Philosophy Compass 4 (6):1009-1021 (2009)
It is difficult to wander far in contemporary metaphysics without bumping into talk of possible worlds. And, reference to possible worlds is not confined to metaphysics. It can be found in contemporary epistemology and ethics, and has even made its way into linguistics and decision theory. What are those possible worlds, the entities to which theorists in these disciplines all appeal? Some have hoped that a theory of possible worlds can be used to reduce modality to non-modal terms. This paper sets reductive theories aside, and articulates and applies a framework for evaluating non-reductive theories of possible worlds. I argue that, if we abjure reduction, we should aim for a theory of possible worlds that is user-friendly. I then outline four leading contemporary theories and consider objections to each. My conclusions are negative: every theory we discuss fails to be user-friendly in some significant respect.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 2010 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 431-433.
Citations of this work BETA
Against Lewisian Modal Realism From a Metaontological Point of View.Koyama Tora - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-19.
Similar books and articles
Real Impossible Worlds : The Bounds of Possibility.Ira Georgia Kiourti - 2010 - Dissertation, University of St Andrews
Concrete Possible Worlds.Phillip Bricker - 2008 - In Theodore Sider, John Hawthorne & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics. Blackwell. pp. 111--134.
Haecceitism, Anti-Haecceitism, and Possible Worlds: A Case Study.Brad Skow - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (230):97-107.
Possible-Worlds Semantics Without Possible Worlds: The Agnostic Approach.John Divers - 2006 - Mind 115 (458):187-226.
Added to index2009-11-26
Total downloads194 ( #21,271 of 2,153,857 )
Recent downloads (6 months)15 ( #31,107 of 2,153,857 )
How can I increase my downloads?