Impossible worlds and propositions: Against the parity thesis

Philosophical Quarterly 60 (240):471-486 (2010)
Authors
Franz Berto
University of St. Andrews
Abstract
Accounts of propositions as sets of possible worlds have been criticized for conflating distinct impossible propositions. In response to this problem, some have proposed to introduce impossible worlds to represent distinct impossibilities, endorsing the thesis that impossible worlds must be of the same kind; this has been called the parity thesis. I show that this thesis faces problems, and propose a hybrid account which rejects it: possible worlds are taken as concrete Lewisian worlds, and impossibilities are represented as set-theoretic constructions out of them. This hybrid account (1) distinguishes many intuitively distinct impossible propositions; (2) identifies impossible propositions with extensional constructions; (3) avoids resorting to primitive modality, at least so far as Lewisian modal realism does
Keywords Impossible Worlds  Hyperintensionality  Modal realism  Propositions  Ersatzism
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Reprint years 2013
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9213.2009.627.x
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Hyperintensional Propositions.Mark Jago - 2015 - Synthese 192 (3):585-601.
Impossible Worlds.Mark Jago - 2013 - Noûs 47 (3):713-728.
Constructing Worlds.Mark Jago - 2012 - Synthese 189 (1):59-74.
What Are Impossible Worlds?Barak Krakauer - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):989-1007.

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