David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Erkenntnis 36 (1):83 - 101 (1992)
Those who object to David Lewis' modal realism express qualms about philosophical respectability of the Lewisian notion of a possible world and its correlate notion of an inhabitant of a possible world. The resulting impression is that these two notions either stand together or fall together. I argue that the Lewisian notion of a possible world is otiose even for a good Lewisian modal realist, and that one can carry out a good Lewisian semantics for modal discourse without Lewisian possible worls. I do so by generalizing Lewis' own idea that restrictions on quantification come and go with the pragmatic wind and relativizing possible worlds as shifting domains of discourse. I then suggest a way to soften the infamous incredulous stare.
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