TWO NOTIONS OF NECESSITY*

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1 MARTIN DAVIES AND LLOYD HUMBERSTONE TWO NOTIONS OF NECESSITY* (Received 13 November, 1979) 0. INTRODUCTION In [6], reasons are given for enriching the conventional language of modal logic with an operator 'A' (read 'actually') whose function is to effect (loosely speaking) a reference to a single world (within a model) designated as the actual world. The need for such an operator is illustrated by the unrepresentability, without it, of sentences of the form 'It is possible for everything which is in fact ~ to be ~', which, with its aid can be rendered: fvx)(a x x). For a full discussion, together with references to related work, see [6] (henceforth LA), Section 1, and [10], Sections 1 and 3. The obvious semantical account of the logic of 'actually', when one has in mind $5 as the underlying modal logic, utilises models of the form (IV, w*, V) where w* ~ W functions as the actual world of the model, and V, which assigns truth-values to propositional variables paired with elements of W, is extended to the general truth-relation ~ by the usual clauses for the truth-functional connectives and (with no relational restriction) for '[23'. The clause for 'A' reads, not surprisingly, as follows: for any model ~ = (IV, w* V) and any x E W, "r I=x As iff ~ Nw* c~. In calling a formula S5A-valid, we mean that it is false at no world in any model. This notion of validity (general validity) should be distinguished from another: a formula is real world valid if for no model is it false at the actual world of the model. If c~ is real world valid then, of course Ac~ is generally valid. One reason for using the notion of general validity is that in an axiom system which yields as theorems precisely the generally valid formulae the substitutivity of provable equivalents holds. 1 While the interest of this enriched language arises largely through the interaction of '[]', 'A' and the quantifiers, the technical novelties all emerge at the Philosophical Studies 38 (1980) /80/ $03.00 Copyright by D. Reidel Publishing Co., Dordrecht, Holland, and Boston, U.S.A.

2 2 M. DAVIES AND L. HUMBERSTONE purely propositional level, so that it is on this that we concentrate here. In LA, it is shown that the class of S5A-valid formulae coincides with the class of theorems of the system S5A, axiomatized by adding to any set of axiomschemata sufficient for propositional $5, together with Modus Ponens and Necessitation (henceforth 'Nec.') as rules of proof, the following axioms 2: (A1) A (s-~ [J)-~ (As + A[3) (h2) As +> ~A ~a (A3) E]a'+ As (A4) As -> [~As Although (A4), like the other axioms, is easily seen to be valid on the semantics offered, it is apt to arouse suspicion on the grounds that since 'actually s' is true (in any world) because a is true in the actual world, 'actually s' need not have been true because another world might have been actual. To do justice to this intuition, in LA it is suggested that one consider an alternative to 'EY for the representation of necessity, this alternative formalization being the modal prefix ' :~A' where 'A' is the actuality operator whose semantics have just been explained and '~' (for 'fixedly') is a new operator whose semantical clause is stated in terms of the relation ~ of variance between models differing at most over which world is designated as the actual world. 3 The clause runs: "~,U~,,~s ifffor any #"~ ~, #" [=x s. In fact, once we have the relation ~ available, we can define four necessitylike operators: ~'~ I=x ms iff for any y E W, ~g/ ~ya iffforany ~'~ ~, :g/"~xa ifffor any W'~'~,~,if ~'=(W,y, V) then ~f" [=x ['4]sifffor any,gr '~ ~#/,foranyyew, ~g/" ~ya. In the case of '[~' we consider only changes in the world at which the formula is evaluated. In the ease of '[~]' we consider only changes in which world is designated as actual. In the case of '[~]' we consider changes of both kinds but require that the formula be evaluated at the world designated as actual. In the case of '[g]' we consider independent changes of both kinds. 'Hq' is then definable as '[]', '[~' as '.f', '[~]' as ' ~A', and '[~]' as '~- []'.

3 TWO NOTIONS OF NECESSITY 3 Thus '.NAa' says: whichever world had been actual, a would have been true at that world considered as actual. The original modal operator 'rt' remains important, for it was precisely in order to interact with '[2' that 'A' was introduced. The difference between '-~A' and 'VI' turns out to be a formal rendering of a distinction invoked by Gareth Evans between deep and superficial necessity, which Evans has used to cast light on the problem of the contingent a priori, in [8] (henceforth RC). In LA, the logic of 'J~' was left as an open problem; we sort it out in Section 1 of the present paper and in [11] where a completeness proof in the style of [15] is provided. In the rest of the present paper we present applications of the machinery developed to the topics of the contingent a priori and the necessary a posteriori, as well as going into the question of what a truth theory for a language with ' S' alongside 'VI' and 'A' looks like. This last matter deserves attention because the availability of a homophonic truth theory is a necessary" condition for the truth of the claim that the modal notions in question are intelligible in their own terms, without recourse to the apparatus of possible worlds in terms of which the model theory is presented. In addition, a theory of truth for the full language with 'I7', 'A', and 'S' illuminates the relation between the notion of truth with respect to a world or possible situation, a notion which is, as Evans says, 'internal to the semantic theory', and the notion of truth in a possible situation as what sincere assertion in that situation aims at (what it would be true to say, were such and such the case). This is another distinction emphasized by Evans in RC. The present paper is thus both a sequel to LA and a supplement to RC 1. LOGICAL PRELIMINARIES If we keep the definition of validity given in the previous section, but take it to apply now to formulae of the language with '.~', as well as 'Vl' and 'A', we get what we may call S5AW-validity. The following rule of proof and axioms, when added to the basis given above for S5A, yield a system we call S5Aff which has as its theorems all and only the S5Aff-valid formulae. (~1) :v(~ -+/3) ~ (~-+ y~) ( ~-2; ~ -+ c~ (.~3) avc~ -+ ~o~ c~ (.,~4) a -+.,~ ~ J~ ~a (~5) ~ -+ ~ oe for anya-free formula a.

4 4 M. DAVIES AND L. HUMBERSTONE (J 6) ~Aa +~ U]a for any A-free formula a. Rule: from ~-a to ~-~a (Call this rule 'Fix.') Observe that the rule F/x., together with (:,~-1)-(.Y4) give '~' an SSstyle logic. (One expects this, since variance between models is an equivalence relation.) In the completeness proof of [11] the consequences of these first four axioms that we exploit are (T1) W (a ^/3) +~ ( Wa ^.~fl) (T2) ~ (,~ v,:~) ~ ( ~a v ~ ~). In verifying the validity of (~5) and (J6) we make use of the fact that if a contains no occurrence of'a' and ~ and YJ~ ' are variants, then ~xa iff ~ 'l=-x a. In the case of(~6) we also need to use the fact that any world in a model is the designated world in some variant of that model. (~6) ties together '~ ' and 'I-1': if not every world could be considered as the designated world the axiom would fail in its left-to-right direction, while if the clause for '[3' did not involve quantification over all the worlds in the model, it would fail from right to left. Enough has been said to demonstrate the soundness of SSA~ with respect to the semantics given. Completeness is proved in [11] via the following Elimination Theorem for '~': For any formula c~ there exists a formula a' not containing '~-' such that S5A~ t- a ~+ a'. Before pursuing the logic of S5AS further, we pause to note that a slightly different way of dressing up the semantical ideas so far presented is available: that is, we could use the notation and terminology of what has come to be called two-dimensional modal logic. 4 Within such a framework, one uses a doubly-indexed truth relation, letting the upper index function as the actual world, instead of having this given as part of the identity of the model in question; writing, instead of the clause the following: (I4I, w*, V) ~xaaiff (W, w*, V) ~w.a (W, V) PYxAa iff(w, V) pya. (Read ~xya, for present purposes, as: a is true at x from the perspective of y as the actual world.) This is the only place at which the upper index gets into the act in SSA, though in S5Aff the new operator '.~' is able to quantify into upper index position just as 'I-1' quantifies into the position of

5 TWO NOTIONS OF NECESSITY 5 the lower index. We shall continue to use the approach outlined in Section 0, however, with its designated worlds and variance relation, except for some informal remarks in Section 3.s Since we shall, in Section 3, be looking into the question of how to construct a truth-theory for the language of S5AoN, we must establish here what conditions are required for the substitutivity of equivalents. It turns out, not surprisingly perhaps, that the prefix 'o~ m' justifies substitutions. By this we mean not just that all instances of (SE): (SE).S[](~ ~/3) -+ (V ~ 3, ' ) are provable in S5A~, where 3' is any formula containing ~ as a subformula and 3'' differs from 3' in having one or more occurrence of areplaced by/3: this follows merely from the fact that each of '5', '~' has a modal logic at least as strong as the weak system K. Rather, because we need in the truththeory to make substitutions on the basis of equivalences themselves resulting from such substitutions, we require the stronger condition that all instances of (SE +) should be provable: (SE*) ~[](~/3)-* ~D(3'+*v') (it would be a mistake to think that we simply use the relevant instance of (SE), detach the consequent and apply Nec. and Fix. to the result: these are rules of proof in the background logic to the truth theory, not rules of inference for use in any (non-logical) theory.) For either '~' or 'EY alone, the step from something corresponding to (SE) to something corresponding to (SE +) would be an immediate consequence of the fact that each operator has at least as strong a logic as the system $4, but this fact does not suffice for the provability of (T3): (T3).~E3a-+ ~ O.~ [3a which woum get us from (SE) to (SE+), as one sees by considering the falsifiability of 'OlOzp-+OlOzOlOzp' in a Kripke model (W, R1, R2, V) in which R i interprets the operator Oi and both R i are reflexive and transitive. 6 However, (T3) is a theorem(-schema) of S5AY, as it follows from the S4- iness of '.Y' and 'El', together with a substitution licensed by (T4) 7 : (T4).~Ot~ "~ [].~ We close this discussion of substitutivity by pointing out that while either

6 6 M. DAVIES AND L. HUMBERSTONE of the equivalent prefixes ',~ El' and '[~ ~' will justify substitutions (in the sense of (SE it is definitely the concatenation of the two operators and not their conjunction that is required. The reader will have no difficulty in constructing a two element model which falsifies, for example: (.~(Ap,,q) ^ [Z](Ap,,q)) -+ S [3(Ap,,q) This amounts to denying substitutivity even in the weak form (i.e., the form corresponding to (SE)) because, taking 'Ap,, q' as a and abbreviating any valid formula to 'T', it gives a counterexample to: (S(~ T)An(~+ T))-~( g[]a~ Jnr). 8 Our final remarks on the logic of S5A~- pertain to the claim made in LA and endorsed here that '~A' embodies a notion of necessity. This suggests the question: does ' ~-A' considered as a single modal operator itself have an $5 logic? The answer to this question is that the $4 and $5 axioms for ' ~-A' ~Aa~ ~A ~Aa ~Acz-+ ~A~ SAa are both provable, but the T-axiom for '.#-A' gaa ~ a is not provable. Indeed it is easy to see that the T-axiom is not valid: take, for example, Ap ~p for a. Does this do serious damage to the claim that 'WA' expresses a notion of necessity? Not really. For any model $U = (W, w*, V>, "g/" ~w".~aa -~ a, 9 from which it follows that and its equivalent A(~.~Aa-+a).~Aa-~ Aa are valid, and these arguably answer well to the principle ab necesse ad esse. We shall see later the philosophical uses to which this notion of necessity can be put.

7 TWO NOTIONS OF NECESSITY 7 2. THE CONTINGENT 'A PRIORI' In RC, Evans argues that "there is nothing particularly perplexing about the existence of a statement which is both knowable a wiori and superficially contingent" (p. 161), where a sentence o is superficially contingent just in case r-[] o-q and I-[] ~ ~ are both false. 1~ Some standard examples of statements which are knowable a priori though contingent are expressed using what Evans calls descriptive names. Consider, for example, 'Julius', a syntactic name whose reference is fixed by the description 11 'the inventor of the zip'. 'Julius' is to have two features which initially might seem to be incompatible: (i) 'Julius' is sufficiently similar to an ordinary proper name to be regarded as a referring expression, even though definite descriptions are not regarded as referring expressions. (ii) One can understand sentences containing 'Julius' without knowing of any object that it is being said to be thus and so. It certainly is possible to use 'refers' in such a way that (i) and (ii) are incompatible, but to insist on such a use would be pointless at this stage; rather we should seek to understand the semantic function of descriptive names. The reason why (i) and (ii) might seem to be incompatible is that on one rather plausible view proper names differ from definite descriptions in two respects; and (i) requires descriptive names to be like proper names in one respect while (ii) requires descriptive names to be like definite descriptions in the other. For, on that plausible view, a proper name is assigned an object which is salient in two distinguishable ways. First, the object is truth conditionally salient (tc-salient); that is, the truth with respect to counterfactual situations of sentences containing the name, and so the truth of modal sentences containing the name, depends upon how things are with that object. Second, the object is epistemologically salient (e-salient); that is, in order to understand sentences containing the name one must have de re propositional attitudes concerning that object, and in the case of a material object must stand in some appropriate causal relation to that object. 12 In contrast, the object assigned to a definite description such as 'the inventor of the zip' is salient in neither of these ways. What is puzzling about descriptive names is that if a descriptive n~rne is non-empty then the object which is assigned to it is tc-salient but not e-salient. Thus suppose that, in fact, Tom uniquely invented the zip, and that we are out to describe the way in which

8 8 M. DAVIES AND L. HUMBERSTONE 'Julius' functions in atomic sentences and their [3-modalizations. Then Tom is tc-salient in that the truth of r-f(julius~ or of FE]F(Julius~ turns on how things are with Tom. In this respect, 'Julius' is like a proper name of Tom and unlike a definite description - or rather, it is unlike the A-free description 'the inventor of the zip'. But Torn is not e-salient since to understand those sentences one does not need to have any de re propositional attit,~des concerning Tom, and in particular does not need to stand in any interesting causal relation to that man. In this respect 'Julius' is unlike a proper name and like a definite description. The sentence (S) If anyone uniquely invented the zip, Julius invented the zip. is true, but the E]-modalization of (S) is false. So (S) is a (superficially) contingent truth. On the other hand, to understand (S) is merely to understand that it states that if anyone uniquely invented the zip, then whoever invented the zip did. So the statement expressed by (S) is knowable a priori. One way of putting the puzzle, then, is this. An outright assertion using (S) intuitively has the same content as an assertion using: (S') If anyone uniquely invented the zip, the inventor of the zip invented the zip. Yet (S) and (S') embed differently in D-contexts: (V1S) is false while (r-is') is true. Evans' solution to this puzzle is best seen if one employs possible worlds terminology with a fixed actual world w* (the actual actual world) playing the role of the actual world throughout. Associated with (S) is the property: Xw(if anyone uniquely invented the zip in w then whoever invented the zip in w* invented the zip in w). The actual world w* has this property, but some other worlds lack it. Associated with (S') is the following property, which no world lacks: Xw(if anyone uniquely invented the zip in w then whoever invented the zip in w invented the zip in w). This is why (S) and (S') embed differently in D-contexts. On the other hand, an outright assertion of either (S) or (S') in the actual world has the force of

9 TWO NOTIONS OF NECESSITY 9 an assertion that w* has the associated property, and X-conversion reveals that these two assertive contents are precisely the same. While a sentence such as (S) is superficially contingent, Evans distinguishes a notion of deep contingency which does not apply to (S). Of this notion he says, "If a deeply contingent statement is true, there will exist some state of affairs of which we can say both that had it not existed the statement would not have been true, and that it might not have existed" (p. 185). Evans' solution to the puzzle strikes us as both elegant and convincing. In particular, it is doubly preferable to any solution based on an attempt to show that there is something wrong with the notion of a descriptive name, by showing that if 'Julius' is anything other than an abbreviation for 'the inventor of the zip', then it is a proper name mastery of which requires knowledge a posteriori concerning the man Tom that he is its referent (in which case mere knowledge of the reference-fixing description does not suffice for knowledge of anything which can be expressed by a use of the name 'Julius'). For first, as Evans argues in Section I (of RC), the notion of a descriptive name certainly is coherent - whatever one's feelings about the extent to which such a category is manifested in natural languages, and second, as he points out in Section IV, essentially similar examples of the contingent a priori can be provided without appeal to expressions of that supposedly dubious kind. We should like to take up this second point, urging that in general the notion of the contingent a priori is well approached via the rather modest logical apparatus set up in Sections 0 and 1 of the present paper. For within propositional S5A-~ one can provide uncontroversial examples of the contingent a priori, and mark out formally the distinction between superficial and deep contingency. One can know a priori that grass is actually green iff grass is green, although this is a superficially contingent truth: if F~ [] o -1 and are true then so also is r-~ [] (A o +~ o} q. On the other hand, V.~A (A ~ ~+ a~ 1 is true for any sentence o, a3 for in general [-~A ~ is true just in case whatever world is actual, r is true with respect to that world: that is, just in case every world has the property which r requires of a world considered as actual. What vii o ~ ~ requires of a world considered as actual is nothing at all, although if the actual world is already fixed then what is required of a world w is that w agree with the actual world in the truth-value assigned to o. So our suggestion is that just as a true sentence ~- is superficially contingent iff v[] ~ is false, so a true sentence z is deeply contingent iffr-.ya ~ is false,

10 10 M. DAVIES AND L. HUMBERSTONE and we shall argue in the next section that this is connected in the right way with what makes a sentence true. Perhaps the 'deep'/'superficial' terminology invites the thought that although some superficially contingent truths are not deeply contingent, still every deeply contingent truth is also superficially contingent. If so, then the invitation should be declined: it is, for example, deeply but not superficially contingent that grass is actually green. (Recall that r-a a 7 is equivalent to r-oa o-7, while r-.~a(aoyl is equivalent to r-saa~ and, ifais A-free, to ro 0-7. Here we have a fund of simple examples of the necessary a posteriori: one can know only a posteriori that grass is actually green. 14) There is an obvious third notion of contingency, which includes both the others. Let us say that a true sentence o is bi-contingent iffv~v10-7 is true, that is, iff there are worlds w I and w2 such that with w 1 considered as actual, a is false with respect to w2. The inclusion is proper, for it is neither deeply nor superficially contingent that if grass is actually orange then grass is orange, yet that is clearly a bi-contingent truth, t~ It would be natural to ask whether all and only deeply necessary truths are knowable a priori. The question is a difficult one. First, it is not obviously correct to say that all deeply necessary truths are knowable a priori, for example because true identity statements using proper names are both superficially and deeply necessary (since such names are not even implicitly 'A'- involving) whereas it is not clear that such statements are a priori knowable: one's view here would depend on one's views about the sense of proper names, Further, as we shall see below, the axioms of a truth-theory for a language are deeply necessary (or must be taken to be so for the theory to be adequate when the language contains 'O', 'ff ', and 'A') whereas many people would feel that such axioms are obviously not a priori knowable; however, here again, the answer is sensitive to some delicate issues of language individuation and the semantics of quotation. As to the converse, we can only report here that we have not yet noticed any examples of truths expressed in terms of 'O', 'o~ ', and 'A' which are a priori knowable and not also deeply necessaryj 6 For the record, we should remark that the process which yielded 2-dimensional modal logic from the more familiar 1-dimensional kind can be iterated: truth can be triply relativized to a real actual world wl, a 'floating' actual world w 2, and a floating reference world w3. If we introduce an operator 'R' such that I-R ~ is true with respect to such a triple (wl, w2, w3) iff a is true with respect to (w 1, wl, w3), 1~ then V-RA o ~A ~ will in general

11 TWO NOTIONS OF NECESSITY 11 be deeply contingent on the present ' ~A' definition since that definition is tailored to fit the 2-dimensional case, as also will be r-ra a ~ o -q. Yet such sentences express a priori truths. Naturally, a new notion of deep contingency can be defined for the 3-dimensional case, which will in turn allow a priori contingent truths expressible with 4-dimensional operators, and so on. We shall make no attempt to deal with this matter in full generality here. Although there are certain difficulties in making the transition from propositional to quantificational S5A.~- - difficulties arising out of the need to allow for world-to-world variation of domain in the model theory 18 - these difficulties have nothing to do with our present concerns, and it is intuitively clear that cases of the contingent a priori will arise when we consider definite descriptions including 'actually'. In particular, consider: (S") If anyone uniquely invented the zip, the actual inventor of the zip invented the zip. What (S") states can be known a priori and yet (S") is superficially contingent, since the property of worlds associated with (S") is just the property associated with (S). On the other hand, the o~a-modalization of (S") is true: (S") is deeply necessary. This shows that the initially puzzling features of (S) can be reproduced without using descriptive names like 'Julius', since (S") involves a straightforwardly quantifier-like definite description. 19 These considerations suggest indeed that a descriptive name with its reference fixed by 'the G' is nothing other than a conventional abbreviation of (or at least, an expression whose sense is that of) 'the actual G'. Such a suggestion has the advantage of promising a uniform explanation of the contingent a priori: it is occasioned by the presence of 'actually' (or some equivalent). Whether the suggestion ultimately proves to be tenable would depend on the resolution of such questions as: could a language containing unstructured expressions functioning as descriptive names fail to contain anything corresponding to 'actually'? In the meantime, consideration of the suggestion aids perception of the vast gap between an argument against the coherence of descriptive names and a solution to the problem of the contingent a priori. Finally, we return to descriptive names themselves and ask whether they are to be considered referring expressions in the strongest sense of the phrase, a sense which, following Evans, we may take to be captured by the condition that the semantic role of such an expression can be stated using a notion of reference which is not world-relative. Evans himself returns an affirmative

12 12 M. DAVIES AND L. HUMBERSTONE answer to this question on the basis of the behaviour of descriptive names in D-contexts (in modal and counterfactual contexts, as usually conceived). This is a natural response on the basis of such Dcontext examples, since the descriptive name's referent may be thought of as determined once and for all as the actual world's satisfier of the description, regardless of the applicability of that description to that object in other worlds. But a negative answer to the question is suggested once we consider the richer variety of contexts available within a language containing 'o~' and 'A' alongside 'El'. There is, in the semantic theory for such a language, at least the possibility of doubly relativizing the notion of reference, so that reference would exhibit that double relativity (to an actual world and a 'floating' world) exhibited by truth. The reference relation for proper names requires no relativization, that for descriptions requires the full double relativization, while the reference relation for descriptive names requires relativization in just the actual world place. Evans does not make this threefold distinction because, in effect, he considers the actual world place in the reference relation and the truth predicate to be filled by a constant ('w*') for the actual actual world. But this way of ruling out the type of relativization at issue is not obviously adequate to everything Evans himself says, for he wants to allow that if in world w Gough Whitlam invented the zip then although 'Julius is Whitlam' is not true with respect to w (not truew.,w, as one might put it), nevertheless ifw were actual then 'Julius is Whitlam' would be true - without linguistic change. (The ins and outs of the notion of truth will be our concern in the next section.) There are at least two ways in which one might resist the negative answer to the question whether descriptive names are referring expressions. One way is to claim that the relativity of the reference of descriptive names is relativity to context, and to point out that such relativity does not disqualify an expression as a referring expression: T and 'you' are so relative. ~~ On this view 'Y'is a context-shifting operator; what Kaplan calls a 'monster'. 21 This way of resisting could be encouraged by considering the formal parallel between modal logic and tense logic. In the temporal case the present moment - the moment of utterance - is a context, the relativity of the reference of'now' is context relativity, and the temporal operator corresponding to ':~' is naturally considered a context-shifting operator. But, as Evans has pointed out in another place 22, the formal similarities must not be allowed to blind us to deep differences between tense and modality, and these differences

13 TWO NOTIONS OF NECESSITY 13 seem to us to count against regarding the actual world as a context. Another way is to claim that descriptive names are not semantically similar to descriptions embedding the operator 'A' but similar to descriptions embedding a different operator 'A*' which takes us back to the actual actual world, even when 'A*' occurs within the scope of ~ '. The difficulty which his strategy faces is that it must (a) explain why one could not introduce an operator ' #*' standing to 'A*' as '.~' stands to 'A', and (b) allow that had Whitlam invented the zip we could have said truly that Julius is Whitlam; and it must do both these things without simply collapsing into the first way. Perhaps this second way can succeed, and perhaps another way can be found; but our provisional view is that the negative answer is correct. 3. TRUTH As indicated in Section 0, some interest attaches to the question of whether it is possible to give a homophonic truth theory for at least a propositional language containing 'D', and 'A', and '.~- '. No-one familiar with homophonic theories for 'Vr-languages and with the logic of '~' set out in Section 1, will be surprised to learn that the ~,~s of the disquotational truth condition specifying biconditionals for atomic sentences and truth-functional connectives, together with and (0 I) JE~ [(V~)(TrCE~ ~) ~+ [] Tr(o))] (02) o~[] [('Vg)(Tr(rA o -n) ~+A Tr(o))] (03) #13 [(Vo)(Tr(ry ~) ~ Y Tr(o))] will suffice as axioms for the derivation of all instances of and so all instances of ~D ~ QI x,-a ~ QI [] [Tr(rQ-~) ~ QI A [Tr(rQ-q) ~+ Q] and the bare biconditionais

14 14 M. DAVIES AND L. HUMBERSTONE Tr(rQ 7) ~ Q when we take S5A.~'as our underlying logic. 23 (Here and elsewhere we suppress the language parameter, while reminding the reader that it is the presence of this parameter which enables us to block what might otherwise seem to be an objection to any theory employing modalizations of truth condition specifying biconditionals. 24 ) The model theory of Section 0, together with the notion of an intended model, yields a reading of these biconditionals in the heuristically useful terminology of possible worlds, and the reader might care to look over the axioms just given with such an interpretation in mind to check that they are indeed true. Although S5A~ as our underlying logic delivers from our proper axioms the desired biconditionals, it yields unfortunately some false theorems as well and must be restricted. For example, using (0 2) and (0 3), we have: ffa (Tr(VA a +~ ~)) ~ ~A (Ao +" a). What follows 'o~a' on the left of this biconditional is A-flee: 'A' is mentioned there but not used. So axiom (.~6) of Section 1 takes us to and so (with (01)) to V] Tr(--A a ~+ ~) +~.~ A (A o ~ a) Tr (ve] (A o +~ o} q) +, YA (A o +~ o) which is, in general, false. Next, consider the biconditional Tr(rA #) ~A a. On the left of '~+' we have an atomic sentence, so that axiom (if5) would lead to ' ~-Tr(r-A o ~) ~A o and hence (using (03)) to Tr (V.YA o -q) +~A o which is again, in general, false. Thus, both of the schemata (J5) and (~N6) must be subject to a further restriction if they are to be regarded as part of the meta-language's resources for deriving the truth conditions of object language sentences. This ought not to be too surprising, since, once the object

15 TWO NOTIONS OF NECESSITY 15 language contains descriptive names both schemata will, in any case, need to be restricted to take account of the fact that even sentences which do not explicitly use 'actually' may be such that their truth with respect to a world depends on how things are in the actual world. Meta-language sentences predicating truth of object language sentences are just another instance of the same phenomenon. In this case, as in others, the truth values of semantic predicates in various possible worlds with respect to various objects must be allowed to fall where they may according to our best insights into the truth of object language sentences and constraints on the concepts of truth and satisfaction. 2s In fact, rather than restricting the two schemata in question, we suggest that the simplest course to adopt for present purposes would be to omit them altogether and elevate their consequence (T4) to axiomhood. 26 It will be recalled from Section 1 that this principle (T4), which says that 'Y' and '[]' commute, is important because it is needed for proving substitutivity in the form (SE needed for the truth theory. Note also that it is a safe principle to add becausel unlike (.~5) and (~6) its validity in no way depends upon any particular way of drawing the A-containing/A-free distinction: indeed, semantically, (T4)just comes down to recording the fact that adjacent universal quantifiers commute. It is instructive to ask how the output of the truth theory presented here is connected with the truth of utterances. (To avoid confusion, we shall capitalize the evaluative predicate of utterances: 'TRUE'.) What one expects is that some modalization of (T) If u is an utterance of sentence type o then TRUE (u) iff Tr(o) together with the correspondingly modalized output of the theory will yield specifications of TRUTH conditions of utterances. What might look promising is to use the Y D-modalizations, for if grass is green in the actual world w 1 and in w 2 grass is orange then surely an utterance in w 2 of 'Grass is not green' is TRUE and with respect to w2 that sentence is indeed true. But this proposal is unsatisfactory because it fails to take into account the indexicality of 'actually': an utterance in w2 of 'Grass is actually green' is FALSE. The problem here is that the ~ Vl-biconditionals specify under what conditions a sentence a is true with respect to w 2, with w 1 as the actual world, and these conditions are not in general the conditions under which a

16 16 M. DAVIES AND L. HUMBERSTONE is good for making a TRUE assertion in w 2. This is surely what Evans was pointing to when he remarked that if a certain state of affairs had obtained a sentence would have been true even though it is not true with respect to that situation (RC, p. 181).27 Similar difficulties obviously prevent the use of the [3-modalizations, and since the A-biconditionals and the bare biconditionals do not involve any world relativity at all - and so could not contribute to the determination of the TRUTH conditions of utterances made in counterfactual situations - we are left with the ~A-biconditionals and the ~,~A-modalization iof (T). These deliver, for example, that for any world w as the actual world an utterance in that same world of 'Grass is green' is TRUE just in case that sentence is true with respect to w, that is, just in case grass is green in w, and an utterance in that same world of 'Grass is actually green' is TRUE just in case that sentence is true with respect to w for w as the actual world, that is, just in case grass is green in w. In fact, since from the point of view of an utterer making an utterance in world w the actual world is just world w, the J~A-principles answer precisely to an interest in TRUE utterances. Reverting to a relativized truth predicate, and putting the matter contentiously, we can say that the truth which matters, the truth at which sincere asserters in w aim, is tmthw, w; for a language whose only modal operator had the force of our '~A' this would be the only truth which was semantically relevant, but to deal with '~-', '[]' and 'A' we need to consider - en route to truthw, w conditions - truth w,, w2 conditions as well. 2s Two sentences with different truthwl ' w~ conditions might have the same truthw, w conditions, Indeed, if c~ is a formula of the language of S5A~- free of '[3' and '~-' and a' the formula resulting from a by the removal of all occurrences of 'A', then S5A~- ~- ~A(a~a'), so that for any similarly related sentences o and a' of the interpreted object language for which we imagine the truth theory presented here to have been constructed that theory will yield as theorems: and ~A [Tr(F~) ~- Tr(Fa'7)] -ya [TrC~) ~ ~']. Thus, for example, the condition for the truth (in the sense that matters) of 'Grass is actually green' is just that grass is green, and this condition is one

17 TWO NOTIONS OF NECESSITY 17 which might not have obtained, which fact can be expressed equivalently using either '~[2]' or '~ o~a'. So there is a clear sense in which 'Grass is actually green' is contingent even though the V7-modalization of that sentence is true, namely the sense captured by 'deeply contingent'. Similarly, the condition for the truth (in the sense that matters) of the sentences (S), (S'), and (S") of Section 2 is just that if anyone uniquely invented the zip, the inventor of the zip invented the zip, and this is a condition which could not but obtain, which fact can be expressed using either '[2]' or ' ~A'. Thus there is a clear sense in which all three sentences are necessary in spite of the falsity of the []-modalizations of (S) and (S"), namely the sense captured by 'deeply necessary'. In general, a true sentence o is deeply contingent just in case its truth condition might not have obtained, that is - we suggest - just in case its truthw, w condition does not hold of every world w, that is, just in case is not fixedly actually true, that is - the homophonic truth theory assures us - just in case r-~.ya ~ is true. This discharges a promise made in Section 2. THE NECESSARY 'A POSTERIORI'AND OTHER APPLICATIONS In this section we suggest- tentatively -three further applications of the thought behind descriptive names: to the semantics of natural kind (and mass) terms, to the primary/secondary quality distinction, and to the metaethical theory sometimes known as subjective naturalism. 'This last application will highlight the distinction between assertive content and ingredient sense - the difference, that is, between that semantic feature in which sentences (S) and (S') of Section 2 agree and that in which they differ, as shown by their embeddings in U]-contexts. Consider again the descriptive name 'Julius' of the man who actually invented the zip, and the proper name 'Tom' of that same man. Then it is an a posteriori truth that Julius is Tom and yet 'Julius is Tom' is necessarily true since '[~(Julius is Tom)' is (modulo problems of contingent existence) true. So descriptive names give rise to necessary a posteriori truths. But clearly there is more to be said. Certainly 'Julius is Tom' is superficially necessary, and certainly that necessity is guaranteed by the fact that 'Julius is Tom' is an identity statement using names. But, equally clearly, 'Julius is Tom' is deeply contingent, and that contingency rests on the fact that while both names are in a sense rigid designators 2~ (since both retain their reference under changes in which world is considered as the 'floating' world), 'Tom'

18 18 M. DAVIES AND L. HUMBERSTONE does, while 'Julius' does not, retain its reference under changes in which world is considered as the actual world. These distinctions enable us to make sense of what might otherwise look like a disagreement over the modal status of 'Julius is Tom'. For one party might say, 'Julius, the man who actually invented the zip, could not have failed to be Tom even if "he had failed to invent the zip', while the other urged that in an imagined counterfactual situation in which Tom did not invent the zip, the speakers of our language would speak truly were they to say: Julius is not Tom. Apparent disagreement would be multiplied if some speakers came to know that Tom invented the zip and allowed this knowledge so to infect their use of 'Julius' that it too became a proper rather than a descriptive name of Tom. For although these speakers would agree with the rest as to the truth-values of all sentences free of 'W', they would judge that in no sense is 'Julius is Tom' contingent; in the imagined counterfactual situation, 'Julius' would have a different meaning from that which it has in their language. These apparent disagreements are reminiscent of more familiar apparent disagreements over the modal status of identities such as 'Water is H20', and we suggest that at least some light may be cast on the semantics of natural kind words by seeing them as analogous to descriptive names, rather than proper names, of chemical, physical, or biological kinds. Thus, suppose that 'water' is a descriptive name with its reference fixed by the description 'the chemical kind to which that liquid belongs which falls from clouds, flows in rivers, is drinkable, colourless, odourless... ' so that with wl as the actual world the reference of 'water' with respect to w2 is that chemical kind of stuff which in w I falls from clouds,... To understand 'water' it would not be necessary to know which chemical kind actually has those properties and so it would be an a posteriori discovery that water is H20; what is more, this would have to be recognized as a posteriori even by those who hold that all true identities using proper names express a priori truths. The true identity statement 'Water is H20' would be deeply but not superficially contingent, but for those among the chemically informed for whom 'water' had become another proper name of H2 O, 'Water is H20' would be contingent in no sense. On the suggested view, one would hold 'that "water" was world-relative but constant in meaning', and that in one sense, for worlds wl and w2, 'water is H20 in wl and water is XYZ in w2', namely the sense which answers to the fact that 'Water is H20' is truewl, wl and yet "Water is "XYZ' is truew2, w2 9 Yet

19 TWO NOTIONS OF NECESSITY 19 one would also hold that in a sense 'water is H20 in all worlds (the stuff called 'water' in w2 isn't water)', namely that sense which answers to the fact that for w* as the actual world, 'Water is H20' is truew, ' w for all worlds w, and 'Water is XYZ' is falsew. ' w for all words w. Thus on the suggested view, one would agree with Putnam (from whom these quotations have been tal~en 3~ that 'indexicality extends beyond the obviously indexical words and morphemes.., words like "water" have an unnoticed indexical element'. But the suggested view is not quite Putnam's view; he regards it as 'plausible' and 'the correct route to take for an absolutely indexical word like 'T' ', but incorrect for natural kind words and so, in particular, for 'water'. In [21], he offers a reason for rejecting the suggested view, namely that if we imagine a possible situation in which the chemical kind which has the functional features H20 has in the actual world is XYZ, and imagine further that in that world the word 'water' is replaced by 'quaxel', then the suggested view commits us to saying that two different words referring to two different liquids nevertheless have the same meaning and that this is 'highly counterintuitive'. Putnam seems to be in error here: there is nothing more counterintuitive about the imagined case than there is about the following case. Suppose that 'Julius' is an abbreviation of 'the actual inventor of the zip' and imagine a counterfactual situation in which 'Sufluj' abbreviates that same description and in which someone other than Tom invented the zip; then 'Julius' and 'Suiluj' are different words referring to different men and yet they clearly have the same (indexical) meaning. For a more commonplace example, consider the words T and 'je' as uttered by an Englishman and a Frenchman respectively: different words, different referents, but same meaning, al There is another possible objection to the suggested view, for it may be urged that attribution to speakers of competence with a word 'water' whose reference is fixed by the rather lengthy and vaguely specified description, 'the chemical kind of stuff which...' describes their use of that word as altogether too reflective. Might is not be that although these (loosely speaking) functional features of water operated as perceptual cues, the speakers were not very self-conscious and so did not recognize this fact? 32 In response to this objection, we might modify the reference-fixing description by introducing a new word 'waterish' which is to be a (quasi-)functional word, rather than a natural kind word: one can imagine speakers being trained with this word in the presence of stuff which fell from clouds, and so on, and then

20 20 M. DAVIES AND L. HUMBERSTONE being introduced to the descriptive name 'water' via the reference-fixing description 'the chemical kind to which waterish stuff belongs'. Or equivalently, one might introduce a proper name 'water*' of a functional kind rather than a chemical kind, and introduce 'water' via the reference-fixing description 'the chemical kind which realizes water*'. It is worth noting that if 'water*' and 'water' were not given different phonological realizations in the language, then because in the usage of the chemically informed 'water' might have become a proper name of the chemical kind, the word 'water' (as we write the 'water'/'water*' neutral form) would be three-ways ambiguous in the population. A final objection is more serious. Imagine that every speaker of the language containing 'Julius' had a visual confrontation with Tom and was told, 'This man is Julius'. Then one expects that 'Julius' would become a proper name of Tom. This is not, of course, to Say that for the identity statement 'This man is Julius' or even for 'This man is called "Julius"' to be true, 'Julius' must be a proper name, but only that, given the knowledge which each speaker would now have (knowledge by acquaintance 33 of Julius) it would be natural for the semantic function of 'Julius' to change. But now consider the fact that practically every speaker of our language has had a visual confrontation with (a sample of) the chemical kind H~ O and been told, 'This stuff (this chemical kind) is water (is called "water")'. Is it not unlikely that 'water' remains, in our language, a merely descriptive name of H20? A reply to this objection will depend upon claiming that physical ostension of a sample of H20 accompanied by the words 'This stuff' ('the chemical kind here exemplified') is similar not to physical ostension of a man accompanied by the words 'this man', but rather to physical ostension of a screen accompanied by 'the man behind this screen', or even physical ostension of a zip accompanied by 'the inventor of this device'. Since we do not know whether such a claim can be defended, we are not confident that the suggested view is correct. If the suggested view were adopted for 'water', then it would be worth considering an analogous treatment of the predicate '(is a) tiger'. Consider first that there is a predicate 'tiger*' whose correct application depends only on the gross physical characteristics of objects (in particular, in this case, on felinity, ferocity, size, stripedness, etc.) and then think of the predicate 'tiger' as being introduced in a way analogous to that in which descriptive names are introduced 34, namely by:

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