A dilemma about necessity

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The problem of the source of necessity is the problem of explaining what makes necessary truths necessarily true. Simon Blackburn has presented a dilemma intended to show that any reductive, realist account of the source of necessity is bound to fail. Although Blackburn's dilemma faces serious problems, reflection on the form of explanations of necessities reveals that a revised dilemma succeeds in defeating any reductive account of the source of necessity. The lesson is that necessity is metaphysically primitive and irreducible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-148
Number of pages20
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Metaphysics of modality
  • Necessity
  • Simon Blackburn


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