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Beebee, Helen, , . Necessary Connections and the Problem of Induction
2011, Noûs 45(3): 504-527.
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Added by: Laura Jimenez, Contributed by:

Summary: In this paper Beebee argues that the problem of induction, which she describes as a genuine sceptical problem, is the same for Humeans than for Necessitarians. Neither scientific essentialists nor Armstrong can solve the problem of induction by appealing to IBE (Inference to the Best Explanation), for both arguments take an illicit inductive step.

Comment: This paper describes in a comprehensible way Armstrong’s and the Humean approaches to the problem of induction. Ideal for postgraduate philosophy of science courses, although it could be a further reading for undergraduate courses as well.

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Blanchette, Patricia, , . Models and Modality
2000, Synthese 124(1): 45-72.
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Added by: Berta Grimau, Contributed by: Patricia Blanchette

Abstract: This paper examines the connection between model-theoretic truth and necessary truth. It is argued that though the model-theoretic truths of some standard languages are demonstrably “necessary” (in a precise sense), the widespread view of model-theoretic truth as providing a general guarantee of necessity is mistaken. Several arguments to the contrary are criticized.

Comment: This text would be best used as secondary reading in an intermediate or an advanced philosophy of logic course. For example, it can be used as a secondary reading in a section on the connection between model-theoretic truth and necessary truth.

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Drewery, Alice, , . Essentialism and the Necessity of the Laws of Nature
2005, Synthese 144(3): 381-396.
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Added by: Laura Jimenez, Contributed by:

Abstract: In this paper the author discusses and evaluates different arguments for the view that the laws of nature are metaphysically necessary. She conclude that essentialist arguments from the nature of natural kinds fail to establish that essences are ontologically more basic than laws, and fail to offer an a priori argument for the necessity of all causal laws. Similar considerations carry across to the argument from the dispositionalist view of properties, which may end up placing unreasonable constraints on property identity across possible worlds. None of her arguments preclude the possibility that the laws may turn out to be metaphysically necessary after all, but she argues that this can only be established by a posteriori scientific investigation. She argues for what may seem to be a surprising conclusion: that a fundamental metaphysical question – the modal status of laws of nature – depends on empirical facts rather than purely on a priori reasoning.

Comment: An excellent paper that could serve as further or specialized reading for postgraduate courses in philosophy of science, in particular, for modules related to the study of the laws of nature. The paper offers an in-depth discussion of essentialist arguments, but also touches upon many other fundamental concepts such as grounding, natural kinds, dispositions and necessity.

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Uckelman, Sara L., , . A Quantified Temporal Logic for Ampliation and Restriction
2013, Vivarium 51(1-4): 485-510.
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Added by: Berta Grimau, Contributed by: Sara L. Uckelman

Abstract: Temporal logic as a modern discipline is separate from classical logic; it is seen as an addition or expansion of the more basic propositional and predicate logics. This approach is in contrast with logic in the Middle Ages, which was primarily intended as a tool for the analysis of natural language. Because all natural language sentences have tensed verbs, medieval logic is inherently a temporal logic. This fact is most clearly exemplified in medieval theories of supposition. As a case study, we look at the supposition theory of Lambert of Lagny (Auxerre), extracting from it a temporal logic and providing a formalization of that logic.

Comment: This article employs modal-temporal logic with Kripke semantics to formalize a particular supposition theory (Lambert of Lagny’s). Thus, it includes an original proposal. Moreover, it provides both an introduction to medieval supposition theory and an introduction to Kripke semantics. So, it could be used as a means to work on either of those topics. It does not involve many technicalities, but a bit of familiarity with modal logic is recommended.

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