David Lewis, Donald C. Williams, and the History of Metaphysics in the Twentieth Century

A. R. J. Fisher
University of Manchester
The revival of analytic metaphysics in the latter half of the twentieth century is typically understood as a consequence of the critiques of logical positivism, Quine’s naturalization of ontology, Kripke’s Naming and Necessity, clarifications of modal notions in logic, and the theoretical exploitation of possible worlds. However, this explanation overlooks the work of metaphysicians at the height of positivism and linguisticism that affected metaphysics of the late twentieth century. Donald C. Williams is one such philosopher. In this paper I explain how Williams’s fundamental ontology and philosophy of time influenced in part the early formation of David Lewis’s metaphysics. Thus, Williams played an important role in the revival of analytic metaphysics.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/apa.2014.18
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
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

New Work for a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
Humean Supervenience Debugged.David K. Lewis - 1994 - Mind 103 (412):473--490.
The Universe as We Find It.John Heil - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (1):42-47.

View all 69 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The A Priority of Abduction.Stephen Biggs & Jessica Wilson - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (3):735-758.
Donald C. Williams’s Defence of Real Metaphysics.A. R. J. Fisher - 2017 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 25 (2):332-355.
III—Aristotelian Supervenience.John Heil - 2015 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 115 (1pt1):41-56.
Accidents Unmoored.John Heil - 2018 - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (2):113-120.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Hyperintensional Metaphysics.Daniel Nolan - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (1):149-160.
New Directions in Metaphysics and Ontology.E. J. Lowe - 2008 - Axiomathes 18 (3):273-288.
Normativity and Instrumentalism in David Lewis' Convention.S. M. Amadae - 2011 - History of European Ideas 37 (3):325-335.
Bringing Metaphysics Back In?Barry Hindess - 2014 - History of European Ideas 40 (1):1-6.
Twentieth Century Philosophy.Dagobert D. Runes - 1947 - New York: Greenwood Press.


Added to PP index

Total views
284 ( #22,655 of 2,280,598 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
77 ( #9,092 of 2,280,598 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature