Southwest Philosophy Review 30 (1):105-115 (2014)

Bob Fischer
Texas State University
We aren’t particularly sympathetic to modal realism (MR). Still, it isn’t clear to us that David Lewis argues for it in the wrong way. “The hypothesis is serviceable,” he says, “and that is a reason to think that it is true” (1986, p. 3). Let’s grant him the first claim: MR is serviceable, which is to say that it allows us “to reduce the diversity of notions we must accept as primitive, and thereby to improve the unity and economy of the theory that is our professional concern – total theory, the whole of what we take to be true” (1986, p. 4). Our interest here is in the second claim, the thesis to the effect that a hypothesis’s being serviceable can provide reason to believe it. A number of philosophers maintain that this latter is false; others insist that it’s of no help to Lewis. So on one basis or the other, they conclude that Lewis’ argument for MR doesn’t get off the ground.1 We disagree. Our aim here is to show that there isn’t a cogent objection to Lewis’ use of serviceability that doesn’t rely a premise that he is justified in rejecting.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5840/swphilreview201430110
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 60,694
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Salvaging the "Noosphere".T. A. Goudge - 1962 - Mind 71 (284):543-544.
Salvaging Necessary Truth.Charles Evans - 1972 - Journal of Critical Analysis 4 (1):24-33.
Salvaging Locke's Self.James Phillips - 2005 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 12 (4):349-354.
Salvaging Marx From Avineri.Alan Gilbert - 1976 - Political Theory 4 (1):9-34.
Salvaging 'the F-Er is F': The Lesson of Clark's Paradox.Gregory Landini - 1985 - Philosophical Studies 48 (1):129 - 136.
Salvaging 'Human Machines'.Elizabeth O'Malley - 1976 - Hastings Center Report 6 (1):4-4.
Salvaging Parts of the “Classical Theory” of Categorization.Dan Sperber - 1986 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 9 (4):668-668.
APPENDIX A Salvaging the'Saya'.Gilda Cordero-Fernando - 2008 - Budhi: A Journal of Ideas and Culture 12 (1).


Added to PP index

Total views
19 ( #550,525 of 2,438,568 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #436,491 of 2,438,568 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes