David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Philosophy 99 (6):279-315 (2002)
While many are impressed with the utility of possible worlds in linguistics and philosophy, few can accept the modal realism of David Lewis, who regards possible worlds as sui generis entities of a kind with the concrete world we inhabit.1 Not all uses of possible worlds require exotic ontology. Consider, for instance, the use of Kripke models to establish formal results in modal logic. These models contain sets often regarded for heuristic reasons as sets of “possible worlds”. But the “worlds” in these sets can be anything at all; they can be numbers, or people, or sh. The set of worlds, together with the accessibility relation and the rest of the model, is used as a purely formal structure.2 One can even go beyond establishing results about formal systems and apply Kripke models to English, as Charles Chihara has recently argued.3 Chihara shows, for instance, how to use Kripke models (plus primitive modal notions) to give an account of validity for English modal sentences. In other cases worlds are not really needed at all. It is often vivid to give a counterexample thus: “There is a possible world in which P. Since your theory implies that in all worlds, not-P, your theory is wrong.” But the counterexample could just as easily be given using modal operators: “Possibly, P. Since your theory implies that it is necessary that not-P, your theory is wrong.”.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Chad Carmichael (2010). Universals. Philosophical Studies 150 (3):373-89.
Jonathan D. Jacobs (2010). A Powers Theory of Modality: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Reject Possible Worlds. Philosophical Studies 151 (2):227-248.
Jim Stone (2009). Why Counterpart Theory and Modal Realism Are Incompatible. Analysis 69 (4):650-653.
Louis deRosset (2009). Possible Worlds II: Non-Reductive Theories of Possible Worlds. Philosophy Compass 4 (6):1009-1021.
Christopher Menzel & Edward N. Zalta (2013). The Fundamental Theorem of World Theory. Journal of Philosophical Logic (2-3):1-31.
Similar books and articles
Dale Jacquette (2006). Propositions, Sets, and Worlds. Studia Logica 82 (3):337 - 343.
Edward N. Zalta (1997). A Classically-Based Theory of Impossible Worlds. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 38 (4):640-660.
Charles S. Chihara (1998). The Worlds of Possibility: Modal Realism and the Semantics of Modal Logic. Oxford University Press.
Mark Jago (2012). Constructing Worlds. Synthese 189 (1):59-74.
Louis deRosset (2009). Possible Worlds I: Modal Realism. Philosophy Compass 4 (6):998-1008.
Jiri Benovsky (2005). Branching Versus Divergent Possible Worlds. Kriterion 19 (1):12-20.
John Divers (2006). Possible-Worlds Semantics Without Possible Worlds: The Agnostic Approach. Mind 115 (458):187-226.
Theodore Sider (2001). The Worlds of Possibility. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 110 (1):88-91.
Takashi Yagisawa (2002). Primitive Worlds. Acta Analytica 17 (1):19-37.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads140 ( #7,709 of 1,410,042 )
Recent downloads (6 months)16 ( #14,182 of 1,410,042 )
How can I increase my downloads?