The representational limits of possible worlds semantics

Philosophical Studies 173 (2):479-503 (2016)
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Abstract

This paper evaluates Stalnaker’s recent attempt to outline a realist interpretation of possible worlds semantics that lacks substantive metaphysical commitments. The limitations of his approach are used to draw some more general lessons about the non-representational artefacts of formal representations. Three key conclusions are drawn. Stalnaker’s account of possible worlds semantics’ non-representational artefacts does not cohere with his modal metaphysics. Invariance-based analyses of non-representational artefacts cannot capture a certain kind of artefact. Stalnaker must treat instrumentally those aspects of possible worlds formalism governing the interaction between quantification and modality, under any analysis whatsoever of non-representational artefacts

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Nicholas K. Jones
University of Oxford

Citations of this work

Models and reality.Robert Stalnaker - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):709-726.

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References found in this work

Modal Logic as Metaphysics.Timothy Williamson - 2013 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Ways a world might be.Robert Stalnaker - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (3):439 - 441.
Vagueness and mathematical precision.Roy T. Cook - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):225-247.

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