Results for 'possible worlds'

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  1. Possible Worlds and the Objective World.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2015 - 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. Possible Worlds in the Precipice: Why Leibniz Met Spinoza?Vassil Vidinsky - 2017 - Facta Universitatis 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 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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  14. 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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  15. Clauses as Semantic Predicates: Difficulties for Possible-Worlds Semantics.Friederike Moltmann - 2018 - 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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  16. Kant and Leibniz on the Singularity of the Best of All Possible Worlds.Markku Roinila - 2013 - In Stefano Bacin, Alfredo Ferrarin, Laudio La Rocca & Margit Ruffin (eds.), Kant und die Philosophie in weltbürgerlicher Absicht. Akten des XI. Kant-Kongresses 2010. De Gruyter. pp. 381-390.
    In his early lecture note Versuch einiger Betrachtungen über den Optimismus (1759) a young supporter of metaphysical optimism called Immanuel Kant tested the Leibnizian optimism by posing some counter-arguments against it only to falsify them. His counter-arguments were very inventive and they feature often in modern scholarship on Leibniz. In this paper I will present Kant’s main arguments and evaluate them. I will argue that Kant’s understanding on Leibnizian optimism is little misguided and for this reason his own positive counter-argument (...)
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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20.  98
    Determining the Best of All Possible Worlds.Lloyd Strickland - 2005 - Journal of Value Inquiry 39 (1):37-47.
    The concept of the best of all possible worlds is widely considered to be incoherent on the grounds that, for any world that might be termed the best, there is always another that is better. I note that underlying this argument is a conviction that the goodness of a world is determined by a single kind of good, the most plausible candidates for which are not maximizable. Against this I suggest that several goods may have to combine to (...)
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  21. 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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  22. Fanfiction, Canon, and Possible Worlds.Sara L. Uckelman - manuscript
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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25.  48
    Dualism About Possible Worlds.Michael Tze-Sung Longenecker - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-17.
    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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  26. 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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  27. Safety, the Preface Paradox and Possible Worlds Semantics.Michael J. Shaffer - 2019 - Axiomathes 29 (4):347-361.
    This paper contains an argument to the effect that possible worlds semantics renders semantic knowledge impossible, no matter what ontological interpretation is given to possible worlds. The essential contention made is that possible worlds semantic knowledge is unsafe and this is shown by a parallel with the preface paradox.
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  28. Pietroski on Possible Worlds Semantics for Belief Sentences.Joe Lau - 1995 - Analysis 55 (4):295.
    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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  29. Quine's Interpretation Problem and the Early Development of Possible Worlds Semantics.Sten Lindström - 2001 - In Ondrey Majer (ed.), The Logica Yearbook 2000. Filosofia.
    In this paper, I shall consider the challenge that Quine posed in 1947 to the advocates of quantified modal logic to provide an explanation, or interpretation, of modal notions that is intuitively clear, allows “quantifying in”, and does not presuppose, mysterious, intensional entities. The modal concepts that Quine and his contemporaries, e.g. Carnap and Ruth Barcan Marcus, were primarily concerned with in the 1940’s were the notions of (broadly) logical, or analytical, necessity and possibility, rather than the metaphysical modalities that (...)
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  30. An Interpretation of McCall’s “Real Possible Worlds” and His Semantics for Counterfactuals.Alexandru Dragomir - 2016 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 3 (1):65-78.
    McCall (1984) offered a semantics of counterfactual conditionals based on “real possible worlds” that avoids using the vague notion of similarity between possible worlds. I will propose an interpretation of McCall’s counterfactuals in a formal framework based on Baltag-Moss-Solecki events and protocols. Moreover, I will argue that using this interpretation one can avoid an objection raised by Otte (1987).
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  31. False Optimism? Leibniz, Evil, and the Best of All Possible Worlds.Lloyd Strickland - 2010 - Forum Philosophicum: International Journal for Philosophy 15 (1):17-35.
    Leibniz’s claim that this is the best of all possible worlds has been subject to numerous criticisms, both from his contemporaries and ours. In this paper I investigate a cluster of such criticisms based on the existence, abundance or character of worldly evil. As several Leibniz-inspired versions of optimism have been advanced in recent years, the aim of my investigation is to assess not just how Leibniz’s brand of optimism fares against these criticisms, but also whether optimism as (...)
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  32. Which Worlds Are Possible? A Judgment Aggregation Problem.Christian List - 2008 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 37 (1):57 - 65.
    Suppose the members of a group (e.g., committee, jury, expert panel) each form a judgment on which worlds in a given set are possible, subject to the constraint that at least one world is possible but not all are. The group seeks to aggregate these individual judgments into a collective judgment, subject to the same constraint. I show that no judgment aggregation rule can solve this problem in accordance with three conditions: “unanimity,” “independence” and “non-dictatorship,” Although the (...)
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  33. 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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  34. 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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  35. Dirk Evers. Gott Und Mögliche Welten. Studien Zur Logik Theologischer Aussagen Über Das Mögliche. [God and Possible Worlds. Studies in the Logic of Theological Discourse on Possibility]. Mohr Siebeck, 2006. [REVIEW]Thomas Schärtl - 2009 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 1 (2):144--149.
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  36. The Ontology of Impossible Worlds.David A. Vander Laan - 1997 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 38 (4):597-620.
    The best arguments for possible worlds as states of affairs furnish us with equally good arguments for impossible worlds of the same sort. I argue for a theory of impossible worlds on which the impossible worlds correspond to maximal inconsistent classes of propositions. Three objections are rejected. In the final part of the paper, I present a menu of impossible worlds and explore some of their interesting formal properties.
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  37. Individuals and Possibilities (1): Notes on Stone (1999) 'Reference to Possible Worlds'.Maria Bittner - unknown
    The first of three lectures on nominal and modal discourse reference across languages (IMS, Stuttgart, 2000).
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  38. 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 (...)
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  39. 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, (...)
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  40. Impossible Worlds and the Logic of Imagination.Francesco Berto - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (6):1277-1297.
    I want to model a finite, fallible cognitive agent who imagines that p in the sense of mentally representing a scenario—a configuration of objects and properties—correctly described by p. I propose to capture imagination, so understood, via variably strict world quantifiers, in a modal framework including both possible and so-called impossible worlds. The latter secure lack of classical logical closure for the relevant mental states, while the variability of strictness captures how the agent imports information from actuality in (...)
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  41. Impossible Worlds and Partial Belief.Edward Elliott - 2019 - Synthese 196 (8):3433-3458.
    One response to the problem of logical omniscience in standard possible worlds models of belief is to extend the space of worlds so as to include impossible worlds. It is natural to think that essentially the same strategy can be applied to probabilistic models of partial belief, for which parallel problems also arise. In this paper, I note a difficulty with the inclusion of impossible worlds into probabilistic models. Under weak assumptions about the space of (...)
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  42. Possible Patterns.Jeffrey Sanford Russell & John Hawthorne - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 11.
    “There are no gaps in logical space,” David Lewis writes, giving voice to sentiment shared by many philosophers. But different natural ways of trying to make this sentiment precise turn out to conflict with one another. One is a *pattern* idea: “Any pattern of instantiation is metaphysically possible.” Another is a *cut and paste* idea: “For any objects in any worlds, there exists a world that contains any number of duplicates of all of those objects.” We use resources (...)
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  43. 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 (...)
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  44. Impossible Worlds and Logical Omniscience: An Impossibility Result.Jens Christian Bjerring - 2013 - Synthese 190 (13):2505-2524.
    In this paper, I investigate whether we can use a world-involving framework to model the epistemic states of non-ideal agents. The standard possible-world framework falters in this respect because of a commitment to logical omniscience. A familiar attempt to overcome this problem centers around the use of impossible worlds where the truths of logic can be false. As we shall see, if we admit impossible worlds where “anything goes” in modal space, it is easy to model extremely (...)
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  45. Truth in Fiction, Impossible Worlds, and Belief Revision.Francesco Berto & Christopher Badura - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (1):178-193.
    We present a theory of truth in fiction that improves on Lewis's [1978] ‘Analysis 2’ in two ways. First, we expand Lewis's possible worlds apparatus by adding non-normal or impossible worlds. Second, we model truth in fiction as belief revision via ideas from dynamic epistemic logic. We explain the major objections raised against Lewis's original view and show that our theory overcomes them.
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  46. Real Impossible Worlds : The Bounds of Possibility.Ira Georgia Kiourti - 2010 - Dissertation, University of St Andrews
    Lewisian Genuine Realism about possible worlds is often deemed unable to accommodate impossible worlds and reap the benefits that these bestow to rival theories. This thesis explores two alternative extensions of GR into the terrain of impossible worlds. It is divided in six chapters. Chapter I outlines Lewis’ theory, the motivations for impossible worlds, and the central problem that such worlds present for GR: How can GR even understand the notion of an impossible world, (...)
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  47. Causal Counterfactuals and Impossible Worlds.Daniel Nolan - 2017 - In Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock & Huw Price (eds.), Making a Difference. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 14-32.
    A standing challenge in the theory of counterfactuals is to solve the “deviation problem”. Consider ordinary counterfactuals involving an antecedent concerning a difference from the actual course of events at a particular time, and a consequent concerning, at least in part, what happens at a later time. In the possible worlds framework, the problem is often put in terms of which are the relevant antecedent worlds. Desiderata for the solution include that the relevant antecedent worlds be (...)
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  48.  47
    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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  49. From Times to Worlds and Back Again: A Transcendentist Theory of Persistence.Alessandro Giordani & Damiano Costa - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):210-220.
    Until recently, an almost perfect parallelism seemed to hold between theories of identity through time and across possible worlds,as every account in the temporal case(endurantism,perdurantism, exdurantism) was mirrored by a twin account in the modal case (trans-world identity, identity-via-parts, identity-via-counterparts). Nevertheless, in the recent literature, this parallelism has been broken because of the implementation in the debate of the relation of location. In particular, endurantism has been subject to a more in-depth analysis, and different versions of it, corresponding (...)
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  50. Impossible Worlds.David Vander Laan - 1999 - Dissertation, University of Notre Dame
    The theory of possible worlds has permeated analytic philosophy in recent decades, and its best versions have a consequence which has gone largely unnoticed: in addition to the panoply of possible worlds, there are a great many impossible worlds. A uniform ontological method alone should bring the friends of possible worlds to adopt impossible worlds, I argue, but the theory's applications also provide strong incentives. In particular, the theory facilitates an account of (...)
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