•  178
    Two approaches to elevating certain laws of nature over others have come to prominence recently. On the one hand, according to the meta-laws approach, there are meta-laws, laws which relate to laws as those laws relate to particular facts. On the other hand, according to the modal, or non-absolutist, approach, some laws are necessary in a stricter sense than others. Both approaches play an important role in current research, questioning the ‘orthodoxy’ represented by the leading philosophical th…Read more
  •  2
    This thesis aims at bringing support to the general thesis of essentialism about modality: all necessity is fully grounded in essence, and possibility is defined accordingly. First, it motivates essentialism about metaphysical necessity (including logical, conceptual and mathematical necessities as special cases of it). Second, and most importantly, it defends an essentialist account of natural modality. On this account, in particular, natural necessity (e.g. causal laws of nature) is homogeneou…Read more
  •  152
    Grounding, Necessity, and Relevance
    Philosophical Studies 1-22. 2023.
    Grounding necessitarianism (GN) is the view that full grounds necessitate what they ground. Although GN has been rather popular among philosophers, it faces important counterexamples: For instance, A=[Socrates died] fully grounds C=[Xanthippe became a widow]. However, A fails to necessitate C: A could have obtained together with B=[Socrates and Xanthippe were never married], without C obtaining. In many cases, the debate essentially reduces to whether A indeed fully grounds C – as the contingent…Read more
  •  137
    Relativized Essentialism about Modalities
    Argumenta 7 (2): 463-484. 2022.
    On what I call absolutist essentialism about modality (AE), the metaphysical necessities are the propositions that are true in virtue of the essence (i.e. Aristotelian, absolute essence) of some entities. Other kinds of necessity can then be defined by restriction – e.g. the conceptual necessities are the propositions that are true in virtue of the essence of conceptual entities specifically. As an account of metaphysical modality and some other kinds (e.g. logical, conceptual), AE may have impo…Read more
  •  14
    The bidimensionality of modal variety
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 1-36. 2021.
    It is widely accepted that necessity comes in different varieties, often called ‘kinds': metaphysical necessity, logical necessity, natural necessity, conceptual necessity, moral necessity, to name but a few – and the same goes for the varieties of possibility. What is usually not fully appreciated, however, is that modal variety is not simply ‘unidimensional': it does not only involve one main variable – kind, whose values are the particular kinds of necessity. Rather, I argue, it is ‘bidimensi…Read more
  •  151
    A common feature of all standard theories of the laws of nature is that they are "absolutist": They take laws to be either all metaphysically necessary or all contingent. Science, however, gives us reason to think that there are laws of both kinds, suggesting that standard theories should make way for "non-absolutist" alternatives: theories which accommodate laws of both modal statuses. In this paper, we set out three explanatory challenges for any candidate non-absolutist theory and discuss the…Read more
  •  110
    In a recent paper, Tuomas Tahko has argued for a hybrid view of the laws of nature, according to which some physical laws are metaphysically necessary, while others are metaphysically contingent. In this paper, we show that his criterion for distinguishing between these two kinds of laws — which crucially relies on the essences of natural kinds — is on its own unsatisfactory. We then propose an alternative way of drawing the metaphysically necessary/contingent distinction for laws of physics bas…Read more
  •  8
    Eating animals and the moral value of non-human suffering
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 88 (1): 247-256. 2013.
    The purpose of this article, which takes the form of a dialogue between a vegetarian and a meat eater, is twofold. On the one hand, we argue for a general characterisation of moral value in terms of well-being and suffering. On the other hand, on the basis of this characterisation, we argue that, in most cases, the moral value attached to the choice of eating meat is negative; in particular, we defend this claim against a number of objections concerning the nature of animal suffering, its moral …Read more
  •  11
    Varieties of dispositional essentialism about natural laws
    European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (3): 1-28. 2021.
    An important task for metaphysicians and philosophers of science is to account for laws of nature – in particular, how they distinguish themselves from ‘mere’ regularities, and the modal force they are endowed with, ‘natural necessity’. Dispositional essentialism about laws is roughly the view that laws distinguish themselves by being grounded in the essences of natural entities. This paper does not primarily concern how essentialism compares to its main rivals – Humeanism and Armstrongeanism. R…Read more
  •  15
    Causal necessitarianism and the monotonicity objection
    Synthese 199 (1-2): 2597-2627. 2020.
    Do causes necessitate their effects? Causal necessitarianism is the view that they do. One major objection—the “monotonicity objection”—runs roughly as follows. For many particular causal relations, we can easily find a possible “blocker”—an additional causal factor that, had it also been there, would have prevented the cause from producing its effect. However—the objection goes on—, if the cause really necessitated its effect in the first place, it would have produced it anyway—despite the bloc…Read more