Cuadernos de Filosofía 45:49-67 (1999)

Eduardo Alejandro Barrio
Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA)
In this paper, I attempt to throw some light on modal realism. Since it is David Lewis who has put forward the best arguments for thar position, I focus on his work. In the first, I point out that his approach does not provide an adequate account for the intuitive lack of symmetry between the actual and the possible. To begin with, I try to show that the strategy of appealing to both the spatio-temporal network and causality is not at all satisfactory. Secondly, I criticize the argument for modal realism that is based on theoretical benefits. Then, I defend the view that Lewis' indexical analysis of the concept of actuality does not satisfy his own criterion of acceptability: an analysis of actuality should account for the intuitions about our actual word. I claim thet Lewis' objections to other positions can be raised against his own position. Finally, I conclude that, even though Lewis is right in claiming that actualist conceptions do not explain why the possible is not part of the actual, the realist conception fail to account for the special ontological status that we intuitively grant to our own world.
Keywords Modal Realism  Modality  David Lewis  Actualism
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