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|Title: ||Dispositionalism, truthmaking and modality|
|Authors: ||Chua, David Teck Chun|
|Issue Date: ||30-Mar-2017|
|Publisher: ||University of Sydney|
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
|Abstract: ||This thesis is concerned with issues in the metaphysics of ‘new actualism.’ New actualists hold that modal truths (truths about what is possible and impossible, what is contingent and necessary) are made true, not by possible worlds (whether of the concrete or abstract variety), but, rather, by actual objects and their properties. Prominent among the new actualists are dispositionalists who hold that modal truths are made true by the irreducibly dispositional properties of (actual) objects. My primary goal in this thesis is to defend a broadly dispositionalist account of truthmakers for modal truths. Toward this end I do two things. First, I clarify and defend the dispositionalist’s underlying ontology of truthmakers by responding to a well known criticism by Ted Sider, according to which dispositions are like ‘past-pointing’ Lucretian properties, and are dubious. In responding to the objection, I identify important respects in which dispositionalism is disanalogous to Lucretianism, and that dispositional properties are not ‘dubious’ truthmakers, at least not in the way Lucretian properties are. So the dubiousness objection can be put to rest. Second, I present a new truthmaking problem for the dispositionalist. I argue that the existing dispositionalist accounts of modality fail to offer satisfactory grounds, or truthmakers, for de re necessary truths. I then consider the options for the dispositionalist, arguing that the best solution to the challenge is to adopt real essentialism in the vein of Kit Fine. So dispositionalists should be real essentialists: by doing so, the truthmaking problem from de re necessary truths can also be put to rest.|
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|Rights and Permissions: ||The author retains copyright of this thesis. It may only be used for the purposes of research and study. It must not be used for any other purposes and may not be transmitted or shared with others without prior permission.|
|Type of Work: ||Masters Thesis|
|Type of Publication: ||Master of Philosophy M.Phil|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (University of Sydney Access only)|
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