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By Michael Luntley

This lucid and interesting quantity presents an creation to the fundamental matters and ideas of latest analytic philosophy.

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Sample text

It may be a matter of some urgency to know that there are three ways in which we can escape from a burning building. It may be of great scientific interest to know that, given the initial conditions and the laws of nature, there are two ways in which a system can evolve. Yet none of these natural, important or scientific modal theses can be expressed using the resources of QML. There could have been other things than there actually are As things actually stand, I have exactly one brother. But I might have had a sister.

1. Does the grammatical structure of QML have sufficient flexibility to express the relevant distinction correctly? ” The word “necessarily” occurs between the words “is” and “human”. In so occurring, it appears to be saying something about the way in which some x is human, and so makes it clear that it is saying something about the relation between the object x and its humanity. In QML, we might intuitively want to reflect this fact by placing the ~ between the x and the F to write something like ∃x(x~F).

Moreover, such formulations don’t seem to enable us to distinguish between de re and de dicto truths. Recall that de re propositions, such as “Joe is necessarily human”, say something about the MODAL LANGUAGE AND MODAL LOGIC 27 way in which a particular object instantiates a property, while de dicto propositions, like “Necessarily all bachelors are unmarried”, ascribe a necessity to the proposition as a whole rather than any particular individual or object. The grammar of QML doesn’t seem to be sensitive to such distinctions.

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