Modal Matters: Essays in Metaphysics

Oxford University Press (forthcoming)

Authors
Phillip Bricker
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Abstract
This volume contains eighteen papers, three with new postscripts, that were written over the past 35 years. Five of the papers have not been previously published. Together they provide a comprehensive account of modal reality—the realm of possible worlds—from a Humean perspective, with excursions into neighboring topics in metaphysics. Part 1 sketches an account of reality as a whole, both the mathematical and the modal, defending a form of plenitudinous realism: every consistent proposition is true of some portion of reality. Part 2 presents and defends a realist theory of concrete possible worlds with an absolute ontological distinction between the actual and the merely possible. Part 3 presents and defends a Humean account of modal plenitude, formulating and endorsing principles of recombination, of plenitude of possible structures, and of plenitude of alien contents. Part 4 applies the Humean account to truthmaking, mereology, spacetime, and quantities. I argue that holding fast to Humean strictures leads to views that differ in radical ways from those put forth by contemporary metaphysicians.
Keywords modal realism  possible worlds  modal plenitude  absolute actuality  modal ersatzism  composition as identity  spacetime  natural properties  David Lewis
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ISBN(s) 0199676569
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