Professor John Divers

Professor John Divers

Professor of Philosophy

+44 (0)113 343 3281

Summary: Modality; Realism and Antirealism; Transcendental Arguments.

John Divers continues to work (mainly) on modality. Having published one monograph (Possible Worlds) and over twenty research articles on that topic, John has in development two further monographs (Beyond Possible Worlds and Necessity After Quine) and has recently completed new articles on the topics of (manifesting and acquiring) belief in absolute necessity, and the analysis of modality.

John is co-editor of the new Wiley-Blackwell journal, Thought.

Research Interests

Realism and antirealism, especially in relation to:

  • Modality: possible worlds and essentialism
  • Logic: non-classical logics, pure and applied semantics
  • Mathematics: Platonism and logicism
  • Morals: truth, truth-aptitude and non-cognitivism
  • Transcendental Arguments
I am happy to offer PhD supervision in all of the above fields of research

Selected Publications

  • 2002 Possible Worlds (Routledge, London)
  • Forthcoming 'On The Modal Status of the Lewisian Analysis of Modality' in Mind
  • Forthcoming 'The Analysis of Possibility and the Extent of Possibility' in Dialectica
  • 2012 'Belief in Absolute Necessity' [by John Divers & Jose Edgar Gonzalez Varela] in Philosophy & Phenomenological Research (early View DOI: 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2012.00600.x)
  • 2012 'Manifesting Belief in Absolute Necessity', [by John Divers & Daniel Elstein] in Philosophical Studies158.1, pp.109-30
  • 2010a 'Modal Commitments', in The Logic, Epistemology and Metaphysics of Modality, Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffman (eds.), (Oxford, Oxford University Press), pp.189-219.

    PhD Supervision Completed

    Mirja Holst (from October 2012, University of Aachen): Definite Descriptions and Free Logic

    Alexander Oldemeier: The Epistemology of Abstraction

    Stephan Kraemer (presently, University of Hamburg): Ontological Commitment and Second-Order Quantification 

    Haytham Elsayed Soliman (presently South Valley University, Egypt): Philosophical Investigations into Formalization and Compositionality of Language: A Montagovian Analysis of Arabic Quantification as a Case Study

    Duncan Watson: The Metaphysics of Possibilia and Impossibilia

    Jose Edgar Gonzalez Varela (presently, UNAM): Modal Non-Cognitivism

    Richard Woodward (presently, LOGOS Barcelona): The Case of the Modal Fictionalist

    Anthony Wrigley (presently, University of Keele): Abstracting Propositions

    Current PhD Supervision

    (All students co-supervised by colleagues at Leeds)

    Jonathan Banks The Metaphysics of Essentialism

    Paul Ramshaw Modal Concepts and Modal Epistemology

    Further Publications

    Articles (sole authorship unless otherwise stated)

    • 2008 'Form and Coincidence', (symposium with Kit Fine) in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume 82, pp.119-38.
    • 2007a 'The Modal Metaphysics of Alvin Plantinga', in Contemporary Philosophy Focus: Alvin Plantinga, ed. by Deane-Peter Baker (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 71-92.
    • 2007b. 'Quinean Skepticism about De Re Modality after David Lewis', European Journal of Philosophy 15, 40-62.
    • 2006a (with Jason Hagen). 'The Modal Fictionalist Predicament', in Identity and Modality: New Essays in Metaphysics, ed. by F. MacBride (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp.57-73.
    • 2006b (with Joseph Melia). 'Genuine Modal Realism: Still Limited', Mind 115, 732-40.
    • 2006c. 'Possible-Worlds Semantics without Possible Worlds: The Agnostic Approach', Mind 115, 187-225.
    • 2006d (with David Liggins). 'Fictionalism' in Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition (New York: MacMillan)
    • 2006e (with Alexander Miller). 'Why Expressivists about Value Should Not Love Minimalism about Truth', reprinted in Arguing about Metaethics, ed. by A. Fisher. and S. Kirchin (London: Routledge). Original publication 1994d, below.
    • 2004. 'Agnosticism about Other Worlds: A New Antirealist Programme in Modality', Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 49, 659-84.
    • 2003 (with Joseph Melia). 'Genuine Modal Realism Limited', Mind 112, 83-86.
    • 2002b (with Joseph Melia). 'The Analytic Limit of Genuine Modal Realism', Mind 111, 15-36.
    • 1999a. 'A Modal Fictionalist Result', Nous 33, 317-46.
    • 1999b. 'A Genuine Realist Theory of Advanced Modalizing', Mind 108, 217-39
    • 1999c. 'Kant's Criteria of the a Priori', Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 80, 17-45.
    • 1999d (with Alexander Miller). 'Arithmetical Platonism: Reliability and Judgement-Dependence', Philosophical Studies 95, 277-310.
    • 1998a. 'Supervenience', Philosophical Books 39, 81-91.
    • 1998b. 'Modal Fictionalism: A Happy Ending?', in Logica Yearbook 1997, ed. by T. Childers (Prague: Filosofia), pp. 208-23.
    • 1997. 'The Analysis of Possibility and the Possibility of Analysis' Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 97, 141-60.
    • 1996. 'Supervenience for Operators' Synthese 106, 103-12.
    • 1995a (with Alexander Miller). 'Minimalism and the Unbearable Lightness of Being', Philosophical Papers 24, 127-39.
    • 1995b. 'Modal Fictionalism Cannot Deliver Possible-Worlds Semantics', Analysis 55, 81-89.
    • 1995c (with Alexander Miller). 'Platitudes and Attitudes: A Minimalist Conception of Belief', Analysis 55, 37-44.
    • 1994a. 'On the Prohibitive Cost of Indiscernible Concrete Possible Worlds' Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72, 384-89.
    • 1994b (with Alexander Miller). 'Rethinking Realism' [Critical Notice of Reality, Representation and Projection, ed. by J. Haldane and C. Wright (Oxford: Oxford University Press)], Mind 103, 519-33.
    • 1994c (with Alexander Miller). 'Best Opinions, Intention-Detecting and Analytic Functionalism', Philosophical Quarterly 44, 249-56.
    • 1994d (with Alexander Miller). 'Why Expressivists about Value Should Not Love Minimalism About Truth', Analysis 54, 12-19.
    • 1992. 'Modal Supervenience and Modal Realism' Theoria 58, 99-115.