The Metaphysics in Counterfactual Logic

Abstract

This paper investigates the metaphysics in higher-order counterfactual logic. I establish the necessity of identity and distinctness and show that the logic is committed to vacuism, which entails that all counteridenticals are true. I prove the Barcan, Converse Barcan, Being Constraint and Necessitism. I then show how to derive the Identity of Indiscernibles in counterfactual logic. I study a form of maximalist ontology which has been claimed to be so expansive as to be inconsistent. I show that it is equivalent to the collapse of the counterfactual into the material conditional---which is itself equivalent to the modal logic TRIV. TRIV is consistent, from which it follows that maximalism is, surprisingly, consistent. I close by arguing that stating the limit assumption requires a higher-order logic

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Samuel Elgin
University of California, San Diego

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References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
The Philosophy of Philosophy.Timothy Williamson - 2007 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Modal Logic as Metaphysics.Timothy Williamson - 2013 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Ontology Made Easy.Amie Lynn Thomasson - 2014 - New York: Oup Usa.

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