Contingentism about Individuals and Higher-Order Necessitism



Published 15-07-2013
Manuel Pérez Otero


Necessitism about individuals claims that necessarily every individual necessarily exists. An analogous necessitist thesis attributes necessary existence to properties and relations. Both theses have been defended by Williamson. Furthermore, Williamson specifically argues against the hybrid conjunction of first-order contingentism (the negation of necessitism about individuals) and higher-order necessitism; a combination that would bring about additional drawbacks. I work out a defence of the hybrid combination, including some replies to Williamson's additional objections. Considerations of ontological parsimony and pre-theoretical intuitions favour the hybrid view over necessitism at all orders (which Williamson mainly defends by invoking considerations of simplicity).

How to Cite

Pérez Otero, M. (2013). Contingentism about Individuals and Higher-Order Necessitism. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 28(3), 393–406.
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Williamson, ontological parsimony, pre-theoretical intuitions, Barcan Formula, simplicity, possible worlds semantics, modal logic, contingentism, necessitism