Against Lewisian Modal Realism from a Metaontological Point of View

Philosophia 45 (3):1207-1225 (2017)
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Modal realism is an ontological position made familiar by David Lewis, according to which there exist possible worlds other than the actual world that we inhabit. It is hard to uphold modal realism, and indeed modal realism has only a few advocates. However, as most contemporary metaphysicians agree, this does not mean that it is easy to refute modal realism. In this paper, I argue against modal realism from a metaontological point of view. First, I provide a precise formulation of modal realism based on Lewis’ discussion of modal realism. Second, I argue that modal realism is undermined unless it incorporates a view of metaontology known as ontological realism. Third, I point out that if modal realism incorporates ontological realism, it comes into conflict with its own formulation.


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Tora Koyama
Yamaguchi University

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References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
The Nature of Necessity.Alvin Plantinga - 1974 - Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
On what grounds what.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
Material beings.Peter Van Inwagen - 1990 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

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