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  1. Some Ways the Ways the World Could Have Been Can't Be.Christopher James Masterman - 2024 - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-29.
    Let serious propositional contingentism (SPC) be the package of views which consists in (i) the thesis that propositions expressed by sentences featuring terms depend, for their existence, on the existence of the referents of those terms, (ii) serious actualism—the view that it is impossible for an object to exemplify a property and not exist—and (iii) contingentism—the view that it is at least possible that some thing might not have been something. SPC is popular and compelling. But what should we say (...)
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  2. Possible Worlds as Propositions.Daniel Deasy - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    Realists about possible worlds typically identify possible worlds with abstract objects, such as propositions or properties. However, they face a significant objection due to Lewis (1986), to the effect that there is no way to explain how possible worlds-as-abstract objects represent possibilities. In this paper, I describe a response to this objection on behalf of realists. The response is to identify possible worlds with propositions, but to deny that propositions are abstract objects, or indeed objects at all. Instead, I argue (...)
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  3. 'Mundos Possíveis'.L. G. S. Videira - 2020 - In Rodrigo Reis Lastra Cid & Guido Imaguire (eds.), Problemas de Metafísica Analítica. Editora UFPEL. pp. 157 - 186.
    An introduction to the notion of possible worlds and the problems related to it.
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  4. Leibniz's "Possible Worlds".Yuesheng Liu - 2018 - Journal of Human Cognition 2 (1):42-51.
    The rigor and precision of Leibniz's "possible world" evolved into the concept of Turing machine, and with the birth of the first computer and the physical realization of Turing machine, human cognitive and intelligent activities were optimistically considered by cognitive scientists to be convertible into computational programs for simulation by machines. Cognitive science then formed the research agenda of "cognitive computationalism", and our Chinese scholars have responded to this general view that "the essence of cognition is computation" and that the (...)
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  5. If the Metaverse Becomes an Ontological Event.Tingyang Zhao - 2022 - Journal of Human Cognition 6 (1):3-17.
    It is essential to analyze the state, significance, and issues of the Metaverse as a possible world from an ontological perspective. The Metaverse is an on going ontological event. Despite its status as a possible world beyond the real world, its actors are still human beings from the real world. It is thus impossible for the Metaverse to transcend the fundamental problems of human life, as the issues of politics, capital, and ideology still take place in a recursive manner. Therefore, (...)
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  6. "Espinosa não sabia lógica". Liberdade sem contingência?Lia Levy - 2011 - In Luiz Carlos Pereira, Marco A. Zingano & Lia Levy (eds.), Metafísica, lógica e outras coisas mais. Rio de Janeiro: Nau Editora. pp. 190-216.
    Luiz Henrique Lopes dos Santos, em seu texto sobre "Leibniz e a questão dos futuros contingentes”, argumenta em favor de seu diagnóstico segundo o qual, no fundo, a principal diferença entre as doutrinas de Espinosa e Leibniz reside no fato de que o primeiro, diferentemente do segundo, não sabia lógica. Este texto procura objetar à sua posição, respondendo às críticas do autor à posição de Espinosa quanto à liberdade divina. Procurarei mostrar que, sob o aspecto preciso da articulação aí estabelecida (...)
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  7. Possible World Semantics without Modal Logic.Joram Soch - manuscript
    Possible worlds are commonly seen as an interpretation of modal operators such as "possible" and "necessary". Here, we develop possible world semantics (PWS) which can be expressed in basic set theory and first-order logic, thus offering a reductionist account of modality. Specifically, worlds are understood as complete sets of statements and possible worlds are sets whose statements are consistent with a set of conceptual laws. We introduce the construction calculus (CC), a set of axioms and rules for truth, possibility, worldness (...)
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  8. Coincident Objects and The Grounding Problem.Ataollah Hashemi - 2022 - Journal of Philosophical Investigations at University of Tabriz 16 (41):164-173.
    Pluralists believe in the occurrence of numerically distinct spatiotemporal coincident objects. They argue that there are coincident objects that share all physical and spatiotemporal properties and relations; nevertheless, they differ in terms of modal and some other profiles. Appealing to the grounding problem according to which nothing can ground the modal differences between coincident objects, monists reject the occurrence of coincident objects. In the first part of this paper, I attempt to show that the dispute between monists and pluralists cannot (...)
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  9. Propositional contingentism and possible worlds.Christopher James Masterman - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-34.
    Propositional contingentism is the view that what propositions there are is a contingent matter—certain propositions ontologically depend on objects which themselves only contingently exist. Possible worlds are, loosely, complete ways the world could have been. That is to say, the ways in which everything in its totality could have been. Propositional contingentists make use of possible worlds frequently. However, a neglected, but important, question concerns whether there are any notions of worlds which are both theoretically adequate and consistent with propositional (...)
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  10. Ontology and Arbitrariness.David Builes - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (3):485-495.
    In many different ontological debates, anti-arbitrariness considerations push one towards two opposing extremes. For example, in debates about mereology, one may be pushed towards a maximal ontology (mereological universalism) or a minimal ontology (mereological nihilism), because any intermediate view seems objectionably arbitrary. However, it is usually thought that anti-arbitrariness considerations on their own cannot decide between these maximal or minimal views. I will argue that this is a mistake. Anti-arbitrariness arguments may be used to motivate a certain popular thesis in (...)
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  11. Why God Did Not Choose All Souls: New Scriptural Evidence.Jeff Grupp - 2020 - Philosophy and Theology 32 (1):93-117.
    An analysis of Scripture uncovers a new model of God’s election and predestination of souls, which fits under the umbrella of the Calvinist theologies, but where this model involves an answer to the long-standing question of why God chose some, rather than all. It will be explored how before souls were elected (or condemned), God looked at them and knew them in a pre-election state, which God used to predestine each soul in physical reality. This analysis reveals why it could (...)
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  12. On the Lewisian Principle of Recombination and Quidditism.Karol Lenart - 2021 - Acta Analytica 36 (3):357-371.
    In this paper, I discuss a connection between quidditism and the Lewisian principle of recombination. I begin by reconstructing a typical characterisation of a Lewisian principle of recombination, followed by an explanation of quidditism. In the remainder, I argue that a proponent of a Lewisian principle of recombination cannot endorse quidditism without some important modifications of her view.
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  13. What Makes Possibility Possible?George P. Adams - 1934 - University of California Publications in Philosophy 17:3-24.
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  14. The Epistemology of Modality.Antonella Mallozzi, Michael Wallner & Anand Vaidya - 2021 - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  15. Quiddytyzm i quidditas w metafizyce analitycznej.Karol Lenart - 2020 - Filozofia Nauki 28 (1):61-84.
    The paper is a survey of contemporary quidditism, understood as two interrelated metaphysicalpositions — recombinatorial quidditism, which is an account of the nature of possibilities, andindividuation quidditism, which is concerned with the problem of how to individuate properties.I have three aims: to examine the commitments and consequences of both views, to investigatethe relationships between them, and to sketch the logic of the dispute between structuralism andquidditism. I explain how these views relate to Ramseyan humility, according to which we cannotknow the (...)
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  16. Potentiality as the Basis of Reality, A Speculative Approach.Erwin Sonderegger - manuscript
    Is reality the basis of everything or has reality itself an other basis? What makes reality – not the real things – to be active, to exist? The question of what is real seems to be an easy question, because in our daily lives we are and must be naive realists. We ourselves, the things around us, the world, the facts, all that is real. there must be several concepts of reality if we want to say that not only physical (...)
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  17. Quine's Monism and Modal Eliminativism in the Realm of Supervenience.Atilla Akalın - 2019 - International Journal of Social Humanities Sciences Research (JSHRS) 6 (34):795-800.
    This study asserts that W.V.O. Quine’s eliminative philosophical gaze into mereological composition affects inevitably his interpretations of composition theories of ontology. To investigate Quine’s property monism from the account of modal eliminativism, I applied to his solution for the paradoxes of de re modalities’ . Because of its vital role to figure out how dispositions are encountered by Quine, it was significantly noted that the realm of de re modalities doesn’t include contingent and impossible inferences about things. Therefore, for him, (...)
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  18. The Possible World Defense: Why Our Current Legal Thinking about Entrapment is Philosophically Suspect.Luke William Hunt - 2019 - American Philosophical Association Blog.
    Essay on philosophical problems with police sting operations and the legal doctrine of entrapment.
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  19. Gunk Mountains: A puzzle.Sharon E. Berry - 2019 - Analysis 79 (1):3-10.
    This note points out a conflict between some common intuitions about metaphysical possibility. On the one hand, it is appealing to deny that there are robust counterfactuals about how various physically impossible substances would interact with the matter that exists at our world. On the other hand, our intuitions about how concepts like MOUNTAIN apply at other metaphysically possible worlds seem to presuppose facts about ‘solidity’ which cash out in terms of these counterfactuals. I consider several simple attempts to resolve (...)
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  20. Agents’ Abilities.Romy Jaster - 2020 - Berlin, New York: De Gruyter.
    In the book, I provide an account of what it is for an agent to have an ability. According to the Success View, abilities are all about success across possible situations. In developing and applying the view, the book elucidates the relation between abilities on the one hand and possibility, counterfactuals, and dispositions on the other; it sheds light on the distinction between general and specific abilities; it offers an understanding of degrees of abilities; it explains which role intentions and (...)
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  21. Phenomenological Actualism. A Husserlian Metaphysics of Modality?Michael Wallner - 2014 - In Sonja Rinofner-Kreidl & Harald A. Wiltsche (eds.), Analytical and Continental Philosophy: Methods and Perspectives. Papers of the 37th International Wittgenstein Symposium. pp. 283-285.
    Considering the importance of possible-world semantics for modal logic and for current debates in the philosophy of modality, a phenomenologist may want to ask whether it makes sense to speak of “possible worlds” in phenomenology. The answer will depend on how "possible worlds" are to be interpreted. As that latter question is the subject of the debate about possibilism and actualism in contemporary modal metaphysics, my aim in this paper is to get a better grip on the former question by (...)
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  22. Modal Insurance: Probabilities, Risk, and Degrees of Luck.Evan Malone - 2019 - Southwest Philosophical Studies 41.
    Many widely divergent accounts of luck have been offered or employed in discussing an equally wide range of philosophical topics. We should, then, expect to find some unified philosophical conception of luck of which moral luck, epistemic luck, and luck egalitarianism are species. One of the attempts to provide such an account is that offered by Duncan Pritchard, which he refers to as the modal account. This view commits us to calling an event lucky when it obtains in this world, (...)
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  23. Clauses as Semantic Predicates: Difficulties for Possible-Worlds Semantics.Friederike Moltmann - 2020 - Festschrift for Angelika Kratzer.
    The standard view of clauses embedded under attitude verbs or modal predicates is that they act as terms standing for propositions, a view that faces a range of philosophical and linguistic difficulties. Recently an alternative has been explored according to which embedded clauses act semantically as predicates of content-bearing objects. This paper argues that this approach faces serious problems when it is based on possible worlds-semantics. It outlines a development of the approach in terms of truthmaker theory instead.
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  24. There is no set of all truths.Patrick Grim - 1984 - Analysis 44 (4):206-208.
    A Cantorian argument that there is no set of all truths. There is, for the same reason, no possible world as a maximal set of propositions. And omniscience is logically impossible.
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  25. Dicing with Saul Kripke.Andrea Bianchi - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (2):237 - 249.
    Everyone knows what David Lewis' possible worlds are, what role they play in his account of possibility and necessity, and Saul Kripke's criticisms. But what, instead, are Kripke's possible worlds, and what role do they play in his account of possibility and necessity? The answers are not so obvious. Recently, it has even been claimed that, contrary to what is standardly assumed, Kripke's approach to modality has not always been consistently metaphysical. In particular, an interpretation of the famous passage in (...)
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  26. On Sets and Worlds: A Reply to Menzel.Patrick Grim - 1986 - Analysis 46 (4):186 - 191.
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  27. On Omniscience and a 'Set of All Truths': A Reply to Bringsjord.Patrick Grim - 1990 - Analysis 50 (4):271 - 276.
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  28. Temporal and Counterfactual Possibility.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2008 - Sorites 20:37-42.
    Among philosophers working on modality, there is a common assumption that there is a strong connection between temporal possibility and counterfactual possibility. For example, Sydney Shoemaker 1998, 69 70) writes: It seems to me a general feature of our thought about possibility that how we think that something could have differed from how it in fact is [is] closely related to how we think that the way something is at one time could differ from the way that same thing is (...)
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  29. Introduction to Alvin Plantinga, Essays in the Metaphysics of Modality.Matthew Davidson - 2003 - In Essays in the Metaphysics of Modality. New York: Oxford University Press.
    For the past 30 years, Alvin Plantinga's work in the metaphysics of modality has been both insightful and innovative; it is high time that his papers in this area be collected together in a single volume. This book contains 11 pieces of Plantinga's work in modal metaphysics, arranged in chronological order so one can trace the development of his thought on matters modal. In what follows I will lay out the principal concepts and arguments in these papers.
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  30. Worlds by supervenience: Some further problems.Patrick Grim - 1997 - Analysis 57 (2):146-51.
    Allen s has proposed a new approach to possible worlds, designed explicitly to overcome Cantorian difficulties for possible worlds construed as maximal consistent set of propositions. I emphasize some of the distinctive features of Hazenworlds, some of their weaknesses, and some further Cantorian problems for worlds against which they seem powerless.
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Modal Ersatizism
  1. Against Metaphysical Necessity. Alethic Modalities in Updated Logical Empiricism.Manuel Bremer - manuscript
    The paper argues against a commitment to metaphysical necessity, semantic modalities are enough. The best approaches to elucidate the semantic modalities are (still) versions of lingustic ersatzism and fictionalism, even if only developed in parts. Within these necessary properties and the difference between natural and semantic laws can be accounted for. The proper background theory for this is an updated version of Logical Empiricism, which is congenial to recent trends in Structural Realism. The anti-metaphysical attitude of Logical Empiricism deserves revitalization. (...)
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  2. Worlds are Pluralities.Isaac Wilhelm - 2024 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 102 (1):221-231.
    I propose an account of possible worlds. According to the account, possible worlds are pluralities of sentences in an extremely large language. This account avoids a problem, relating to the total number of possible worlds, that other accounts face. And it has several additional benefits.
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  3. Metaphysics of Ersatzism about Possible Worlds.Lenart Karol - 2023 - Dissertation, Jagiellonian University
    According to actualism about possible worlds everything that exists is actual. Possible worlds and individuals are actually existing abstract parts of the actual world. Aristotelian actualism is a view that there are only actual individuals but no possible ones, nor their individual abstract representatives. Because of that, our actualist account of modality should differ depending on whether it concerns actual individuals or possible ones. The main goal of the dissertation is to develop a metaphysical framework for Aristotelian actualism. Chapter 1 (...)
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  4. Dualism About Possible Worlds.Michael Tze-Sung Longenecker - 2019 - 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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  5. It’s a kind of magic: Lewis, magic and properties.Daniel Nolan - 2020 - Synthese 197 (11):4717-4741.
    David Lewis’s arguments against magical ersatzism are notoriously puzzling. Untangling different strands in those arguments is useful for bringing out what he thought was wrong with not just one style of theory about possible worlds, but with much of the contemporary metaphysics of abstract objects. After setting out what I take Lewis’s arguments to be and how best to resist them, I consider the application of those arguments to general theories of properties and relations. The constraints Lewis motivates turn out (...)
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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. Impossible Worlds.Mark Jago - 2013 - Noûs 47 (3):713-728.
    Impossible worlds are representations of impossible things and impossible happenings. They earn their keep in a semantic or metaphysical theory if they do the right theoretical work for us. As it happens, a worlds-based account provides the best philosophical story about semantic content, knowledge and belief states, cognitive significance and cognitive information, and informative deductive reasoning. A worlds-based story may also provide the best semantics for counterfactuals. But to function well, all these accounts need use of impossible and as well (...)
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  9. Are Impossible Worlds Trivial?Mark Jago - 2013 - In Vit Puncochar & Petr Svarny (eds.), The Logica Yearbook 2012. College Publications.
    Theories of content are at the centre of philosophical semantics. The most successful general theory of content takes contents to be sets of possible worlds. But such contents are very coarse-grained, for they cannot distinguish between logically equivalent contents. They draw intensional but not hyperintensional distinctions. This is often remedied by including impossible as well as possible worlds in the theory of content. Yet it is often claimed that impossible worlds are metaphysically obscure; and it is sometimes claimed that their (...)
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  10. Possible Worlds for Modal Primitivists.Louis deRosset - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (1):109-131.
    Among the most remarkable developments in metaphysics since the 1950’s is the explosion of philosophical interest in possible worlds. This paper proposes an explanation of what possible worlds are, and argues that this proposal, the interpreted models conception, should be attractive to anyone who thinks that modal facts are primitive, and so not to be explained in terms of some non-modal notion of “possible world.” I articulate three constraints on any acceptable primitivist explanation of the nature of possible worlds, and (...)
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  11. Constructing worlds.Mark Jago - 2012 - Synthese 189 (1):59-74.
    You and I can differ in what we say, or believe, even though the things we say, or believe, are logically equivalent. Discussing what is said, or believed, requires notions of content which are finer-grained than sets of (metaphysically or logically) possible worlds. In this paper, I develop the approach to fine-grained content in terms of a space of possible and impossible worlds. I give a method for constructing ersatz worlds based on theory of substantial facts. I show how this (...)
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  12. 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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  13. In Defence of Magical Ersatzism.David A. Denby - 2006 - In Philosophical Quarterly. pp. 161-74.
    David Lewis' objection to a generic theory of modality which he calls ‘magical ersatzism’ is that its linchpin, a relation he calls ‘selection’, must be either an internal or an external relation, and that this is unintelligible either way. But the problem he points out with classifying selection as internal is really just an instance of the general problem of how we manage to grasp underdetermined predicates, is not peculiar to magical ersatzism, and is amenable to some familiar solutions. He (...)
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Modal Fictionalism
  1. Against Metaphysical Necessity. Alethic Modalities in Updated Logical Empiricism.Manuel Bremer - manuscript
    The paper argues against a commitment to metaphysical necessity, semantic modalities are enough. The best approaches to elucidate the semantic modalities are (still) versions of lingustic ersatzism and fictionalism, even if only developed in parts. Within these necessary properties and the difference between natural and semantic laws can be accounted for. The proper background theory for this is an updated version of Logical Empiricism, which is congenial to recent trends in Structural Realism. The anti-metaphysical attitude of Logical Empiricism deserves revitalization. (...)
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  2. Nominalism and Immutability.Daniel Berntson - manuscript
    Can we do science without numbers? How much contingency is there? These seemingly unrelated questions--one in the philosophy of math and science and the other in metaphysics--share an unexpectedly close connection. For as it turns out, a radical answer to the second leads to a breakthrough on the first. The radical answer is new view about modality called compossible immutabilism. The breakthrough is a new strategy for doing science without numbers. One of the chief benefits of the new strategy is (...)
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  3. Fictionalist Strategies in Metaphysics.Lukas Skiba & Richard Woodward - 2020 - In Ricki Bliss & James Miller (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics. New York, NY: Routledge.
    This paper discusses the nature of, problems for, and benefits delivered by fictionalist strategies in metaphysics.
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  4. Invasive Weeds in Parmenides' Garden.Olga Ramirez Calle - 2020 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 20 (60):391-412.
    The paper attempts to conciliate the important distinction between what-is, or exists, and what-is-not _thereby supporting Russell’s existential analysis_ with some Meinongian insights. For this purpose, it surveys the varied inhabitants of the realm of ‘non-being’ and tries to clarify their diverse statuses. The position that results makes it possible to rescue them back in surprising but non-threatening form, leaving our ontology safe from contradiction.
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  5. I do not believe in Meigas, but there are such. A Meinongian Empirical Case Based on Galician ‘Meigas’.Olga Ramírez Calle - 2020 - E-Logos Electronic Journal for Philosophy 27 (1):4-20.
    This paper aspires to meet a philosophical challenge posed to the author to give treatment to what was seen as a particularly nice Meinongian case1; namely the case of Galician Meigas. However, through the playful footpaths of enchanted Galician Meigas, I rehabilitate some relevant discussion on the justification of belief formation and come to some poignant philosophical insights regarding the understanding of possibilities. I hope both the leading promoter of the challenge and, of course, other philosophical readers are satisfied with (...)
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  6. Fictionalism, the Safety Result and counterpossibles.Lukas Skiba - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):647-658.
    Fictionalists maintain that possible worlds, numbers or composite objects exist only according to theories which are useful but false. Hale, Divers and Woodward have provided arguments which threaten to show that fictionalists must be prepared to regard the theories in question as contingently, rather than necessarily, false. If warranted, this conclusion would significantly limit the appeal of the fictionalist strategy rendering it unavailable to anyone antecedently convinced that mathematics and metaphysics concern non-contingent matters. I try to show that their arguments (...)
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  7. Towards a New Theory of Modal Fictionalism.Áron Dombrovszki - 2017 - Ostium 13 (4).
    In our everyday discourse, most of us use modal statements to express possibility, necessity, or contingency. Logicians, linguists, and philosophers of language tend to use the possible world discourse to analyse the semantics of this kind of sentences. There is a disadvantage of this method: in the usual Quinean meta-ontology it commits the users to the existence of possible worlds. Even though there are many theories on metaphysics of these possible worlds, I will focus on the fictionalist approach, which aims (...)
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