David Lewis, Donald C. Williams, and the History of Metaphysics in the Twentieth Century

Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (1):3--22 (2015)
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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 how Williams’s fundamental ontology and philosophy of time influenced in part the early formation of David Lewis’s metaphysics. Thus, Williams played an important role in the revival of analytic metaphysics.

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A. R. J. Fisher
Gonzaga University


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