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  1. How to Be a Modal Realist.Cian Dorr - manuscript
    This paper investigates the form a modal realist analysis of possibility and necessity should take. It concludes that according to the best version of modal realism, the notion of a world plays no role in the analysis of modal claims. All contingent claims contain some de re element; the effect of modal operators on these elements is described by a counterpart theory which takes the same form whether the de re reference is to a world or to something else. This (...)
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  2. Is Metaphysics Immune to Moral Refutation?Alex Barber - unknown - Acta Analytica 35 (4):469-492.
    When a novel scientific theory conflicts with otherwise plausible moral assumptions, we do not treat that as evidence against the theory. We may scrutinize the empirical data more keenly and take extra care over its interpretation, but science is in some core sense immune to moral refutation. Can the same be said of philosophical theories? If a position in the philosophy of mind, for example, is discovered to have eye-widening moral import, does that count against it at all? Actual responses (...)
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  3. Making New Tools From the Toolbox of Metaphysics. [REVIEW]Raoni Wohnrath Arroyo - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-7.
    In this review, I specify the metametaphysical background against which Alastair Wilson’s “The Nature of Contingency” should be properly understood. Metaphysics, as a philosophical discipline, is standing on thin ice. The caricature of the situation is polarized, and is often presented as follows: metaphysics is either entirely extracted from science or it is entirely independent of science. There is a recent trend that focuses on the middle ground between these extremes, searching the philosophical literature for metaphysical theories that can fill (...)
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  4. Plenitude and Recombination.Alastair Wilson - forthcoming - In Helen Beebee & Anthony Fisher (eds.), Perspectives on the Philosophy of David K. Lewis. Oxford University Press.
    In On the Plurality of Worlds (Lewis 1986), David Lewis imposes a condition on realist theories of modality which he calls ‘plenitude’. Lewis apparently assigns this condition considerable importance, and uses it to motivate his Humean principle of recombination, but he never says exactly what plenitude amounts to. This chapter first sets aside some obvious ways of reconstructing the plenitude criterion which do not fit with the textual evidence. An objection to modal realism due to John Divers and Joseph Melia (...)
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  5. Materiality, parthood, and possibility.Samuele Iaquinto & Giuliano Torrengo - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (3):1125-1131.
    This paper offers an argument in favour of a Lewisian version of concretism that maintains both the principle of material inheritance and the materiality-modality link.
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  6. The Many‐Worlds Theory of Consciousness.Christian List - 2022 - Noûs.
    This paper sketches a new and somewhat heterodox metaphysical theory of consciousness: the “many-worlds theory”. It drops the assumption that all conscious subjects’ experiences are features of one and the same world and instead associates different subjects with different “first-personally centred worlds”. We can think of these as distinct “first-personal realizers” of a shared “third-personal world”, where the latter is supervenient, in a sense to be explained. This is combined with a form of modal realism, according to which different subjects’ (...)
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  7. Dualism About Possible Worlds.Michael Tze-Sung Longenecker - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (1):17-33.
    Dualism about possible worlds says that merely possible worlds aren’t concrete objects, but the actual world is concrete. This view seems to be the natural one for ersatzers about merely possible worlds to take; yet one is hard-pressed to find any defenders of it in contemporary modal metaphysics. The main reason is that Dualism struggles with the issue of how merely possible worlds could have been actual. I explain that there are two different Dualist strategies that can be taken to (...)
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  8. Necessity First.Alastair Wilson - 2022 - Argumenta 14.
    My topic in this paper is the relationships of metaphysical priority which might hold between the different alethic modal statuses—necessity, contingency, possibility and impossibility. In particular, I am interested in exploring the view that the necessity of necessities is ungrounded while the contingency of contingencies is grounded—a scenario I call ‘necessity first’. I will explicate and scrutinize the contrast between necessity first and its ‘contingency first’ contrary, and then compare both views with ‘multimodal’ and ‘amodal’ alternatives, drawing on David Lewis’s (...)
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  9. God’s Place in Logical Space.Andrew Dennis Bassford - 2021 - Journal of Analytic Theology 9:100-125.
    It has been argued recently that classical theism and Lewisian modal realism are incompatible theses. The most substantial argument to this effect takes the form of a trilemma. It argues that no sense can be made of God’s being a necessary being in the modal realistic picture, on pain of, among other things, modal collapse. The question of this essay is: Is that so? My goal here is to detail the reasons that have been offered in support of this contention (...)
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  10. The Epistemic Idleness of Conceivability.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2021 - In Otávio Bueno & Scott Shalkowski (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Modality. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 167-179.
    One’s involvement with the world seems limited merely to things as they are; hence, modal knowledge—knowledge of what could be or must be simpliciter—should be perplexing. Traditionally, the notion of conceivability has been regarded as crucial to an account of modal knowledge. I believe one has a good deal of such knowledge (though perhaps less than others presume one has). I maintain, however, that conceiving is utterly idle in acquiring modal knowledge: the conceivability of a proposition can provide no evidence (...)
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  11. The Landscape and the Multiverse: What’s the Problem?James Read & Baptiste Le Bihan - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7749-7771.
    As a candidate theory of quantum gravity, the popularity of string theory has waxed and waned over the past four decades. One current source of scepticism is that the theory can be used to derive, depending upon the input geometrical assumptions that one makes, a vast range of different quantum field theories, giving rise to the so-called landscape problem. One apparent way to address the landscape problem is to posit the existence of a multiverse; this, however, has in turn drawn (...)
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  12. The Metaphysics of Theism: A Classical and Neo-Classical Synthesis.Joshua R. Sijuwade - 2021 - Religions 12 (11):1-29.
    This article aims to provide a metaphysical elucidation of the notion of Theism and a coherent theological synthesis of two extensions of this notion: Classical Theism and Neo-Classical Theism. A model of this notion and its extensions is formulated within the ontological pluralism framework of Kris McDaniel and Jason Turner, and the (modified) modal realism framework of David Lewis, which enables it to be explicated clearly and consistently, and two often raised objections against the elements of this notion can be (...)
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  13. Modal Fragmentalism.Samuele Iaquinto - 2020 - The Philosophical Quarterly 70 (280):570-587.
    In this paper, I will argue that there is a version of possibilism—inspired by the modal analogue of Kit Fine’s fragmentalism—that can be combined with a weakening of actualism. The reasons for analysing this view, which I call Modal Fragmentalism, are twofold. Firstly, it can enrich our understanding of the actualism/possibilism divide, by showing that, at least in principle, the adoption of possibilia does not correspond to an outright rejection of the actualist intuitions. Secondly, and more specifically, it can enrich (...)
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  14. The Limits of Classical Mereology: Mixed Fusions and the Failures of Mereological Hybridism.Joshua Kelleher - 2020 - Dissertation, The University of Queensland
    In this thesis I argue against unrestricted mereological hybridism, the view that there are absolutely no constraints on wholes having parts from many different logical or ontological categories, an exemplar of which I take to be ‘mixed fusions’. These are composite entities which have parts from at least two different categories – the membered (as in classes) and the non-membered (as in individuals). As a result, mixed fusions can also be understood to represent a variety of cross-category summation such as (...)
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  15. On the Probability of Plenitude.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2020 - Journal of Philosophy 117 (5):267-292.
    I examine what the mathematical theory of random structures can teach us about the probability of Plenitude, a thesis closely related to David Lewis's modal realism. Given some natural assumptions, Plenitude is reasonably probable a priori, but in principle it can be (and plausibly it has been) empirically disconfirmed—not by any general qualitative evidence, but rather by our de re evidence.
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  16. Extended Modal Realism — a New Solution to the Problem of Intentional Inexistence.Andrew D. Thomas - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (3):1197-1208.
    Kriegel described the problem of intentional inexistence as one of the ‘perennial problems of philosophy’, 307–340, 2007: 307). In the same paper, Kriegel alluded to a modal realist solution to the problem of intentional inexistence. However, Kriegel does not state by name who defends the kind of modal realist solution he has in mind. Kriegel also points out that even what he believes to be the strongest version of modal realism does not pass the ‘principle of representation’ and thus modal (...)
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  17. The Lump Sum: A Theory of Modal Parts.Meg Wallace - 2019 - Philosophical Papers 48 (3):403-435.
    A lump theorist claims that ordinary objects are spread out across possible worlds, much like many of us think that tables are spread out across space. We are not wholly located in any one particular world, the lump theorist claims, just as we are not wholly spatially located where one’s hand is. We are modally spread out, a trans-world mereological sum of world-bound parts. We are lump sums of modal parts. And so are all other ordinary objects. In this paper, (...)
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  18. On the Humphrey Objection to Modal Realism.Michael De - 2018 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (2):159-179.
    An intuitive objection to modal realism is that merely possible worlds and their inhabitants seem to be irrelevant to an analysis of modality. Kripke originally phrased the objection in terms of being concerned about one’s modal properties without being concerned about the properties one’s other-worldly counterparts have. The author assesses this objection in a variety of forms, and then provides his own formulation that does not beg the question against the modal realist. Finally, the author considers two potential answers to (...)
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  19. On Lewis Against Magic: A Study of Method in Metaphysics.A. R. J. Fisher - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):2335-2353.
    David Lewis objected to theories that posit necessary connections between distinct entities and to theories that involve a magical grasping of their primitives. In On the Plurality of Worlds, Lewis objected to nondescript ersatzism on these grounds. The literature contains several reconstructions of Lewis’ critique of nondescript ersatzism but none of these interpretations adequately address his main argument because they fail to see that Lewis’ critique is based on broader methodological considerations. I argue that a closer look at his methodology (...)
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  20. Cross-World Comparatives for Modal Realists.Robert Michels - 2018 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 25 (3):368-391.
    Divers (2014) argues that a Lewisian theory of modality which includes both counterpart theory and modal realism cannot account for the truth of certain intuitively true modal sentences involving cross-world comparatives. The main purpose of this paper is to defend the Lewisian theory against Divers’s challenge by developing a response strategy based on a degree-theoretic treatment of comparatives and by showing that this treatment is compatible with the theory.
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  21. Our Reliability is in Principle Explainable.Dan Baras - 2017 - Episteme 14 (2):197-211.
    Non-skeptical robust realists about normativity, mathematics, or any other domain of non- causal truths are committed to a correlation between their beliefs and non- causal, mind-independent facts. Hartry Field and others have argued that if realists cannot explain this striking correlation, that is a strong reason to reject their theory. Some consider this argument, known as the Benacerraf–Field argument, as the strongest challenge to robust realism about mathematics, normativity, and even logic. In this article I offer two closely related accounts (...)
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  22. The Applicability of Mathematics to Physical Modality.Nora Berenstain - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3361-3377.
    This paper argues that scientific realism commits us to a metaphysical determination relation between the mathematical entities that are indispensible to scientific explanation and the modal structure of the empirical phenomena those entities explain. The argument presupposes that scientific realism commits us to the indispensability argument. The viewpresented here is that the indispensability of mathematics commits us not only to the existence of mathematical structures and entities but to a metaphysical determination relation between those entities and the modal structure of (...)
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  23. Modal Realism, Still at Your Convenience.Harold Noonan & Mark Jago - 2017 - Analysis 77 (2):299-303.
    Divers presents a set of de re modal truths which, he claims, are inconvenient for Lewisean modal realism. We argue that there is no inconvenience for Lewis.
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  24. Mundos possíveis, propriedades naturais e mereologia.Renato Rocha - 2017 - Dissertation, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina
    I argue in this dissertation that natural properties play a central role in David Lewis' modal realism. To argue in favor of this thesis I present: a bottom-up explanation of a top-down possible world metaphysics; a new definition of natural properties and natural fusion, a new mereological operation. To achieve these aims, in the first chapter, I contextualize the discussion, in the second I resume the discussion about universals in contemporary philosophy and argue that, considering the distinct formulations of the (...)
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  25. Extended Modal Dimensionalism.Martin Vacek - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (1):13-28.
    Modal dimensionalism is realism about spaces, times and worlds—metaphysical indices that make objects spatial, temporal and modal, respectively, and that play the role of alethic relativizers, i.e. items to which matters of truth are relativized. This paper examines several arguments against MD and shows that MD offers a feasible way to understand modal discourse.
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  26. Michael Almeida, The Metaphysics of Perfect Beings, Routledge, 2008.Nikk Effingham - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 8 (4):243--247.
    Book review of 'The Metaphysics of Perfect Beings'.
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  27. Modal Truth : Integrating the Metaphysics, Epistemology, and Semantics of the Necessary and the Possible.Lars Enden - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Washington
    The integration challenge for modality states that metaphysical theories of modality tend to fail in one of two ways: either they render the meanings of modal sentences mysterious, or they render modal knowledge mysterious. I argue that there are specific semantic and epistemic constraints on metaphysics implied by the integration challenge and that a plausible metaphysical theory of modality will satisfy both of them. I further argue that no popular metaphysical theory of modality simultaneously satisfies both of the constraints. Therefore, (...)
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  28. Advanced Modalizing Problems.Mark Jago - 2016 - Mind 125 (499):627-642.
    I present an internal problem for David Lewis’s genuine modal realism. My aim is to show that his analysis of modality is inconsistent with his metaphysics. I consider several ways of modifying the Lewisian analysis of modality, but argue that none are successful. I argue that the problem also affects theories related to genuine modal realism, including the stage theory of persistence and modal fictionalism.
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  29. Modal Realism, Still At Your Convenience.Mark Jago & Harold Noonan - 2016 - Analysis:anx037.
    Divers (2014) presents a set of de re modal truths which, he claims, are inconvenient for Lewisean modal realism. We argue that there is no inconvenience for Lewis.
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  30. Alethic Modalities, Temporal Modalities, and Representation.Jiri Benovsky - 2015 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 29 (1):19-36.
    In this article, I am interested in four versions of what is often referred to as "the Humphrey objection". This objection was initially raised by Kripke against Lewis's modal counterpart theory, so this is where I will start the discussion. As we will see, there is a perfectly good answer to the objection. I will then examine other places where a similar objection can be raised: it can arise in the case of temporal counterpart theory (in fact, it can arise (...)
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  31. David Lewis, Donald C. Williams, and the History of Metaphysics in the Twentieth Century.A. R. J. Fisher - 2015 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (1):3--22.
    The revival of analytic metaphysics in the latter half of the twentieth century is typically understood as a consequence of the critiques of logical positivism, Quine’s naturalization of ontology, Kripke’s Naming and Necessity, clarifications of modal notions in logic, and the theoretical exploitation of possible worlds. However, this explanation overlooks the work of metaphysicians at the height of positivism and linguisticism that affected metaphysics of the late twentieth century. Donald C. Williams is one such philosopher. In this paper I explain (...)
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  32. Problems for Modal Reductionism: Concrete Possible Worlds as a Test Case.Jonathan Nassim - 2015 - Dissertation, Birkbeck College
    This thesis is an argument for the view that there are problems for Modal Reductionism, the thesis that modality can satisfactorily be defined in non-modal terms. -/- I proceed via a case study of David Lewis’s theory of concrete possible worlds. This theory is commonly regarded as the best and most influential candidate reductive theory of modality. Based on a detailed examination of its ontology, analysis and justification, I conclude that it does badly with respect to the following four minimal (...)
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  33. Propriedades Naturais e Mundos Possíveis.Renato Mendes Rocha - 2015 - Coleção XVI Encontro ANPOF.
    O objetivo geral da pesquisa da qual esse artigo faz parte é investigar o sistema metafísico que emerge dos trabalhos de David Lewis. Esse sistema pode ser decomposto em pelo menos duas teorias. A primeira nomeada como realismo modal genuíno (RMG) e a segunda como mosaico neo-humeano. O RMG é, sem dúvida, mais popular e defende a hipótese metafísica da existência de uma pluralidade de mundos possíveis. A principal razão em favor dessa hipótese é a sua aplicabilidade na discussão de (...)
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  34. Modal Realism, Counterpart Theory, and Unactualized Possibilities.Joseph A. Baltimore - 2014 - Metaphysica 15 (1):209–217.
    It is a commonsense thesis that unactualized possibilities are not parts of actuality. To keep his modal realism in line with this thesis, David Lewis employed his indexical account of the term “actual.” I argue that the addition of counterpart theory to Lewis’s modal realism undermines his strategy for respecting the commonsense thesis. The case made here also reveals a problem for Lewis’s attempt to avoid haecceitism.
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  35. The Way of Actuality.Sam Cowling - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (2):231-247.
    In this paper, I defend an indexical analysis of the abstract-concrete distinction within the framework of modal realism. This analysis holds the abstract-concrete distinction to be conceptually inseparable from the distinction between the actual and the merely possible, which is assumed to be indexical in nature. The resulting view contributes to the case for modal realism by demonstrating how its distinctive resources provide a reductive analysis of the abstract-concrete distinction. This indexical analysis also provides a solution to a sceptical problem (...)
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  36. Overall Similarity, Natural Properties, and Paraphrases.Ghislain Guigon - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (2):387-399.
    I call anti-resemblism the thesis that independently of any contextual specification there is no determinate fact of the matter about the comparative overall similarity of things. Anti-resemblism plays crucial roles in the philosophy of David Lewis. For instance, Lewis has argued that his counterpart theory is anti-essentialist on the grounds that counterpart relations are relations of comparative overall similarity and that anti-resemblism is true. After Lewis committed himself to a form of realism about natural properties he maintained that anti-resemblism is (...)
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  37. Against Yagisawa's Modal Realism.Mark Jago - 2013 - Analysis 73 (1):10-17.
    In his book Worlds and Individuals, Possible and Otherwise (2010), Takashi Yagisawa presents and argues for a novel and imaginative version of modal realism. It differs both from Lewis’s modal realism (Lewis 1986) and from actualists’ ersatz accounts (Adams 1974; Sider 2002). In this paper, I’ll present two arguments, each of which shows that Yagisawa’s metaphysics is incoherent. The first argument shows that the combination of Yagisawa’s metaphysics with impossibilia leads to triviality: every sentence whatsoever comes out true. This is (...)
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  38. Ontological Omniscience in Lewisian Modal Realism.J. Reinert - 2013 - Analysis 73 (4):676-682.
    A simple argument against Lewisian modal realism as portrayed in On the Plurality of World arises from its treatment of doxastic modalities. It is easily shown that if it is true, it is impossible to doubt the theory on ontological grounds, or, that, if it is possible to maintain doubt about modal realism’s existential postulate, it has to be false. The argument hinges on the fact that modal realism’s main ontological hypothesis, if true, is necessarily true.
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  39. MODAL REALISM AND PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS: THE CASE OF ISLAND UNIVERSES.Martin Vacek - 2013 - Filozofia 68 (10).
    The paper outlines and immediately discusses the so-called ‘soft’ impossibility, i.e., non-logical impossibility generated by modal realism. It will be shown that although in a particular case genuine modal realism, straightforwardly applied, deems impossible a proposition that other philosophers have claimed to be (intuitively) possible, there is a variety of methodologically acceptable moves available in order to avoid the problem. The impossibility at issue is the existence of island universes. Given the Lewisian analysis there are three points at which we (...)
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  40. Spread Worlds, Plenitude and Modal Realism: A Problem for David Lewis.Charles Pigden & Rebecca E. B. Entwisle - 2012 - In James Maclaurin (ed.), Rationis Defensor.
    In his metaphysical summa of 1986, The Plurality of Worlds, David Lewis famously defends a doctrine he calls ‘modal realism’, the idea that to account for the fact that some things are possible and some things are necessary we must postulate an infinity possible worlds, concrete entities like our own universe, but cut off from us in space and time. Possible worlds are required to account for the facts of modality without assuming that modality is primitive – that there are (...)
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  41. Theistic Modal Realism?Michael Almeida - 2011 - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion 3:1-15.
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  42. Lewis' Modal Realism and Absence Causation.Joseph A. Baltimore - 2011 - Metaphysica 12 (2):117-124.
    A major criticism of David Lewis’ counterfactual theory of causation is that it allows too many things to count as causes, especially since Lewis allows, in addition to events, absences to be causes as well. Peter Menzies has advanced this concern under the title “the problem of profligate causation.” In this paper, I argue that the problem of profligate causation provides resources for exposing a tension between Lewis’ acceptance of absence causation and his modal realism. The result is a different (...)
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  43. Natural Properties, Supervenience, and Mereology.Andrea Borghini & Giorgio Lando - 2011 - Humana Mente 4 (19):79-104.
    The interpretation of Lewis‘s doctrine of natural properties is difficult and controversial, especially when it comes to the bearers of natural properties. According to the prevailing reading – the minimalist view – perfectly natural properties pertain to the micro-physical realm and are instantiated by entities without proper parts or point-like. This paper argues that there are reasons internal to a broadly Lewisian kind of metaphysics to think that the minimalist view is fundamentally flawed and that a liberal view, according to (...)
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  44. On the Plurality of Worlds: David Lewis. [REVIEW]Louis Derosset - 2011 - Humana Mente 4 (19).
    A commentary on David Lewis's /On the Plurality of Worlds/.
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  45. The Modal Dimension.Giuliano Torrengo - 2011 - Humana Mente 4 (19):105-120.
    Space and time are two obvious candidates as dimensions of reality. Yet, are they the only two dimensions of reality? Famously, David Lewis maintained the doctrine of.
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  46. Impossible Worlds and Propositions: Against the Parity Thesis.Francesco Berto - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (240):471-486.
    Accounts of propositions as sets of possible worlds have been criticized for conflating distinct impossible propositions. In response to this problem, some have proposed to introduce impossible worlds to represent distinct impossibilities, endorsing the thesis that impossible worlds must be of the same kind; this has been called the parity thesis. I show that this thesis faces problems, and propose a hybrid account which rejects it: possible worlds are taken as concrete Lewisian worlds, and impossibilities are represented as set-theoretic constructions (...)
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  47. Duas teorias realistas para a interpretação da semântica dos mundos possíveis.Renato Mendes Rocha - 2010 - Inquietude 1 (1):72-79.
    O discurso a respeito dos Mundos Possíveis pode ser uma ferramenta bastante útil para a filosofia. Pode ser útil, por exemplo, para a compreensão das modalidades, da necessidade e da possibilidade. No entanto, para utilizar o discurso dos Mundos Possíveis devemos ter uma explicação satisfatória do caráter ontológico da Semântica dos Mundos Possíveis. Para isso, precisamos responder a questões do tipo: O que é um Mundo Possível? De que forma eles existem? Em quantos Mundos Possíveis podemos falar? Há diversas formas (...)
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  48. Two Concepts of Possible Worlds – or Only One?Jiri Benovsky - 2008 - Theoria 74 (4):318-330.
    In his "Two concepts of possible worlds", Peter Van Inwagen explores two kinds of views about the nature of possible worlds : abstractionism and concretism. The latter is the view defended by David Lewis who claims that possible worlds are concrete spatio-temporal universes, very much like our own, causally and spatio-temporally disconnected from each other. The former is the view of the majority who claims that possible worlds are some kind of abstract objects – such as propositions, properties, states of (...)
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  49. Concrete Possible Worlds.Phillip Bricker - 2008 - In Theodore Sider, John Hawthorne & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics. Blackwell. pp. 111--134.
    In this chapter, I survey what I call Lewisian approaches to modality: approaches that analyze modality in terms of concrete possible worlds and their parts. I take the following four theses to be characteristic of Lewisian approaches to modality. (1) There is no primitive modality. (2) There exists a plurality of concrete possible worlds. (3) Actuality is an indexical concept. (4) Modality de re is to be analyzed in terms of counterparts, not transworld identity. After an introductory section in which (...)
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  50. Possible Girls.Neil Sinhababu - 2008 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (2):254–260.
    I argue that if David Lewis’ modal realism is true, modal realists from different possible worlds can fall in love with each other. I offer a method for uniquely picking out possible people who are in love with us and not with our counterparts. Impossible lovers and trans-world love letters are considered. Anticipating objections, I argue that we can stand in the right kinds of relations to merely possible people to be in love with them and that ending a trans-world (...)
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