Possible worlds as shifting domains

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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DOI 10.1007/BF00401965
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References found in this work BETA
David Lewis (1979). Attitudes de Dicto and de Se. Philosophical Review 88 (4):513-543.

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Citations of this work BETA
Josh Parsons (2007). Is Everything a World? Philosophical Studies 134 (2):165-181.
David Sanson (2016). Worlds Enough for Junk. Res Philosophica 93 (1):1-18.
James E. Tomberlin (1996). Actualism or Possibilism? Philosophical Studies 84 (2-3):263 - 281.

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