Modalities : Philosophical Essays

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This collection of Marcus's non-technical essays includes her ground-breaking axiomatizations of quantified modal logic.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 280 pages
  • 156 x 235 x 16mm | 407g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0195096576
  • 9780195096576
  • 1,341,068

Back cover copy

Informed by her earlier ground-breaking axiomatizations of quantified modal logic, the papers collected here by the distinguished philosopher Ruth Barcan Marcus cover much ground in the development of her thought from 1961 to 1990. The first essay introduces themes initially viewed as iconoclastic, such as the necessity of identity, the directly referential role of proper names as "tags", the Barcan Formula about the interplay of possibility and existence, and alternative interpretations of quantification. Marcus also addresses the putative puzzles about substitutivity and about essentialism. The collection also includes influential essays on moral conflict, on belief and rationality, and on some historical figures. Though many of her views have been incorporated into current theories, others remain part of continuing philosophical debate.
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Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. Modalities and Intensional Languages ; 2. Iterated Deontic Modalities ; 3. Essentialism in Modal Logic ; 4. Essential attribution ; Appendix: Strict implication, deducibility and the deduction theorem ; 5. Quantification and ontology ; 6. Classes, collections, assortments, and individuals ; 7. Does the principle of substitutivity rest on a mistake? ; 8. Nominalism and the substitutional quantifier ; 9. Moral dilemmas and consistency ; 10. Rationality and believing the impossible ; 11. Spinoza and the ontological proof ; 12. On some post-1920s views of Russell on particularity, identity and individiation ; 13. Possibilia and possible worlds ; 14. A backward look at Quine's animadversions on modalities ; 15. Some revisionary proposals about belief and believing
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Review quote

Marcus is a brilliant, original, learned, tenacious, and productive scholar ... this review of the development of her thought, its connections with some important historical figures, and her differences with other contemporary philosophers [is] of great value. * David Kaplan, University of California *
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