Philosophical Studies

, Volume 171, Issue 1, pp 149–160 | Cite as

Hyperintensional metaphysics

  • Daniel Nolan


In the last few decades of the twentieth century there was a revolution in metaphysics: the intensional revolution. Many metaphysicians rejected the doctrine, associated with Quine and Davidson, that extensional analyses and theoretical resources were the only acceptable ones. Metaphysicians embraced tools like modal and counterfactual analyses, claims of modal and counterfactual dependence, and entities such as possible worlds and intensionally individuated properties and relations. The twenty-first century is seeing a hypterintensional revolution. Theoretical tools in common use carve more finely than by necessary equivalence: two pieces of language can apply to the same entities across all possible worlds but not be equivalent; thoughts can be necessarily equivalent in truth value but not synonymous. This paper argues that hyperintensional resources are valuable in metaphysics outside theories of representation, and discusses some promising areas of hyperintensional metaphysics.


Metaphysics Hyperintensionality Intensionality Impossible worlds 



Thanks to Alex Sandgren and audiences at the 2013 Pacific APA in San Francisco and the 2013 AAP in Brisbane for useful feedback.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PhilosophyAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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