Synthese 198 (2):1235-1257 (2019)

Authors
Theodore Locke
Concordia University
Abstract
Counterpossibles are counterfactuals that involve some metaphysical impossibility. Modal normativism is a non-descriptivist account of metaphysical necessity and possibility according to which modal claims, e.g. ‘necessarily, all bachelors are unmarried’, do not function as descriptive claims about the modal nature of reality but function as normative illustrations of constitutive rules and permissions that govern the use of ordinary non-modal vocabulary, e.g. ‘bachelor’. In this paper, I assume modal normativism and develop a novel account of counterpossibles and claims about metaphysical similarity between possible and impossible worlds. I argue that considerations of metaphysical similarity between various impossible worlds and the actual world only require us to tacitly consider how the actual constitutive rules that govern the use of our terms change in order to accommodate the description of some hypothetical impossible scenario. I then argue for my account by raising worries for alternative epistemic and realist accounts of counterpossibles and showing how my account avoids those worries.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-019-02103-1
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References found in this work BETA

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Blackwell.
Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Counterlogicals as Counterconventionals.Alexander W. Kocurek & Ethan J. Jerzak - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 50 (4):673-704.
Game Counterpossibles.Felipe Morales Carbonell - 2020 - Argumenta 6 (1):117-133.
Hyperintensionality.Francesco Berto & Daniel Nolan - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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