Lewis' Reduction of Modality

Acta Analytica 26 (2):95-114 (2011)
Abstract
I start by reconsidering two familiar arguments against modal realism. The argument from epistemology relates to the issue whether we can infer the existence of concrete objects by a priori means. The argument from pragmatics purports to refute the analogy between the indispensability of possible worlds and the indispensability of unobserved entities in physical science and of numbers in mathematics. Then I present two novel objections. One focusses on the obscurity of the notion of isolation required by modal realism. The other stresses the arbitrary nature of the rules governing the behaviour of Lewisean universes. All four objections attack the reductive analysis of modality that is supposed to be the chief merit of modal realism
Keywords Modal realism  Spacetime  Isolation  Contingency  Necessity  David Lewis
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