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The Presidential Address: Knowledge of Possibility and of Necessity

Bob Hale
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society
New Series, Vol. 103 (2003), pp. 1-20
Published by: Wiley on behalf of The Aristotelian Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4545383
Page Count: 20
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The Presidential Address: Knowledge of Possibility and of Necessity
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Abstract

I investigate two asymmetrical approaches to knowledge of absolute possibility and of necessity-one which treats knowledge of possibility as more fundamental, the other according epistemological priority to necessity. Two necessary conditions for the success of an asymmetrical approach are proposed. I argue that a possibility-based approach seems unable to meet my second condition, but that on certain assumptions-including, pivotally, the assumption that logical and conceptual necessities, while absolute, do not exhaust the class of absolute necessities-a necessity-based approach may be able to do so.

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