Impossible Worlds

Oxford: Oxford University Press (2013)
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Abstract

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 theories of meaning, these phenomena are an unfathomable mystery. To understand these concepts, we need a metaphysical, logical, and conceptual grasp of situations that could not possibly exist: Impossible Worlds. This book discusses the metaphysics of impossible worlds and applies the concept to a range of central topics and open issues in logic, semantics, and philosophy. It considers problems in the logic of knowledge, the meaning of alternative logics, models of imagination and mental simulation, the theory of information, truth in fiction, the meaning of conditional statements, and reasoning about the impossible. In all these cases, impossible worlds have an essential role to play.

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Author Profiles

Franz Berto
University of St. Andrews
Mark Jago
Nottingham University

Citations of this work

Impossible Worlds.Francesco Berto - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2013):en ligne.
The Fundamental Problem of Logical Omniscience.Peter Hawke, Aybüke Özgün & Francesco Berto - 2020 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 49 (4):727-766.
Sensitivity, safety, and impossible worlds.Guido Melchior - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):713-729.
Knowing how things might have been.Mark Jago - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 8):1-19.

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References found in this work

Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell. Edited by G. E. M. Anscombe.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
Ontological relativity and other essays.Willard Van Orman Quine (ed.) - 1969 - New York: Columbia University Press.

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