Two concepts of possible worlds – or only one?

Theoria 74 (4):318-330 (2008)
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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 affairs, or sets of numbers. In this paper, I will develop this view in an 'extreme abstractionist' way, appealing to a 'modal bundle theory', and I will try to show that it is preferable to the standard abstractionist ones. Finally, I will compare this kind of abstractionism to concretism, only to find that the difference between the two is minimal.

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Jiri Benovsky
University of Fribourg


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