception of a world. This suggests that modality is 'primitive'; and the Kantian position is a prima facie plausible position of this kind, which is filled out by considering the relationship between modality and inference. This provides a context for comparing the Kantian position with Wright's non-cognitivist 'conventionalism'. Wright's position is vulnerable to the type of argument used against ethical non-cognitivism, and the Kantian position is further confirmed by Blackburn's acknowledgment that modality is 'antinaturalistic to its core'. The position is further elaborated to show that it can accommodate the famous Kripkean categories of the empirically necessary and the contingent a priori, and finally defended against the criticisms used by Quine against Carnap.

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