pp 1–22 | Cite as

Two notions of metaphysical modality

  • Antonella MallozziEmail author
S.I.: Ground, Essence, Modality


The paper explores the project of an ambitious modal epistemology that attempts to combine the a priori methods of Chalmers’ 2D semantics with Kripke’s modal metaphysics. I argue that such a project is not viable. The ambitious modal epistemology involves an inconsistent triad composed of (1) Modal Monism, (2) Two-Dimensionalism, and what I call (3) “Metaphysical Kripkeanism”. I present the three theses and show how only two of those can be true at a time. There is a fundamental incompatibility between Chalmers’ Modal Rationalism and Kripke’s modal metaphysics. Specifically, Chalmers’ conceivability entails possibilities that a Kripkean rejects as genuinely metaphysical. However, three positive stances in modal epistemology emerge from the combinations that the triad allows. One of those offers a promising way forward for 2D modal epistemologies. But it comes with a cost, as it requires abandoning modal monism and reshaping the scope of what a priori conceivability can give us access to.


Modal epistemology Modal rationalism Conceivability Kripke Chalmers A priori Two-dimensionalism 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Graduate Center - CUNYNew YorkUSA

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