Auslegung 33:22-30 (2019)

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Subrena E. Smith
University of New Hampshire, Durham
Abstract
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.
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DOI 10.17161/auslegung.v33i0.13248
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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.

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