David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Mind 111 (441):15-36 (2002)
According to the Genuine Modal Realist, there is a plurality of possible worlds, each world nothing more than a maximally inter-related spatiotemporal sum. One advantage claimed for this position is that it offers us the resources to analyse, in a noncircular manner, the modal operators. In this paper, we argue that the prospects for such an analysis are poor. For the analysis of necessity as truth in all worlds to succeed it is not enough that no modal concepts be used in the realist's account of a possible world (a fact we grant); rather, such an analysis will succeed only if the set of worlds that is postulated is complete. By appealing to plausible truths about the number of possible alien natural properties, we show that there are serious difficulties in guaranteeing that such a set exists without taking some modal concept as primitive. Accordingly, at least in its current form, Genuine Modal Realism must curtail its analytic ambitions.
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Christopher Weaver (2012). What Could Be Caused Must Actually Be Caused. Synthese 184 (3):299-317.
Andrea Borghini & Neil E. Williams (2008). A Dispositional Theory of Possibility. Dialectica 62 (1):21–41.
Louis deRosset (2009). Possible Worlds I: Modal Realism. Philosophy Compass 4 (6):998-1008.
John Divers (2007). Quinean Scepticism About de Re Modality After David Lewis. European Journal of Philosophy 15 (1):40–62.
Ross Paul Cameron (2008). Truthmakers and Necessary Connections. Synthese 161 (1):27-45.
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