Impossible Worlds: A Modest Approach

Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 38 (4):535-572 (1997)
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Abstract

Reasoning about situations we take to be impossible is useful for a variety of theoretical purposes. Furthermore, using a device of impossible worlds when reasoning about the impossible is useful in the same sorts of ways that the device of possible worlds is useful when reasoning about the possible. This paper discusses some of the uses of impossible worlds and argues that commitment to them can and should be had without great metaphysical or logical cost. The paper then provides an account of reasoning with impossible worlds, by treating such reasoning as reasoning employing counterpossible conditionals, and provides a semantics for the proposed treatment

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Daniel Nolan
University of Notre Dame

Citations of this work

On what grounds what.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
Grounding in the image of causation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):49-100.
Metaphysical Causation.Alastair Wilson - 2018 - Noûs 52 (4):723-751.
Modality and Explanatory Reasoning.Boris Christian Kment - 2014 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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References found in this work

Scorekeeping in a language game.David Lewis - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):339--359.
On conditionals.Dorothy Edgington - 1995 - Mind 104 (414):235-329.
Indicative conditionals.Robert Stalnaker - 1975 - Philosophia 5 (3):269-286.
Modal fictionalism.Gideon Rosen - 1990 - Mind 99 (395):327-354.
Two Concepts of Possible Worlds.Peter van Inwagen - 1986 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 11 (1):185-213.

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