Syllabus of the MA and PhD Class in Analytic Metaphysics
Syllabus of the MA and PhD Class in Analytic Metaphysics
Department of Philosophy, University of Helsinki

Metaphysics of Modality

Brief description and objectives of the class:
The class will cover material from the ongoing debates in analytic metaphysics of modality. We pay close attention to the recent literature devoted to both the formal apparatus of quantificational modal logics and to the recent work in the philosophy of modalities.
The following topics are of particular interest: the metaphysical notion of possible worlds and individuals, the relation between modal languages and quantificational first-order languages, different semantic systems for modalities, and the challenges which are raised by the epistemology of the modal discourse.

A working knowledge in first order logic and an intro class in analytical metaphysics.

Topics for discussion for ten hours
1. Basic notions of the possible worlds semantics (2 hours).
2. Quine’s modal skepticism (2 hours).
3. Priorism (modal actualism) (2 hours).
4. Modal realism (2 hours).
5. Modal anti-realism (2 hours).

Basic references
Chihara, C. (1998), The Worlds of Possibility, Oxford University Press.
Fine, K. (2005), Modality and Tense, Clarendon Press – Oxford University Press.
Fitting Melvin & Richard L. Mendelsohn (1999), First Order Modal Logic (Synthese Library), Springer.
Forbes, G. (1985), The Metaphysics of Modality, Oxford University Press.
Garson, J. (2006), Modal Logic for Philosophers, Cambridge University Press.
Hale, B. & A. Hoffmann (eds.) (2010), Modality. Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology, Oxford University Press.
Lewis, D. (1986), On the Plurality of Worlds, Oxford: Blackwell.
Marcus, R. B. (1993), Modalities. Philosophycal Essays, Oxford University Press.
Melia, J. (2003), Modality, Acumen.
Plantinga, A. (1974), The Nature of Necessity, Oxford University Press.
Prior, A. & K. Fine (1977), Worlds, Times, and Selves, Amherst: University of Massachusetts.
Quine, W. V. O. (1966), Three Grades of Modal Involvement, in The Ways of Paradox and Other Essays, Harvard.
Rosen, G. (1990), Modal Fictionalism, in Mind, 99, 327 – 54.
Stalnaker, R. (2003), Ways a World Might Be. Metaphysical and Anti-Metaphysical Essays, Oxford University Press.
Tooley, M. (1999) (ed.), Necessity and Possibility. The Metaphysics of Modality, Harvard.