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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2020-21


PHIL 50.33 Necessity and Possibility

Modal talk is central to a great range of philosophical discussions, in areas from ethics to metaphysics to philosophy of mind and philosophy of science. But talk about what is possible or necessary is puzzling. For, as Hume noted, we never seem to observe anything like necessity in the world. Can talk about what is necessary or possible be true or false? If so, are there parts of reality (other possible worlds, or essences or modal properties of this world) that make it true? Or should modal talk be understood as doing something other than attempting to describe features of the universe? And how can we come to acquire modal knowledge—given that we don’t seem to observe modal facts? This course will examine a range of positions in the metaphysics and epistemology of modality.

Prerequisite

Two Philosophy courses, or permission of the instructor.

Distributive and/or World Culture

Dist:TMV

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.