Auslegung 33:22-30 (2019)

Subrena E. Smith
University of New Hampshire, Durham
In this paper I will present an argument that David Lewis’ modal realism is self-refuting, and that the contradiction that makes it self-refuting can only be blocked by modifying certain others of Lewis’ philosophical commitments. My argument will proceed as follows. First, I will briefly describe the motivation for and the main components of Lewisian modal realism. Second, I will explain Lewis’ view of what it is for an individual or a set to exist in a world. Third, I go on to argue that Lewis’ position creates a dilemma for modal realism: either each world contains all the other worlds as parts, which violates the principle that worlds are spatiotemporally isolated, or worlds are reducible to sets, which violates the principle that worlds are individuals. Finally, I briefly discuss a suggestion by Divers that strongly bears on this problem.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.17161/auslegung.v33i0.13248
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 58,954
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
A Matter of Individuality.David L. Hull - 1978 - Philosophy of Science 45 (3):335-360.
Possible Worlds.John Divers - 2002 - Routledge.
Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1975 - Philosophy of Science 42 (3):341-344.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views

Recent downloads (6 months)

How can I increase my downloads?


Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes