Contingentism about Individuals and Higher-Order Necessitism

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THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, ISSN: 0495-4548, Vol: 28, Issue: 3, Page: 393-406

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Pérez Otero, Manuel
UPV/EHU Press; Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
Arts and Humanities
article description
Necessitism about individuals claims that necessarily every individual necessarily exists. An analogous necessitist thesis attributes necessary existence to properties and relations. Both theses have been defended by Williamson. Furthermore, Williamson specifically argues against the hybrid conjunction of first-order contingentism (the negation of necessitism about individuals) and higher-order necessitism; a combination that would bring about additional drawbacks. I work out a defence of the hybrid combination, including some replies to Williamson's additional objections. Considerations of ontological parsimony and pretheoretical intuitions favour the hybrid view over necessitism at all orders (which Williamson mainly defends by invoking considerations of simplicity).