Actualism and the Distinction of Truth over Truth in a World

Sorites 20:43-48 (2008)
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Abstract
Robert Adams characterizes actualism regarding possible worlds as «the view that if there are any true statements in which there are said to be nonactual possible worlds, they must be reducible to statements in which the only things there are said to be are things which there are in the actual world, and which are not identical with nonactual possibles.» In this paper, I will briefly explain actualism about possible worlds, showing that an essential pillar of the theory is the claim that truth is distinct from, and ontologically prior to, truth in a world. The rest of the paper is premised on the idea that an interesting philosophical defense of this claim calls for an analysis of truth itself, and is not intended as an objection to actualism, but rather to underscore the interest actualists should have in the question of what truth is. First, I will consider the idea, drawn from Adams and Alan McMichael, that truth differs from truth in a world in its being a matter of correspondence between a proposition and an independent object; that object being, in McMichael's words, the `concrete universe'. Then, I will show that, given such an analysis of truth, the truth conditions for propositions about non-actual possibilities violate the central tenet of actualism, as articulated by Adams
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