About this topic
Summary This category includes discussions of theories of possible worlds that either: a) hold that possible worlds are abstract entities or b) hold that, while there are no possible worlds, there are surrogates of possible worlds, or perhaps surrogates of the pluriverse of possible worlds, that can do much of the theoretical work possible worlds, or the pluriverse of possible worlds, are meant to do.
Key works Prominent accounts that hold that possible worlds are abstract objects include Plantinga 1974, and Stalnaker 1976. Prominent accounts that hold that there are surrogates of possible worlds include Melia 2001, and Sider 2002.
Introductions Two papers that provide a good introduction to ersatz theories of possible worlds are Menzel 2008 and Sider 2003. Two excellent book length introductions are Melia 2003 and Divers 2002.
Related categories

76 found
Order:
1 — 50 / 76
  1. added 2020-06-16
    Two Modal–Isms: Fictionalism and Ersatzism.Berit Brogaard - 2006 - Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1):77–94.
    It is sometimes said that no living philosopher is a genuine modal realist. This is no doubt an exaggeration. But at least this much is true: while we all partake of possible world talk when philosophizing, most of us regard this talk as incurring no commitment to a plurality of concrete worlds.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   6 citations  
  2. added 2020-05-16
    The Flexibility of Reality: An Essay on Modality, Representation, and Powers.David Limbaugh - 2018 - Dissertation, State University of New York at Buffalo
    This dissertation is about flexibility as a dimension of reality, an objective—independent of mind and language—phenomenon typically referred to as ‘metaphysical modality’. It develops a novel modal account of why reality could be different: that is, why claims like “Possibly, there are talking donkeys,” or “Humphrey could have won the election” are true or false. I contend that primitive dispositional properties called ‘powers’ explain such claims, and do so better than possible-world accounts of modality. The problem with possible-world accounts is (...)
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  3. added 2019-11-20
    Correction To: On Lewis Against Magic: A Study of Method in Metaphysics.A. R. J. Fisher - forthcoming - Synthese:1-1.
    Please note that this article belongs to the Special Issue on the Legacy of David Lewis but was included in issue 195:5 by mistake. It should be regarded as part of this selection of articles.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  4. added 2019-10-25
    Dualism About Possible Worlds.Michael Tze-Sung Longenecker - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-17.
    Dualism about possible worlds says that merely possible worlds aren’t concrete objects, but the actual world is concrete. This view seems to be the natural one for ersatzers about merely possible worlds to take; yet one is hard-pressed to find any defenders of it in contemporary modal metaphysics. The main reason is that Dualism struggles with the issue of how merely possible worlds could have been actual. I explain that there are two different Dualist strategies that can be taken to (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  5. added 2019-09-05
    On Quantitative and Qualitative Parsimony.Maciej Sendłak - 2018 - Metaphilosophy 49 (1-2):153-166.
    The distinction between quantitative and qualitative parsimony is supposed to allow David Lewis to dismiss one of the charges against his modal realism: that is, the charge of bloated ontology. The aim of this paper is to undermine Lewis's response to this objection. In order to do this, a distinction between multipliable and nonmultipliable objects is introduced. Based on this it is argued that the acceptance of Lewis's response requires one to believe in modal realism in the first place—that is, (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  6. added 2019-08-06
    Impossible Worlds.Franz Berto & Mark Jago - 2013 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    We need to understand the impossible. Francesco Berto and Mark Jago start by considering what the concepts of meaning, information, knowledge, belief, fiction, conditionality, and counterfactual supposition have in common. They are all concepts which divide the world up more finely than logic does. Logically equivalent sentences may carry different meanings and information and may differ in how they're believed. Fictions can be inconsistent yet meaningful. We can suppose impossible things without collapsing into total incoherence. Yet for the leading philosophical (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   7 citations  
  7. added 2019-06-05
    World and Object: Metaphysical Nihilism and Three Accounts of Worlds.Geraldine Coggins - 2003 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (1):353-360.
    The study of metaphysical possibility involves two central questions: What are possible worlds? Is there an empty possible world? In looking at the first question we consider the different accounts of possible worlds—Lewisian realism, ersatzism, etc. In looking at the second question we consider the discussions of metaphysical nihilism, the modal ontological arguments, etc. In this paper I am drawing these two questions together in order to show how the position we hold on one of these issues affects the position (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   8 citations  
  8. added 2019-01-30
    A Critical Introduction to the Metaphysics of Modality, by Andrea Borghini: London: Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2016, Pp. Vii + 224, £22.99. [REVIEW]T. Parent - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (1):204-204.
  9. added 2018-02-17
    Counterpart Theory V. The Multiverse: Reply to Watson.Jim Stone - 2011 - Analysis 71 (1):96-100.
    Suppose that reality consists of parallel universes of every variety imaginable. No path through space and time leads from one to another, and each universe is causally isolated from the rest. Some physicists believe a ‘multiverse’ hypothesis not terribly distant from this one simplifies quantum mechanics and provides an elegant explanation of why our universe has its particular laws. Suppose as science advances we come to accept the multiverse hypothesis, so construed.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (8 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  10. added 2018-01-03
    World-Stories and Maximality.Vittorio Morato - 2017 - Argumenta 2 (2).
    According to many actualist theories of modality, possible worlds should be identified with maximal and consistent sets of actually existing propositions called "world-stories". A set of propositions is said to be maximal if and only if for every (actually existing) proposition P , either P or its negation belongs to the set. In my talk, I will claim that this conception of maximality is problematic in case what has to be represented by a world-story is the possible non existence of (...)
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  11. added 2018-01-03
    Worlds, Times and Selves Revisited.Tero Tulenheimo - 2016 - Synthese 193 (11):3713-3725.
    In Prior’s tense-logical analysis, we can avoid mentioning instants in our language by construing them as propositions of a special kind. Instead of qualifying instants by predicates, we may qualify propositions by modalities. Prior shows that by changing the informal interpretation of our modal-like language, we can similarly attempt to avoid ontological commitments to worlds and even to selves and other bona fide individuals. As he notes, the paraphrasing strategy works too generally to be of direct metaphysical use. I wish (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  12. added 2018-01-03
    A Presentist Approach to (Ersatz) Possible Worlds.Takeshi Sakon - 2016 - Acta Analytica 31 (2):169-177.
    It is sometimes argued that there is an analogy between time and modality: What is true of time, mutatis mutandis, should be true of modality, and vice versa. However, I think that the importance of this analogy has not been truly appreciated in the literature. In this paper, I try to offer a plausible account of the relationship between time and modality based on what is known as presentist ersatzism. If the attempt succeeds, it will be shown that ersatzists about (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  13. added 2018-01-03
    2. Merely Possible Possible Worlds.Robert Stalnaker - 2012 - In Mere Possibilities: Metaphysical Foundations of Modal Semantics. Princeton University Press. pp. 22-51.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  14. added 2018-01-03
    Ersatz Possible Worlds.Joseph Melia - 2008 - In Theodore Sider, John Hawthorne & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics. Blackwell. pp. 135--51.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   7 citations  
  15. added 2018-01-03
    3. Worlds, Pluriverses, and Minds.Mark Heller - 2007 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 3:77.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  16. added 2018-01-03
    Bring Back the Magic.By Kevin Zaragoza - 2007 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (3):391–402.
    Magical ersatzism is the view that possible worlds are primitive abstract entities. In On the Plurality of Worlds, David Lewis presented what appeared to many to be a devastating argument against magical ersatzism. In this paper, I show that Lewis’ central argument does not succeed. Magical ersatzism remains a viable theory of possible worlds.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  17. added 2018-01-03
    Ways a World Might Be.Robert Stalnaker - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (3):439 - 441.
    Robert Stalnaker is an actualist who holds that merely possible worlds are uninstantiated properties that might have been instantiated. Stalnaker also holds that there are no metaphysically impossible worlds: uninstantiated properties that couldn't have been instantiated. These views motivate Stalnaker's "two dimensional" account of the necessary a posteriori on which there is no single proposition that is both necessary and a posteriori. For a necessary proposition is true in all possible worlds. If there were necessary a posteriori propositions, that would (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   55 citations  
  18. added 2018-01-03
    Alvin Plantinga.Michael C. Rea - 2006 - In D. Borchert (ed.), Encyclopedia of Philosophy. MacMillan Reference. pp. 579-581.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  19. added 2018-01-03
    Possible Worlds.Peter Forrest - 2004 - Mind 113 (449):171-174.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  20. added 2018-01-03
    World And Object: Metaphysical Nihilism And Three Accounts Of Worlds.Geraldine Coggins - 2003 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (3):353-360.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  21. added 2018-01-03
    World and Object: Metaphysical Nihilism and Three Accounts of Worlds.Geraldine Coggins - 2003 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (3):353–360.
    The study of metaphysical possibility involves two central questions: (i) What are possible worlds? (ii) Is there an empty possible world? In looking at the first question we consider the different accounts of possible worlds-Lewisian realism, ersatzism, etc. In looking at the second question we consider the discussions of metaphysical nihilism, the modal ontological arguments, etc. In this paper I am drawing these two questions together in order to show how the position we hold on one of these issues affects (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   5 citations  
  22. added 2018-01-03
    Modality.Joseph Melia - 2003 - Routledge.
    This introduction to modality places the emphasis on the metaphysics of modality rather than on the formal semetics of quantified modal logic. The text begins by introducing students to the "de re/de dicto" distinction, conventionalist and conceptualist theories of modality and some of the key problems in modality, particularly Quine's criticisms. It then moves on to explain how possible worlds provide a solution to many of the problems in modality and how possible worlds themselves have been used to analyse notions (...)
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   6 citations  
  23. added 2018-01-03
    John Divers, Possible Worlds. [REVIEW]G. Fitch - 2003 - Philosophy in Review 23:332-333.
  24. added 2018-01-03
    The Metaphysics of Possibilia.William G. Lycan - 2002 - In Richard M. Gale (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Metaphysics. Blackwell. pp. 303.
  25. added 2018-01-03
    Possible Worlds.John Divers - 2002 - Routledge.
    _Possible Worlds_ presents the first up-to-date and comprehensive examination of one of the most important topics in metaphysics. John Divers considers the prevalent philosophical positions, including realism, antirealism and the work of important writers on possible worlds such as David Lewis, evaluating them in detail.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   79 citations  
  26. added 2018-01-03
    Property Counterparts in Ersatz Worlds.Mark Heller - 1998 - Journal of Philosophy 95 (6):293.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   32 citations  
  27. added 2018-01-03
    Property Counterparts in Ersatz Worlds.Mark Heller - 1998 - Journal of Philosophy 95 (6):293-316.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   35 citations  
  28. added 2018-01-03
    Possible Worlds and Possibilia.William G. Lycan - 1998 - In Stephen Laurence & Cynthia Macdonald (eds.), Contemporary Readings in the Foundations of Metaphysics. Blackwell. pp. 83-95.
  29. added 2018-01-03
    Actualism Again.A. P. Hazen - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 84 (2-3):155 - 181.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  30. added 2018-01-03
    Worlds as Complete Novels.A. P. Hazen - 1996 - Analysis 56 (1):33–38.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (8 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  31. added 2018-01-03
    In Defense of Linguistic Ersatzism.Tony Roy - 1995 - Philosophical Studies 80 (3):217 - 242.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   8 citations  
  32. added 2018-01-03
    Worlds and Modality.Tony Roy - 1993 - Philosophical Review 102 (3):335-361.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   12 citations  
  33. added 2018-01-03
    There is Nothing Magical About Possible Worlds.Richard B. Miller - 1990 - Mind 99 (395):453-457.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  34. added 2018-01-03
    Two Concepts of Possible Worlds.Peter van Invvagen - 1986 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 11 (1):185-213.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   12 citations  
  35. added 2018-01-03
    Actual Minds, Possible Worlds.Jerome S. Bruner - 1986
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   178 citations  
  36. added 2018-01-03
    Ways Worlds Could Be.Peter Forrest - 1986 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 64 (1):15 – 24.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   53 citations  
  37. added 2018-01-03
    Are There Set Theoretic Possible Worlds?Selmer Bringsjord - 1985 - Analysis 45 (1):64 -.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   9 citations  
  38. added 2018-01-03
    Troubles with Plantinga's Actualism.Donald Brownstein - 1985 - Theoria 51 (3):174-189.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  39. added 2018-01-03
    Sets and Possible Worlds.John E. Nolt - 1983 - Philosophical Studies 44 (1):21-35.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  40. added 2018-01-03
    Critical Notice: Times, Worlds and Selves.Paul Needham - 1979 - Synthese 40 (2):389-408.
    Review of A. N. Prior and Kit Fine, Times, Worlds and Seh,es, Duckworth London, 1977.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  41. added 2018-01-03
    FINE, K. And PRIOR, A. N. "Worlds, Times and Selves". [REVIEW]R. Gallie - 1979 - Mind 88:625.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   24 citations  
  42. added 2018-01-03
    The Trouble with Possible Worlds.William G. Lycan - 1979 - In Michael J. Loux (ed.), The Possible and the Actual. Cornell University Press.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   53 citations  
  43. added 2016-12-12
    Reducing Possibilities to Language.J. Melia - 2001 - Analysis 61 (1):19-29.
    Ehring, D. 1997. Causation and Persistence. New York: Oxford University Press. Fair, D. 1979. Causation and the flow of energy. Erkenntnis 14: 219–50. Goldman, A. 1977. Perceptual objects. Synthese 35: 257–84. Lewis, D. 1986a. Causation. In Philosophical Papers Vol. 2, 159–213. New York.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   10 citations  
  44. added 2016-12-12
    Two Concepts of Possible Worlds.Peter van Inwagen - 1986 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 11 (1):185-213.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   44 citations  
  45. added 2016-12-08
    Indexicality and Actuality.Peter van Inwagen - 1980 - Philosophical Review 89 (3):403-426.
  46. added 2016-09-28
    A Problem for Actualism About Possible Worlds.Alan McMichael - 1983 - Philosophical Review 92 (1):49-66.
    Actualists who believe in possible worlds typically regard them as "abstract" objects of some special sort. For example, Alvin Plantinga takes worlds to be maximal possible states-of-affairs, all of which "exist", as actualism requires, but only one of which "obtains". Views like Plantinga's run into difficulty in the interpretation of statements of "iterated" modality, statements about what is "possible" for individuals that "could" exist but that do not actually exist. These statements seem to require the existence of "singular" states-Of-affairs that (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   47 citations  
  47. added 2016-05-23
    Modal Truthmakers, Truth Conditions, and Analyses: Or, How to Avoid the Humphrey Objection.Chad Vance - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (2):145-159.
    Truthmakers, truth conditions, and analyses are closely related, but distinct in rather important ways. A failure to properly appreciate their differences has led to some confusion regarding the role that possible worlds ought to play with respect to modality. Those philosophers who initially proposed the existence of possible worlds were understood as providing an analysis of modality. More recently, many have interpreted them as providing modal truthmakers. But, possible worlds are only suited to serve as truth conditions for modal truths. (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  48. added 2016-03-23
    Topics in the Philosophy of Possible Worlds.Daniel Nolan - 2002 - Routledge.
    This book discusses a range of important issues in current philosophical work on the nature of possible worlds. Areas investigated include the theories of the nature of possible worlds, general questions about metaphysical analysis and questions about the direction of dependence between what is necessary or possible and what could be.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   29 citations  
  49. added 2016-02-25
    On Lewis Against Magic: A Study of Method in Metaphysics.A. Fisher - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):2335-2353.
    David Lewis objected to theories that posit necessary connections between distinct entities and to theories that involve a magical grasping of their primitives. In On the Plurality of Worlds, Lewis objected to nondescript ersatzism on these grounds. The literature contains several reconstructions of Lewis’ critique of nondescript ersatzism but none of these interpretations adequately address his main argument because they fail to see that Lewis’ critique is based on broader methodological considerations. I argue that a closer look at his methodology (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  50. added 2016-02-05
    Theories of Actuality.Robert Merrihew Adams - 1974 - Noûs 8 (3):211-231.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   168 citations  
1 — 50 / 76