Edited by Christopher Menzel (Texas A&M University)
|Summary||Actualism is the view that, necessarily, everything there is, in the broadest sense, is actual, or actually exists. Actualism stands in contrast to possibilism, the view that there are, or at least could have been, mere possibilia, i.e., things that could have been actual but, in fact, are not. Modern versions of possibilism are typically motivated by concerns about the ground of certain intuitive possibilities, for example, that Wittgenstein (who was childless) could have had a child. Possibilists typically argue that, in order for this to be true, there must be something, in the broadest sense, that could have been Wittgenstein's child and, hence, that grounds the possibility in question. Since no actually existing individual could have been Wittgenstein's child (given the plausible view that no one could have had different parents), Wittgenstein's possible children must be mere possibilia. Actualists typically respond to this reasoning either by postulating actually existing "surrogates" of one sort or another — special properties, for example — to play the grounding role of possibilia or by denying outright the need to ground possibilities like the one in question in the modal properties of possibilia or actualist surrogates thereof.|
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David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
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