Journal of philosophy: vol. 101, no. 2, February 2004.
The received view about necessities is that logical necessity is the least controversial necessity since it does not commit one to anything beyond a logic. An extension of this view is that if other metaphysically significant necessities are recognized, those other necessities are best understood in terms of logical necessity. It is argued here that both the received view and its extension are misguided. Logical necessity is not free of metaphysical commitments and is best understood as encapsulating a special class of essentialist claims. Bob Hale's argument for the thesis that logical necessity is absolute necessity is examined and rejected. Psychologism and formalism can provide no account of logic that yields a reasonable necessity, while model-theoretic approaches do so only to the extent that some distinct modality is presupposed. A brief essentialist account of logical necessity, one that promises to accommodate ordinary and philosophical argumentative practices, is sketched.
Scanlon on Promissory Obligation: The Problem of Promisees' Rights, MARGARET GILBERT
A promisee's right to the performance of the promise is a Hohfeldian claim-right, a right against the promisor, who has a correlative directed duty. H. L. A. Hart characterized a directed duty as one involving a special, limited authority of a right-holder over the will of the holder of the correlative duty. This characterization fits the case of a promisee well. Does Thomas Scanlon's careful "moral principle" account of promissory obligation account for a promisee's rights? It seems not. More generally, it is doubtful whether any moral principle account can do so. A "third way" is needed, an alternative both to the "social practice" accounts Scanlon rejects and to moral principle accounts.
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|Title Annotation:||Philosophical Abstracts|
|Publication:||The Review of Metaphysics|
|Article Type:||Critical Essay|
|Date:||Jun 1, 2004|
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