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Martha Kneale on why metaphysical necessities are not a priori

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-409
JournalJournal of the American Philosophical Association
Issue number4
Early online date20 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


King's Authors


In her 1938 paper, “Logical and Metaphysical Necessity”, Martha Kneale introduces the necessary a posteriori. I present a critical summary of Kneale’s argument that so-called ‘metaphysical propositions’ are necessary but not a priori. I argue that Kneale is well-placed to offer a template for reconciling conceivability approaches to modal epistemology with the post-Kripkean trend for taking metaphysical necessities to have their source in mind-independent reality.

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