An Extended Lewis-Stalnaker Semantics and The New Problem of Counterpossibles

Philosophical Papers 33 (1):35-66 (2004)
Authors
Jeffrey Goodman
James Madison University
Abstract
Closest-possible-world analyses of counterfactuals suffer from what has been called the ‘problem of counterpossibles’: some counterfactuals with metaphysically impossible antecedents seem plainly false, but the proposed analyses imply that they are all (vacuously) true. One alleged solution to this problem is the addition of impossible worlds. In this paper, I argue that the closest possible or impossible world analyses that have recently been suggested suffer from the ‘new problem of counterpossibles’: the proposed analyses imply that some plainly true counterpossibles (viz., ‘counterlogicals’) are false. After motivating and presenting the ‘new problem’, I give reasons to think that the most plausible objection to my argument is not compelling.
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DOI 10.1080/05568640409485135
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References found in this work BETA

Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Blackwell.
The Nature of Necessity.Alvin Plantinga (ed.) - 1974 - Clarendon Press.
Impossible Worlds: A Modest Approach.Daniel Nolan - 1997 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 38 (4):535-572.
Theories of Actuality.Robert Merrihew Adams - 1974 - Noûs 8 (3):211-231.

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Citations of this work BETA

Counteridenticals.Alexander W. Kocurek - 2018 - The Philosophical Review 127 (3):323-369.
On Counterpossibles.Jens Christian Bjerring - 2013 - Philosophical Studies (2):1-27.
Grounding Entails Counterpossible Non‐Triviality.Alastair Wilson - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (3):716-728.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Lycan on Lewis and Meinong.Peter J. King - 1992 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 93:193 - 201.
The Problem of Counterpossibles.Daniel H. Cohen - 1987 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 29 (1):91-101.
Modal Knowledge and Counterfactual Knowledge.Sonia Roca-Royes - 2011 - Logique Et Analyse 54 (216):537-552.
Remarks on Counterpossibles.Berit Brogaard & Joe Salerno - 2013 - Synthese 190 (4):639-660.

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