Possible Worlds

Edited by Dan Marshall (Lingnan University)
About this topic
Summary Possible worlds are complete ways things could be. The metaphysics of possible worlds became a central concern of philosophers in the second half of the twentieth century with the advent of modal logic and possible worlds semantics. Important debates about possible worlds include whether there are any possible worlds, whether possible worlds are abstract or concrete, and whether possible worlds are constructed out other types of entities, such as sets, properties or propositions.
Key works Prominent theories of possible worlds include: the modal realism of Lewis 1986; ersatz theories such as Carnap 1947 , Jeffrey 1965, Hintikka 1969, Plantinga 1974, Stalnaker 1976, Melia 2001, and Sider 2002; and fictionalist theories such as Rosen 1990, and Armstrong 1989.
Introductions Two papers that provide a good introduction to possible worlds are Menzel 2008 and Sider 2003. Two excellent book length introductions to possible worlds are Melia 2003 and Divers 2002, the latter being more advanced than the former.
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  1. The Logic of Plurality. [REVIEW]B. W. A. - 1972 - Review of Metaphysics 25 (3):549-549.
  2. A Theory of Possibility. [REVIEW]J. R. A. - 1977 - Review of Metaphysics 31 (2):329-330.
  3. Actualism and Thisness.Robert Merrihew Adams - 1981 - Synthese 49 (1):3-41.
  4. Worlds in Which We Participate.Hartley Burr Alexander - 1935 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 16 (2):103.
  5. “New Worlds”.Robert Appelbaum - 2008 - Clio: A Journal of Literature, History, and the Philosophy of History 38 (1):61-74.
  6. The Celestial Worlds Discover'd. [REVIEW]A. Armitage - 1969 - British Journal for the History of Science 4 (4):406-407.
  7. Avoidability and Possible Worlds.Robert Audi - 1978 - Philosophical Studies 33 (4):413 - 421.
  8. Worlds Apart.C. L. B. - 1964 - Review of Metaphysics 17 (4):624-624.
  9. The Plurality of Worlds. [REVIEW]D. B. - 1928 - Modern Schoolman 4 (8):138-139.
  10. Worlds to Know: A Philosophy of Cosmic Perspectives. [REVIEW]G. R. B. - 1963 - Review of Metaphysics 17 (1):152-152.
  11. In the Intermezzo of the Worlds: On Vanja Sutlić's Work.Damir Barbarić - 2006 - Prolegomena 5 (1):89-97.
  12. The Three Worlds of Man.Stringfellow Barr - 1963 - Columbia, University of Missouri Press.
  13. Essays on Thoughts and Worlds. [REVIEW]J. C. Begg - 1958 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 36:237.
  14. Worlds, Triangles and Bolts: Reply to Nulty.Julien Beillard - 2016 - Metaphysica 17 (2).
  15. Dropping a few worlds.E. Bencivenga - 1983 - Logique Et Analyse 26 (2):241.
  16. Body Worlds.Chris Bloor - 2002 - Philosophy Now 36:46-47.
  17. The Fictional Worlds of John Cowper Powys.Joseph Boulter - 1999
  18. More Worlds Than One.David Brewster - 1874
  19. "When Worlds Collide".Susan Brill - 1993 - Semiotics:77-89.
  20. Worlds Apart: A Dialogue of the 1960's. [REVIEW]L. B. C. - 1964 - Review of Metaphysics 17 (4):624-624.
  21. Arthur, J.-Worlds That Bind.T. D. Campbell - 1997 - Philosophical Books 38:212-213.
  22. Between Words and Worlds.T. Childers (ed.) - 2000 - Filosofia.
  23. Possible Worlds–Text Worlds–Discourse Worlds in a Dialogic Context.E. Chrzanowska-Kluczewska - 2009 - In Elżbieta Chrzanowska-Kluczewska & Agnieszka Gołda-Derejczyk (eds.), The Contextuality of Language and Culture. Wydawnictwo Wseh. pp. 157--171.
  24. Actualisme et possibilisme: l'évaluation dans les mondes possibles.Eros Corazza - 1989 - Logique Et Analyse 32 (25):81.
  25. Other Worlds.David Crystal - 1987 - New Blackfriars 68 (806):285-287.
  26. Symbolic Worlds.Stephen Davies - 1999 - Philosophical Review 108 (3):430-433.
  27. A Week's Conversation on the Plurality of Worlds, Tr. By Mrs. A. Behn, J. Glanvil, J. Hughes and W. Gardner. Tol Which is Added, Mr. Addison's Defence on the Newtonian Philosophy. [REVIEW]Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle, Joseph Addison & Aphra Behn - 1801
  28. Worlds Without Content: Against Formalism. [REVIEW]Katerina Deligiorgi - 1993 - Radical Philosophy 63.
  29. II—John Divers: Coincidence and Form.John Divers - 2008 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 82 (1):119-137.
  30. Juan Caramuel and the Possible Worlds Theory.Petr Dvooak - 2002 - Acta Comeniana 14:87-98.
  31. Dead Worlds.The Editor The Editor - 1946 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 27 (1):5.
  32. Engagements, Worlds, and Identity.Stephen A. Erickson - 1973 - Review of Metaphysics 27 (1):3 - 19.
  33. Sal Restivo Et Al's Math Worlds. [REVIEW]Paul Ernest - 1994 - Philosophy of Mathematics Education Journal 7.
  34. Possible Worlds in the Logical Discourse.D. Filip - 2002 - Filosoficky Casopis 50 (2):207-227.
  35. Theories in the Light of Contingency and Change: Possible Future Worlds and Well-Grounded Hope as a Supplement to Truth.Frank Ulrich - unknown
    Based on a critical account of the dominant concept of theory, the paper presents an alterna-tive, wider notion of theory. It is motivated by the need to cope with a contingent research subject and the assumption that IS should provide an orientation for managing the digital transfor-mation. Unlike neo-positivistic notions of theory, the proposed conception is not restricted to de-scriptions of the factual, but may be aimed at de-signing possible future worlds. Conceiving of possible future worlds requires overcoming the barriers (...)
  36. Actual Minds, Possible Worlds.Amedeo Giorgi - 1988 - New Vico Studies 6:171-173.
  37. G. Hawthorn, "Plausible Worlds". [REVIEW]J. L. Gorman - 1993 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies:150.
  38. The Best of All Possible Worlds.P. Gottfried - 1996 - Télos 1996 (109):189-192.
  39. The Best of All Possible Next Worlds.John Green - 1991 - Philosophy Now 2:17-19.
  40. Transportation Into Narrative Worlds: Implications for the Self.Melanie C. Green & Abraham Tesser - 2005 - In Abraham Tesser, Joanne V. Wood & Diederik A. Stapel (eds.), On Building, Defending and Regulating the Self: A Psychological Perspective. Psychology Press. pp. 53--75.
  41. On Sets and Worlds: A Reply to Menzel.Patrick Grim - 1986 - Analysis 46 (4):186 - 191.
  42. Vanishing Worlds: On Dealing with What is Passing Away.David Gross - 2002 - Telos: Critical Theory of the Contemporary 2002 (124):55-70.
  43. Worlds on Worlds.Janet Zeis Hansen - 1973 - New York: Exposition Press.
  44. Works and Worlds of Art.Andrew Harrison - 1982 - Philosophical Books 23 (2):116-118.
  45. Self-Defining Worlds. The Anthropological Notion of Reality.Kirsten Hastrup - 1993 - Danish Yearbook of Philosophy 28:61-79.
  46. Would Have Become: Empty or Modal Will.Rodney Huddleston - 1979 - .
  47. Conflicting Versions and Many Worlds.Brian J. Huschle - 2001 - Southwest Philosophy Review 17 (2):75-89.
  48. Truth and Reality in Actuality. [REVIEW]J. F. J. - 1972 - Review of Metaphysics 26 (2):364-365.
  49. War of the Worlds.George Johnson - manuscript
    The daddy longlegs clinging vertically to my bathroom wall is a marvel of airy symmetry, its tiny head perched delicately at the center of eight arching limbs. A moment later, struck by the back of my hand, it lies crumpled on the floor. I’m sorry, but I don’t like spiders in the house.
  50. 1. World Weary.Michael Jubien - 2007 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 3:99.
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