Isolation and Unification: The Realist Analysis of Possible Worlds

Philosophical Studies 84 (2-3):225 - 238 (1996)
Phillip Bricker
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
If realism about possible worlds is to succeed in eliminating primitive modality, it must provide an 'analysis' of possible world: nonmodal criteria for demarcating one world from another. This David Lewis has done. Lewis holds, roughly, that worlds are maximal unified regions of logical space. So far, so good. But what Lewis means by 'unification' is too narrow, I think, in two different ways. First, for Lewis, all worlds are (almost) 'globally' unified: at any world, (almost) every part is directly linked to (almost) every other part. I hold instead that some worlds are 'locally' unified: at some worlds, parts are directly linked only to "neighboring" parts. Second, for Lewis, each world is (analogically) 'spatio-temporally' unified; every world is 'spatio-temporally' isolated from every other. I hold instead: a world may be unified by nonspatio-temporal relations; every world is 'absolutely' isolated from every other. If I am right, Lewis's conception of logical space is impoverished: perfectly respectable worlds are missing.
Keywords Modal Realism  Isolation  Unification  Possible Worlds
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DOI 10.1007/BF00354488
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References found in this work BETA

Parts of Classes.David Lewis - 1991 - Blackwell.
A Combinatorial Theory of Possibility.D. M. Armstrong - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
Appearance and Reality.F. H. Bradley - 1893 - Oxford University Press.

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Ideological Parsimony.Sam Cowling - 2013 - Synthese 190 (17):3889-3908.
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Non-Qualitative Properties.Sam Cowling - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (2):275-301.
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