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CEFISES Seminar: Pieter Thyssen, “Cross-Temporal Necessitation? A Platonist Reply to Leininger”
Speaker: Pieter Thyssen (UCLouvain)
Title: Cross-Temporal Necessitation? A Platonist Reply to Leininger
Abstract: According to Leininger, proponents of absolute becoming cannot explain why past and present regularities persist in the future. In order to do so, they would have to appeal to enforcers, such as causation, laws or dispositions. But in a world with no future, Leininger argues, these enforcers are powerless. I disagree and offer two answers to Leininger’s coordination problem: (1) By endorsing (open-future) Humeanism, the coordination problem can be avoided altogether. (2) By endorsing non-Humeanism, the coordination problem can be answered by distinguishing type- from token-level necessitation. Whereas token-level necessitation is cross-temporal in nature and subject to the coordination problem, type-level necessitation is atemporal and immune to the coordination problem. For this solution to work, though, type-level necessitation must be ontologically prior to token-level necessitation. With respect to nomic necessitation and dispositionalism, this forces us to adopt a Platonist position according to which universals are transcendent, and not immanent.