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Summary This category includes discussions of possible worlds that do not fit under the other subcategories of possible worlds
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  1. Ralf M. Bader (2012). The Non-Transitivity of the Contingent and Occasional Identity Relations. Philosophical Studies 157 (1):141-152.
    This paper establishes that the occasional identity relation and the contingent identity relation are both non-transitive and as such are not properly classified as identity relations. This is achieved by appealing to cases where multiple fissions and fusions occur simultaneously. These cases show that the contingent and occasional identity relations do not even satisfy the time-indexed and world-indexed versions of the transitivity requirement and hence are non-transitive relations.
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  2. Lynne Rudder Baker (1985). Was Leibniz Entitled to Possible Worlds? Canadian Journal of Philosophy 15 (1):57-74.
    Leibniz has enjoyed a prominent place in the history of thought about possible worlds.' I shall argue that on the feading interpretation of Leibniz's account of contingency — an ingenious interpretation with ample textual support — possible worlds may be invoked by Leibniz only on pain of inconsistency. Leibnizian contingency, as reconstructed in detail by Robert C. Sleigh, Jr.,z will be shown to preclude propositions with different truth-values in different possible worlds.
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  3. T. Baldwin, Sets Whose Members Might Not Exist + Essentialism Possible Worlds.
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  4. Ruth Barcan Marcus (1985). Possibiha and Possible Worlds. Grazer Philosophische Studien 25:107-133.
    Four questions are raised about the semantics of Quantified Modal Logic (QML). Does QML admit possible objects, i.e. possibilia? Is it plausible to admit them? Can sense be made of such objects? Is QML committed to the existence of possibilia?The conclusions are that QML, generalized as in Kripke, would seem to accommodate possibilia, but they are rejected on philosophical and semantical grounds. Things must be encounterable, directly nameable and a part of the actual order before they may plausibly enter into (...)
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  5. Hanoch Ben-Yami (2010). Could Sherlock Holmes Have Existed? Croatian Journal of Philosophy 10 (3):175-181.
    In Naming and Necessity Kripke argued against the possible existence of fictional characters. I show that his argument is invalid, analyze the confusion it involves, and explain why the view that fictional characters could not have existed is implausible.
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  6. Karen Bennett (2005). Book Review. Possible Worlds. John Divers. [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (2):282-85.
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  7. Jiri Benovsky (2006). Persistence Through Time and Across Possible Worlds. Ontos Verlag.
    How do ordinary objects persist through time and across possible worlds ? How do they manage to have their temporal and modal properties ? These are the questions adressed in this book which is a "guided tour of theories of persistence". The book is divided in two parts. In the first, the two traditional accounts of persistence through time (endurantism and perdurantism) are combined with presentism and eternalism to yield four different views, and their variants. The resulting views are then (...)
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  8. Jiri Benovsky (2005). Branching Versus Divergent Possible Worlds. Kriterion 19:12-20.
    David Lewis' modal counterpart theory falls prey to the famous Saul Kripke's objection, and this is mostly due to his 'static' ontology (divergence) of possible worlds. This paper examines a genuinely realist but different, branching ontology of possible worlds and a new definition of the counterpart relation, which attempts to provide us with a better account of de re modality, and to meet satisfactorily Kripke's claim, while being also ontologically more 'parsimonious'.
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  9. Sandy Berkovski (2011). Possible Worlds: A Neo-Fregean Alternative. Axiomathes 21 (4):531-551.
    I outline a neo-Fregean strategy in the debate on the existence of possible worlds. The criterion of identity and the criterion of application are formulated. Special attention is paid to the fact that speakers do not possess proper names for worlds. A broadly Quinean solution is proposed in response to this difficulty.
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  10. Francesco Berto (2010). Impossible Worlds and Propositions: Against the Parity Thesis. 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, and impossibilities are represented as set-theoretic constructions (...)
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  11. Gregor Betz (2010). What’s the Worst Case? The Methodology of Possibilistic Prediction. Analyse and Kritik 32 (1):87-106.
    Frank Knight (1921) famously distinguished the epistemic modes of certainty, risk, and uncertainty in order to characterize situations where deterministic, probabilistic or possibilistic foreknowledge is available. Because our probabilistic knowledge is limited, i.e. because many systems, e.g. the global climate, cannot be described and predicted probabilistically in a reliable way, Knight's third category, possibilistic foreknowledge, is not simply swept by the probabilistic mode. This raises the question how to justify possibilistic predictionsincluding the identication of the worst case. The development of (...)
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  12. Otávio Bueno, Christopher Menzel & Edward N. Zalta (2013). Worlds and Propositions Set Free. Erkenntnis (4):1-24.
    The authors provide an object-theoretic analysis of two paradoxes in the theory of possible worlds and propositions stemming from Russell and Kaplan. After laying out the paradoxes, the authors provide a brief overview of object theory and point out how syntactic restrictions that prevent object-theoretic versions of the classical paradoxes are justified philosophically. The authors then trace the origins of the Russell paradox to a problematic application of set theory in the definition of worlds. Next the authors show that an (...)
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  13. David J. Chalmers (2011). The Nature of Epistemic Space. In Andy Egan & Brian Weatherson (eds.), Epistemic Modality. Oxford University Press.
    There are many ways the world might be, for all I know. For all I know, it might be that there is life on Jupiter, and it might be that there is not. It might be that Australia will win the next Ashes series, and it might be that they will not. It might be that my great-grandfather was my great-grandmother's second cousin, and it might be that he was not. It might be that copper is a compound, and it (...)
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  14. Sam Cowling (2011). The Limits of Modality. Philosophical Quarterly 61 (244):473-495.
    It is commonly assumed that all propositions have modal profiles and therefore bear their truth-values either contingently or necessarily. I argue against this commonly assumed view and in defence of amodalism, according to which certain true propositions are neither necessarily nor contingently true, but only true simpliciter. I consider three arguments against ‘possible-worlds theories’, which hold that modal concepts are to be analysed in terms of possible worlds. Although each of these arguments targets a different version of possible-worlds theory, these (...)
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  15. Heather Dyke (2006). Review of Jiri Benovsky, Persistence Through Time, and Across Possible Worlds. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2006 (9).
  16. Heather Dyke (1998). Real Times and Possible Worlds. In Robin le Poidevin (ed.), Questions of time and tense. Oxford University Press. 93--117.
    There are ways in which the new tenseless theory of time is analogous to David Lewis’s modal realism. The new tenseless theory gives an indexical analysis of temporal terms such as ‘now’, while Lewis gives and indexical analysis of ‘actual’. For the new tenseless theory, all times are equally real; for Lewis, all worlds are equally real. In this paper I investigate this apparent analogy between these two theories, and ask whether a proponent of one is committed, by parity of (...)
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  17. David Efird (2008). What is the Principle of Recombination? Dialectica 62 (4):483-494.
    In this paper, we give a precise characterization of the principle of recombination and argue that it need not be subject to any restrictions.
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  18. Andy Egan & B. Weatherson (eds.) (2009). Epistemic Modality. Oxford University Press.
    The ten new essays in this volume explore various answers to these questions, including those offered by contextualism, relativism, and expressivism.
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  19. Gregory W. Fitch (1979). Analyticity and Necessity in Leibniz. Journal of the History of Philosophy 17 (1):29-42.
  20. Graeme Forbes (1985). The Metaphysics of Modality. Clarendon Press.
    Analytic philosophy has recently demonstrated a revived interest in metaphysical problems about possibility and necessity. Graeme Forbes here provides a careful description of the logical background of recent work in this area for those who may be unfamiliar with it, moving on to d discuss the distinction between modality de re and modality de dicto and the ontological commitments of possible worlds semantics. In addition, Forbes offers a unified theory of the essential properties of sets, organisms, artefacts, substances, and events, (...)
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  21. Peter Forrest (1982). Occam's Razor and Possible Worlds. The Monist 65 (4):456--464.
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  22. Rod Girle (2003). Possible Worlds. Acumen.
  23. Dominic Gregory (2006). Functionalism About Possible Worlds. 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 accounts of possible worlds, while (...)
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  24. Dominic Gregory (2005). Keeping Semantics Pure. Noûs 39 (3):505–528.
    There are numerous contexts in which philosophers and others use model-theoretic methods in assessing the validity of ordinary arguments; consider, for example, the use of models built upon 'possible worlds' in examinations of modal arguments. But the relevant uses of model-theoretic techniques may seem to assume controversial semantic or metaphysical accounts of ordinary concepts. So, numerous philosophers have suggested that standard uses of model-theoretic methods in assessing the validity of modal arguments commit one to accepting that modal claims are to (...)
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  25. Aviv Hoffmann (2011). It's Not the End of the World: When a Subtraction Argument for Metaphysical Nihilism Fails. Analysis 71 (1):44-53.
    Metaphysical nihilism is the thesis that there could have been no concrete objects. Thomas Baldwin (1996) offers an argument for metaphysical nihilism. The premisses of the argument purport to provide a procedure of subtraction that can be iterated until we reach a world where no concrete objects exist. Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra (1997) finds fault with Baldwin’s argument, modifies it, and claims to have proved metaphysical nihilism. My primary aim is to show that Rodriguez-Pereyra’s alleged proof rests on a false assumption. The (...)
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  26. Andrea Iacona, Counterfactuals as Strict Conditionals.
    This paper defends the thesis that counterfactuals are strict conditionals. Its purpose is to show that there is a coherent view according to which counterfactuals are strict conditionals whose antecedent is stated elliptically. Section 1 introduces the view. Section 2 outlines a response to the main argument against the thesis that counterfactuals are strict conditionals. Section 3 compares the view with a proposal due to Aqvist, which may be regarded as its direct predecessor. Sections 4 and 5 explain how the (...)
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  27. Andrea Iacona (forthcoming). Ockhamism and Quantified Modal Logic. Logique Et Analyse.
    This paper outlines a formal account of tensed sentences that is consistent with Ockhamism, a view according to which future contingents are either true or false. The account outlined substantively differs from the attempts that have been made so far to provide a formal apparatus for such a view in terms of some expressly modified version of branching time semantics. The system on which it is based is the simplest quantified modal logic.
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  28. Andrea Iacona (2014). Ockhamism Without Thin Red Lines. Synthese 191 (12):2633-2652.
    This paper investigates the logic of Ockhamism, a view according to which future contingents are either true or false. Several attempts have been made to give rigorous shape to this view by defining a suitable formal semantics, but arguably none of them is fully satisfactory. The paper draws attention to some problems that beset such attempts, and suggests that these problems are different symptoms of the same initial confusion, in that they stem from the unjustified assumption that the actual course (...)
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  29. Andrea Iacona (2013). Timeless Truth. In Fabrice Correia & Andrea Iacona (eds.), Around the Tree. Springer.
    A fairly simple theory of the semantics of tense is obtained by combining three claims: (i) for any time t, a present-tense sentence `p' is either true or false at t; (ii) for any time t0 earlier than t, the future-tense sentence `It will be the case that p at t' is true at t0 if `p' is true at t, false otherwise; (iii) for any time t0 later than t, the past-tense sentence `It was the case that p at (...)
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  30. Andrea Iacona (2012). TxW Epistemic Modality. Logic and Philosophy of Science 10:3-14.
    So far, T×W frames have been employed to provide a semantics for a language of tense logic that includes a modal operator that expresses historical necessity. The operator is defined in terms of quantification over possible courses of events that satisfy a certain constraint, namely, that of being alike up to a given point. However, a modal operator can as well be defined without placing that constraint. This paper outlines a T×W logic where an operator of the latter kind is (...)
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  31. Andrea Iacona (2007). Not Everything is Possible. Logic Journal of the Igpl 15.
    This paper makes a point about the interpretation of the simplest quantified modal logic, that is, quantified modal logic with a single domain. It is commonly assumed that the domain in question is to be understood as the set of all possibile objects. The point of the paper is that this assumption is misguided.
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  32. Guido Imaguire & Dale Jacquette (eds.) (2010). Possible Worlds: Logic, Semantics and Ontology. Philosophia.
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  33. Michael Jubien (2009). Possibility. Oxford University Press.
    Possibility offers a new analysis of the metaphysical concepts of possibility and necessity, one that does not rely on any sort of "possible worlds." The analysis proceeds from an account of the notion of a physical object and from the positing of properties and relations. It is motivated by considerations about how we actually speak of and think of objects. Michael Jubien discusses several closely related topics, including different purported varieties of possible worlds, the doctrine of "essentialism," natural kind terms (...)
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  34. Wojciech Krysztofiak (1991). Phenomenology, Possible Worlds and Negation. Husserl Studies 8 (3):205-220.
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  35. Shen-yi Liao (2014). Collective De Se Thoughts and Centered Worlds. Ratio 27 (1):17-31.
    Two lines of investigation into the nature of mental content have proceeded in parallel until now. The first looks at thoughts that are attributable to collectives, such as bands' beliefs and teams' desires. So far, philosophers who have written on collective belief, collective intentionality, etc. have primarily focused on third-personal attributions of thoughts to collectives. The second looks at de se, or self-locating, thoughts, such as beliefs and desires that are essentially about oneself. So far, philosophers who have written on (...)
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  36. Shen-yi Liao (2012). What Are Centered Worlds? Philosophical Quarterly 62 (247):294-316.
    David Lewis argues that centered worlds give us a way to capture de se, or self-locating, contents in philosophy of language and philosophy of mind. In recent years, centered worlds have also gained other uses in areas ranging widely from metaphysics to ethics. In this paper, I raise a problem for centered worlds and discuss the costs and benefits of different solutions. My investigation into the nature of centered worlds brings out potentially problematic implicit commitments of the theories that employ (...)
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  37. Michael J. Loux (ed.) (1979). The Possible and the Actual: Readings in the Metaphysics of Modality. Cornell University Press.
    Preface In these days, an anthology on the topic of possible worlds hardly needs justification. No issue has given rise to as much literature in the past ...
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  38. Laureano Luna (2012). Cómo Hacer Metafísica a Partir de la Lógica. Thémata. Revista de Filosofía 45:261-274.
    We offer a number of arguments for or against particular metaphysical theses. All of them are based in phenomena or results in mathematical logic, broadly conceived, and are offered as exemplification of the possibility of arguing in metaphysics from such results.
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  39. Ari Maunu (2002). Natural Kind Terms Are Similar to Proper Names in Being World-Independent. Philosophical Writings 19:51-68.
    According to the New Theory of Reference, proper names (and indexicals) and natural kind terms are semantically similar to each other but crucially different from definite descriptions and “ordinary” predicates, respectively. New Theorists say that a name, unlike a definite description, is a directly referential nondescriptional rigid designator, which refers “without a mediation of the content” and is not functional (i.e. lacks a Carnapian intension). Natural kind terms, such as ‘horse’ and ‘water’, are held to have similar distinctions, in contrast (...)
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  40. Ari Maunu (1999). Worldlessness, Determinism and Free Will. Dissertation, University of Turku (Finland)
    I have three main objectives in this essay. First, in chapter 2, I shall put forward and justify what I call worldlessness, by which I mean the following: All truths (as well as falsehoods) are wholly independent of any circumstances, not only time and place but also possible worlds. It follows from this view that whatever is actually true must be taken as true with respect to every possible world, which means that all truths are (in a sense) necessary. However, (...)
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  41. Paul McNamara (1990). Leibniz on Creation, Contingency and Pe-Se Modality. Studia Leibnitiana 22 (1):29-47.
    Leibniz' first problem with contingency stems from his doctrine of divine creation (not his later doctrine of truth) and is solved via his concepts of necessity per se, etc. (not via his later concept of infinite analysis). I scrutinize some of the earliest texts in which the first problem and its solution occur. I compare his "per se modal concepts" with his concept of analysis and with the traditional concept of metaphysical necessity. I then identify and remove the main obstacle (...)
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  42. Christopher Menzel, Possible Worlds. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This article includes a basic overview of possible world semantics and a relatively comprehensive overview of three central philosophical conceptions of possible worlds: Concretism (represented chiefly by Lewis), Abstractionism (represented chiefly by Plantinga), and Combinatorialism (represented chiefly by Armstrong).
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  43. Christopher Menzel (2012). Sets and Worlds Again. Analysis 72 (2):304-309.
    Bringsjord (1985) argues that the definition W of possible worlds as maximal possible sets of propositions is incoherent. Menzel (1986a) notes that Bringsjord’s argument depends on the Powerset axiom and that the axiom can be reasonably denied. Grim (1986) counters that W can be proved to be incoherent without Powerset. Grim was right. However, the argument he provided is deeply flawed. The purpose of this note is to detail the problems with Grim’s argument and to present a sound alternative argument (...)
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  44. Christopher Menzel (1989). On an Unsound Proof of the Existence of Possible Worlds. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 30 (4):598-603.
    In this paper, an argument of Alvin Plantinga's for the existence of abstract possible worlds is shown to be unsound. The argument is based on a principle Plantinga calls "Quasicompactness", due to its structural similarity to the notion of compactness in first-order logic. The principle is shown to be false.
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  45. Christopher Menzel & Edward N. Zalta (2013). The Fundamental Theorem of World Theory. Journal of Philosophical Logic (2-3):1-31.
    The fundamental principle of the theory of possible worlds is that a proposition p is possible if and only if there is a possible world at which p is true. In this paper we present a valid derivation of this principle from a more general theory in which possible worlds are defined rather than taken as primitive. The general theory uses a primitive modality and axiomatizes abstract objects, properties, and propositions. We then show that this general theory has very small (...)
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  46. Fabrizio Mondadori (1973). Reference, Essentialism, and Modality in Leibniz's Metaphysics. Studia Leibnitiana 5 (1):74-101.
  47. Joshua M. Mozersky (2001). Smith on Times and Tokens. Synthese 129 (3):405 - 411.
    In this essay I respond to Quentin Smith's chargethat `the date-analysis version ofthe tenseless theory of time cannot give adequateaccounts of the truth conditions ofthe statements made by tensed sentence-tokens'(Smith 1999, 236). His argument isbased on an analysis of certain counterfactualsituations that is at odds with thedate-analysis account of language and hence succeedsonly in begging the questionagainst that theory. To anticipate: his argumentfails if one allows that temporalindexicals such as `now' rigidly designate theirtime of utterance, something thedate-analyst can happily admit (...)
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  48. Daniel Nolan (2004). Classes, Worlds and Hypergunk. The Monist 87 (3):303-321.
    The question of what truths are necessary in the broadest possible sense is a difficult one to answer, as is the question of what the limits are to what is possible. (Most people would see these two questions as different sides of the same coin, of course, since many think the question of what is possible is just the question of what is not necessarily ruled out). We have three general sorts of strategies for determining whether something is necessary (or (...)
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  49. Daniel Patrick Nolan (2002). Topics in the Philosophy of Possible Worlds. Routledge.
    This book discusses a range of important issues in current philosophical work on the nature of possible worlds. Areas investigated include the theories of the nature of possible worlds, general questions about metaphysical analysis and questions about the direction of dependence between what is necessary or possible and what could be.
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  50. T. Parent (2012). Modal Metaphysics. In J. Feiser & B. Dowden (eds.), Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This summarizes of some prominent views about the metaphysics of possible worlds.
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