What are impossible worlds?

Philosophical Studies 165 (3):989-1007 (2013)
In this paper, I argue for a particular conception of impossible worlds. Possible worlds, as traditionally understood, can be used in the analysis of propositions, the content of belief, the truth of counterfactuals, and so on. Yet possible worlds are not capable of differentiating propositions that are necessarily equivalent, making sense of the beliefs of agents who are not ideally rational, or giving truth values to counterfactuals with necessarily false antecedents. The addition of impossible worlds addresses these issues. The kinds of impossible worlds capable of performing this task are not mysterious sui generis entities, but sets of structured propositions that are themselves constructed out of possible worlds and relations. I also respond to a worry that these impossible worlds are unable to represent claims about the shape of modal space itself
Keywords Possible worlds  Impossible worlds  Modality  Metaphysics
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-9998-0
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References found in this work BETA
Jaakko Hintikka (1962). Knowledge and Belief. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
David Lewis (1979). Attitudes de Dicto and de Se. Philosophical Review 88 (4):513-543.

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