Modal Realism and the Meaning of 'Exist'

Abstract
Here I first raise an argument purporting to show that Lewis’ Modal Realism ends up being completely trivial. But although I reject this line, the argument reveals how difficult it is to interpret Lewis’ thesis that possibilia “exist.” Four natural interpretations are considered, yet upon reflection, none appear entirely adequate. In particular, under the three different “concretist” interpretations of ‘exist’, Modal Realism looks insufficient for genuine ontological commitment. Whereas under the “multiverse” interpretation, Modal Realism ends up being a theory of physical possibility only. I close with a related, more general dilemma for Modal Realism: Are Lewisian possibilia in the proper domain of physics or not? Since our physics aims to explain everything that exists, it seems so. Yet then the restriction to physical possibilities seems inevitable.
Keywords Modal Realism  Ontology  Lewis, David  Existence  Modal Logic  Quantification  Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics  Frege  sense and reference
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,398
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Otávio Bueno & Scott Shalkowski (2004). Modal Realism and Modal Epistemology: A Huge Gap. In Erik Weber Tim De Mey (ed.), Modal Epistemology. Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van Belgie Vor Wetenschappen En Kunsten. 93--106.
Kris McDaniel (2006). Modal Realisms. Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1):303–331.
Takashi Yagisawa (2008). Modal Realism with Modal Tense 1. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (2):309-327.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-06-08

Total downloads

173 ( #3,458 of 1,096,953 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

18 ( #7,196 of 1,096,953 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.