Results for 'Possible Worlds'

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  1. 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 (...)
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  2. Possible Worlds as Propositions.Daniel Deasy - forthcoming - The 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, (...)
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  3. Possible Worlds Semantics.Daniel Nolan - 2012 - In Gillian Russell & Delia Fara (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Language. New York, USA: Routledge Press. pp. 242-252.
    This chapter provides an introduction to possible worlds semantics in both logic and the philosophy of language, including a discussion of some of the advantages and challenges for possible worlds semantics.
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  4. Possible Worlds and the Objective World.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (2):389-422.
    David Lewis holds that a single possible world can provide more than one way things could be. But what are possible worlds good for if they come apart from ways things could be? We can make sense of this if we go in for a metaphysical understanding of what the world is. The world does not include everything that is the case—only the genuine facts. Understood this way, Lewis's “cheap haecceitism” amounts to a kind of metaphysical anti-haecceitism: (...)
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  5. Possible worlds truth table task.Niels Skovgaard-Olsen, Peter Collins & Karl Christoph Klauer - 2023 - Cognition 238 (105507):1-24.
    In this paper, a novel experimental task is developed for testing the highly influential, but experimentally underexplored, possible worlds account of conditionals (Stalnaker, 1968; Lewis, 1973). In Experiment 1, this new task is used to test both indicative and subjunctive conditionals. For indicative conditionals, five competing truth tables are compared, including the previously untested, multi-dimensional possible worlds semantics of Bradley (2012). In Experiment 2, these results are replicated and it is shown that they cannot be accounted (...)
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  6. Possible worlds and the beauty of God.Mark Ian Thomas Robson - 2010 - Religious Studies.
    In this paper I explore the relationship between the idea of possible worlds and the notion of the beauty of God. I argue that there is a clear contradiction between the idea that God is utterly and completely beautiful on the one hand and the notion that He contains within himself all possible worlds on the other. Since some of the possible worlds residing in the mind of the deity are ugly, their presence seems (...)
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  7. Does Possible World Semantics Turn all Propositions into Necessary ones?John-Michael Kuczynski - 2007 - Journal of Pragmatics 39 (5):972-916.
    "Jim would still be alive if he hadn't jumped" means that Jim's death was a consequence of his jumping. "x wouldn't be a triangle if it didn't have three sides" means that x's having a three sides is a consequence its being a triangle. Lewis takes the first sentence to mean that Jim is still alive in some alternative universe where he didn't jump, and he takes the second to mean that x is a non-triangle in every alternative universe where (...)
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  8. 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 (...)
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  9. 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 (...)
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  10. Epistemically possible worlds and propositions.Bruno Whittle - 2009 - Noûs 43 (2):265-285.
    Metaphysically possible worlds have many uses. Epistemically possible worlds promise to be similarly useful, especially in connection with propositions and propositional attitudes. However, I argue that there is a serious threat to the natural accounts of epistemically possible worlds, from a version of Russell’s paradox. I contrast this threat with David Kaplan’s problem for metaphysical possible world semantics: Kaplan’s problem can be straightforwardly rebutted, the problems I raise cannot. I argue that although there (...)
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  11. Possible Worlds and Possibilities of Substances.Vladislav Terekhovich - manuscript
    Despite the notions of possible worlds and substances are very important subjects of contemporary metaphysics, there are relatively few attempts to combine these in a united framework. This paper considers the metaphysical model of the origins and the evolution of possible worlds that occurs from an interaction between substances. I involve Leibniz’s doctrine of the striving possibles that every possibility of substance has its own essence and tendency towards existence. It is supposed that the activities of (...)
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  12. Possible Worlds in the Precipice: Why Leibniz Met Spinoza?Vassil Vidinsky - 2017 - Facta Universitatis, Series: Linguistics and Literature 16 (3):213-223.
    The main objective of the paper is to give initial answers to three important questions. Why did Leibniz visit Spinoza? Why did his preparation for this meeting include a modification of the ontological proof of God? What is the philosophical result of the meeting and what do possible worlds have to do with it? In order to provide answers, three closely related manuscripts by Leibniz from November 1676 have been compared and the slow conceptual change of his philosophical (...)
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  13. Possible World Semantics and True-True Counterfactuals.Lee Walters - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (3):322-346.
    The standard semantics for counterfactuals ensures that any counterfactual with a true antecedent and true consequent is itself true. There have been many recent attempts to amend the standard semantics to avoid this result. I show that these proposals invalidate a number of further principles of the standard logic of counterfactuals. The case against the automatic truth of counterfactuals with true components does not extend to these further principles, however, so it is not clear that rejecting the latter should be (...)
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  14. Information, possible worlds and the cooptation of scepticism.Luciano Floridi - 2010 - Synthese 175 (1):63 - 88.
    The article investigates the sceptical challenge from an informationtheoretic perspective. Its main goal is to articulate and defend the view that either informational scepticism is radical, but then it is epistemologically innocuous because redundant; or it is moderate, but then epistemologically beneficial because useful. In order to pursue this cooptation strategy, the article is divided into seven sections. Section 1 sets up the problem. Section 2 introduces Borei numbers as a convenient way to refer uniformly to (the data that individuate) (...)
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  15. 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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  16. A Paradox for Possible World Semantics.Michael J. Shaffer & Jeremy Morris - 2006 - Logique Et Analyse 49 (195):307-317.
    The development of possible worlds semantics for modal claims has led to a more general application of that theory as a complete semantics for various formal and natural languages, and this view is widely held to be an adequate (philosophical) interpretation of the model theory for such languages. We argue here that this view generates a self-referential inconsistency that indicates either the falsity or the incompleteness of PWS.
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  17. Possible worlds semantics and the liar: Reflections on a problem posed by Kaplan.Sten Lindström - 2009 - In Joseph Almog & Paolo Leonardi (eds.), The Philosophy of David Kaplan. Oxford University Press.
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  18. Actualism, Ontological Commitment, and Possible World Semantics.Christopher Menzel - 1990 - Synthese 85 (3):355-389.
    Actualism is the doctrine that the only things there are, that have being in any sense, are the things that actually exist. In particular, actualism eschews possibilism, the doctrine that there are merely possible objects. It is widely held that one cannot both be an actualist and at the same time take possible world semantics seriously — that is, take it as the basis for a genuine theory of truth for modal languages, or look to it for insight (...)
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  19. A Possible-Worlds Solution to the Puzzle of Petitionary Prayer.Ryan Matthew Parker & Bradley Rettler - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 9 (1):179--186.
    The puzzle of petitionary prayer: if we ask for the best thing, God was already going to do it, and if we ask for something that's not the best, God's not going to grant our request. In this paper, we give a new solution to the puzzle.
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  20. Sellars on modality: possible worlds and rules of inference.Sybren Heyndels - forthcoming - British Journal for the History of Philosophy:1-26.
    This paper discusses the account of alethic modality as presented by Wilfrid Sellars in his earlier work from 1947 to 1958. Its aim is twofold. First, I discuss Sellars' analysis by exploring its historical relationship to Carnap's account of modality. I argue that Carnap's early syntactic treatment of modality profoundly influenced Sellars' own so-called ‘regulist' account of modality in terms of rules of inference. Furthermore, it is suggested that Sellars' lesser-known possible worlds analysis was influenced by Carnap's later (...)
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  21. Counterfactuals without Possible Worlds? A Difficulty for Fine’s Exact Semantics for Counterfactuals.Brian Embry - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy (5):276-287.
    In this paper I argue that there is a difficulty for Fine's exact semantics for counterfactuals. The difficulty undermines Fine's reasons for preferring exact semantics to possible worlds semantics.
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  22. Recent Work: Modality without Possible Worlds.Barbara Vetter - 2011 - Analysis 71 (4):742-754.
    This paper surveys recent "new actualist" approaches to modality that do without possible worlds and locate modality squarely in the actual world. New actualist theories include essentialism and dispositionalism about modality, each of which can come in different varieties. The commonalities and differences between these views, as well as their shared motivations, are layed out.
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  23. 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 (...)
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  24. Fanfiction, Canon, and Possible Worlds.Sara L. Uckelman - manuscript
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  25. Possible Worlds, Zombies, and Truth Machines.Mirza Mehmedovic - 2016 - Giornale di Metafisica 1:262-283.
    The subject of zombies is one of the most discussed and controversial topics of philosophy of mind. In this paper I will first examine the main argument of zombies, providing a summary of the current discussion. Then I will introduce a thought experiment, an epistemic window on a metaphysical scenario. By the thought experiment I will argue that zombies are logically impossible. Further I will discuss another recent epistemic window. Finally I will provide some other logical consideration to prove that (...)
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  26. 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 (...)
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  27. 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 (...)
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  28. Transcendental phenomenology and possible worlds semantics.Peter Hutcheson - 1987 - Husserl Studies 4 (3):225-242.
    Are transcendental phenomenology and possible worlds semantics, two seemingly disparate, perhaps even incompatible philosophical traditions, actually complementary? Have two well-known representatives of each tradition, J.N. Mohanty and J. Hintikka, misinterpreted the other's philosophical "program" in such a way that they did not recognize the complementarity? Charles Harvey 1 has recently argued that the answer to both questions is "yes." Here I intend to argue that the answer to the first is unclear, whereas the answer to the second is (...)
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  29. Modal fictionalism and possible-worlds discourse.David Liggins - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 138 (2):151-60.
    The Brock-Rosen problem has been one of the most thoroughly discussed objections to the modal fictionalism bruited in Gideon Rosen’s ‘Modal Fictionalism’. But there is a more fundamental problem with modal fictionalism, at least as it is normally explained: the position does not resolve the tension that motivated it. I argue that if we pay attention to a neglected aspect of modal fictionalism, we will see how to resolve this tension—and we will also find a persuasive reply to the Brock-Rosen (...)
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  30. Metaphysical Modality, without Possible Worlds.Giorgio Lando - 2022 - In Francesco Ademollo, Fabrizio Amerini & Vincenzo De Risi (eds.), Thinking and Calculating. Cham: Springer. pp. 385-408.
    Aim of this paper is to analyse and assess two divergent understandings of metaphysical modality. On one hand, according to the absolutist conception, metaphysical modality is the extreme variety of objective modality and can be characterised in terms of all the varieties of objective modality: for example, p is metaphysically necessary if and only if p is necessary for every variety of objective necessity. The absolutist conception can also be framed in terms of counterfactual inevitability. On the other hand, according (...)
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  31. The Best of Possible Worlds: A Testable Claim of Choice.William C. Lane - 2006 - Theology and Science 4 (3):261-278.
    Leibniz said that the universe, if God-created, would exist at a unique, conjoint, physical maximum: Of all possible worlds, it would be richest in phenomena, but its richness would arise from the simplest physical laws and initial conditions. Using concepts of ‘‘variety’’ and algorithmic informational complexity, Leibniz’ claim can be reframed as a testable theory. This theory predicts that the laws and conditions of the actual universe should be simpler, and the universe richer in phenomena, than the presence (...)
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  32. Is a Possible-worlds Semantics of Modality Possible? A Problem for Kratzer's Semantics.Zsófia Zvolenszky - 2002 - Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT):339-358.
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  33. 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 (...)
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  34. 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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  35. Morality, God, and Possible Worlds: A Paper Inspired By Richard Swinburne's 'God and Morality'.Jacek Wojtysiak - 2010 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 2 (1):199 - 208.
    The paper is a polemic with Richard Swinburne. According to him, both the possible worlds -- the ’world with God’ and the ’world without God’ -- contain moral properties. The ’world with God’, however, is morally "richer" because the existence of God entails some additional obligations; God may affect moral "facts" through creating some nonmoral facts; God may formulate some additional commands. I think that these differences lead to a greater difference in understanding morality: in the ’world without (...)
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  36. Pietroski on possible worlds semantics for belief sentences.Joe Lau - 1995 - Analysis 55 (4):295-298.
    Pietroski (1993) offers a semantics for belief sentences that is supposed to address the problem of equivalence. This paper argues that his proposal fails to solve the problem.
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  37. 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 (...)
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  38. The Epistemic Inadequacy of Ersatzer Possible World Semantics.Michael J. Shaffer & Jeremy Morris - 2010 - Logique Et Analyse 53:61-76.
    In this paper it is argued that the conjunction of linguistic ersatzism, the ontologically deflationary view that possible worlds are maximal and consistent sets of sentences, and possible world semantics, the view that the meaning of a sentence is the set of possible worlds at which it is true, implies that no actual speaker can effectively use virtually any language to successfully communicate information. This result is based on complexity issues that relate to our finite (...)
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  39. Personal Identity, Possible Worlds, and Medical Ethics.Nils-Frederic Wagner - 2022 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy: A European Journal (3):429-437.
    Thought experiments that concoct bizarre possible world modalities are standard fare in debates on personal identity. Appealing to intuitions raised by such evocations is often taken to settle differences between conflicting theoretical views that, albeit, have practical implications for ethical controversies of personal identity in health care. Employing thought experiments that way is inadequate, I argue, since personhood is intrinsically linked to constraining facts about the actual world. I defend a moderate modal skepticism according to which intuiting across conceptually (...)
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  40. The Mental Simulation of Better and Worse Possible Worlds.Keith Markman, Igor Gavanski, Steven Sherman & Matthew McMullen - 1993 - Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 29 (1):87-109.
    Counterfactual thinking involves the imagination of non-factual alternatives to reality. We investigated the spontaneous generation of both upward counterfactuals, which improve on reality, and downward counterfactuals, which worsen reality. All subjects gained $5 playing a computer-simulated blackjack game. However, this outcome was framed to be perceived as either a win, a neutral event, or a loss. "Loss" frames produced more upward and fewer downward counterfactuals than did either "win" or "neutral" frames, but the overall prevalence of counterfactual thinking did not (...)
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  41. Functionalism about possible worlds.Dominic Gregory - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (1):95 – 115.
    Various writers have proposed that the notion of a possible world is a functional concept, yet very little has been done to develop that proposal. This paper explores a particular functionalist account of possible worlds, according to which pluralities of possible worlds are the bases for structures which provide occupants for the roles which analyse our ordinary modal concepts. It argues that the resulting position meets some of the stringent constraints which philosophers have placed upon (...)
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  42. Necessity is not truth in all possible worlds / A necessidade não é a verdade em todos os mundos possíveis.Rodrigo Cid - 2013 - Fundamento: Revista de Pesquisa Em Filosofia 6:79-87.
    My main purpose in this article is to present an argument for the idea that necessity qua truth in all possible worlds, without other qualifications, leads us to contradiction. If we do not want to accept the contradiction, we will face a dilemma: or accepting that everything we take as contingent is in fact necessary, or accepting that we cannot translate some sentences – at least the indexed to worlds sentences – to the possible worlds (...)
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  43. On The Necessity Of The Best (Possible) World.Lloyd Strickland - 2005 - Ars Disputandi 5.
    Many have argued that if God exists then he must necessarily create the best possible world , which entails that the bpw necessarily exists, and is therefore the only possible world. But without any scope for comparison, the superlative term ‘best’ is clearly inappropriate and so the bpw cannot be the bpw at all! As such, it must be impossible for God to create it. Hence if God exists then he must of necessity make something that is impossible (...)
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  44. Infinite Value and the Best of All Possible Worlds.Nevin Climenhaga - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (2):367-392.
    A common argument for atheism runs as follows: God would not create a world worse than other worlds he could have created instead. However, if God exists, he could have created a better world than this one. Therefore, God does not exist. In this paper I challenge the second premise of this argument. I argue that if God exists, our world will continue without end, with God continuing to create value-bearers, and sustaining and perfecting the value-bearers he has already (...)
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  45. Idealism and the Best of All (Subjectively Indistinguishable) Possible Worlds.Helen Yetter-Chappell - forthcoming - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind, vol. 4. Oxford University Press.
    The space of possible worlds is vast. Some of these possible worlds are materialist worlds, some may be worlds bottoming out in 0s and 1s, or other strange things we cannot even dream of… and some are idealist worlds. From among all of the worlds subjectively indistinguishable from our own, the idealist ones have uniquely compelling virtues. Idealism gives us a world that is just as it appears; a world that’s fit to (...)
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  46. 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 (...)
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  47.  69
    The Impact of Perceived Control on the Imagination of Better and Worse Possible Worlds.Keith Markman, Igor Gavanski, Steven Sherman & Matthew McMullen - 1995 - Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 21 (6):588-595.
    Effects of perceived control and close alternative outcomes were examined. Subjects played a computer-simulated "wheel-of-fortune" game with another player in which two wheels spun simultaneously. Subjects had either control over spinning the wheel or control over which wheel would determine their outcome and which would determine the other player's outcome. Results showed that (a) subjects generated counterfactuals about the aspect of the game that they controlled, (b) the direction of these counterfactuals corresponded to the close outcome associated with the aspect (...)
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  48. Leibniz and the Necessity of the Best Possible World.Martin Pickup - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (3):507-523.
    Leibniz has long faced a challenge about the coherence of the distinction between necessary and contingent truths in his philosophy. In this paper, I propose and examine a new way to save genuine contingency within a Leibnizian framework. I conclude that it succeeds in formally solving the problem, but at unbearable cost. I present Leibniz’s challenge by considering God’s choice of the best possible world (Sect. 2). God necessarily exists and necessarily chooses to actualise the best possible world. (...)
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  49. Kant on the existence and uniqueness of the best possible world.Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra - forthcoming - Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy.
    In the 1750s Optimism, the Leibnizian doctrine that the actual world is the best possible world, popularised by Pope in 1733 in his Essay on Man, was a hot topic. In 1759 Kant wrote and published a brief essay defending Optimism, Attempt at some Reflections on Optimism. Kant’s aim in this essay is to establish that there is one and only one best possible world. In particular, he argues against the claim that, for every possible world, there (...)
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  50. Can Counterfactuals Really Be about Possible Worlds?Stephen Barker - 2011 - Noûs 45 (3):557-576.
    The standard view about counterfactuals is that a counterfactual (A > C) is true if and only if the A-worlds most similar to the actual world @ are C-worlds. I argue that the worlds conception of counterfactuals is wrong. I assume that counterfactuals have non-trivial truth-values under physical determinism. I show that the possible-worlds approach cannot explain many embeddings of the form (P > (Q > R)), which intuitively are perfectly assertable, and which must be (...)
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