Epistemically possible worlds and propositions

Noûs 43 (2):265-285 (2009)
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Abstract

Metaphysically possible worlds have many uses. Epistemically possible worlds promise to be similarly useful, especially in connection with propositions and propositional attitudes. However, I argue that there is a serious threat to the natural accounts of epistemically possible worlds, from a version of Russell’s paradox. I contrast this threat with David Kaplan’s problem for metaphysical possible world semantics: Kaplan’s problem can be straightforwardly rebutted, the problems I raise cannot. I argue that although there may be coherent accounts of epistemically possible worlds with fruitful applications, any such an account must fundamentally compromise the basic idea behind epistemic possibility.

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Bruno Whittle
University of Wisconsin, Madison

References found in this work

Outline of a theory of truth.Saul Kripke - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (19):690-716.
Attitudes de dicto and de se.David Lewis - 1979 - Philosophical Review 88 (4):513-543.
On the Plurality of Worlds.William G. Lycan - 1988 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (1):42-47.
Assertion.Robert Stalnaker - 1978 - Syntax and Semantics (New York Academic Press) 9:315-332.

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