In Modal Matters: Essays in Metaphysics. Oxford: pp. 278-314 (2020)

Phillip Bricker
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
The Forrest-Armstrong argument, as reconfigured by David Lewis, is a reductio against an unrestricted principle of recombination. There is a gap in the argument which Lewis thought could be bridged by an appeal to recombination. After presenting the argument, I show that no plausible principle of recombination can bridge the gap. But other plausible principles of plenitude can bridge the gap, both principles of plenitude for world contents and principles of plenitude for world structures. I conclude that the Forrest-Armstrong argument, when fortified in one of these ways, demands that unrestricted recombination be rejected. The appropriate restriction comes from a consideration of what world structures are possible. I argue that, although there are too many worlds to form a set, for any world, the individuals at that world do form a set. To defend it I invoke a principle of Limitation of Size together with an iterative conception of structure.
Keywords Forrest-Armstrong argument, David Lewis, modal plenitude, Limitation of Size, Cantor's paradox
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 59,827
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
A Combinatorial Theory of Possibility.D. M. Armstrong - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
Parts of Classes.David K. Lewis - 1991 - Mind 100 (3):394-397.

View all 30 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Composition as a Kind of Identity.Phillip Bricker - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (3):264-294.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Recombination Unbound.Daniel Nolan - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 84 (2-3):239-262.
Lewis, Wilson, Hume: A Response to Jessica Wilson on Lewisian Plenitude and Hume’s Dictum.C. J. K. Gibilisco - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (3):295-317.
An Argument Against David Lewis' Theory of Possible Worlds.Peter Forrest & D. M. Armstrong - 1984 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62 (2):164 – 168.
A Kantian Critique of David Lewis's Modal Realism.Thomas Doty Eudaly - 1989 - Dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Naturalness and Arbitrariness.Theodore Sider - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 81 (2-3):283 - 301.
Truthmaking, Recombination, and Facts Ontology.Frank Hofmann - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 128 (2):409-440.
There is No 'Truthmaker' Argument Against Nominalism.Josh Parsons - 1999 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 77 (3):325 – 334.
Modal Matters: Essays in Metaphysics.Phillip Bricker (ed.) - 2020 - Oxford University Press.
God and the Multiverse.W. David Beck & Max Andrews - 2014 - Philosophia Christi 16 (1):101-115.


Added to PP index

Total views
14 ( #693,492 of 2,432,727 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
11 ( #60,174 of 2,432,727 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes