On Lewis against magic: a study of method in metaphysics

Synthese 195 (5):2335-2353 (2018)
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Abstract

David Lewis objected to theories that posit necessary connections between distinct entities and to theories that involve a magical grasping of their primitives. In On the Plurality of Worlds, Lewis objected to nondescript ersatzism on these grounds. The literature contains several reconstructions of Lewis’ critique of nondescript ersatzism but none of these interpretations adequately address his main argument because they fail to see that Lewis’ critique is based on broader methodological considerations. I argue that a closer look at his methodology reveals the broader objection he presented against nondescript ersatzism. This objection, I further argue, remains a challenge for the ersatzer who posits structure-less entities as possible worlds.

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A. R. J. Fisher
Gonzaga University

Citations of this work

Musical Works as Structural Universals.A. R. J. Fisher - 2023 - Erkenntnis 88 (3):1245-67.
Naturalness, Arbitrariness, and Serious Ontology.A. R. J. Fisher - 2022 - In Helen Beebee & A. R. J. Fisher (eds.), Perspectives on the Philosophy of David K. Lewis. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 134-53.
The Two Davids and Australian Materialism.A. R. J. Fisher - 2022 - In Peter R. Anstey & David Braddon-Mitchell (eds.), Armstrong's Materialist Theory of Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 29-51.

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References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Malden, Mass.: Blackwell.
New work for a theory of universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
The Nature of Necessity.Alvin Plantinga - 1974 - Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.

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