Results for 'Impossible Worlds'

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  1. Impossible Worlds.Mark Jago - 2013 - Noûs 47 (3):713-728.
    Impossible worlds are representations of impossible things and impossible happenings. They earn their keep in a semantic or metaphysical theory if they do the right theoretical work for us. As it happens, a worlds-based account provides the best philosophical story about semantic content, knowledge and belief states, cognitive significance and cognitive information, and informative deductive reasoning. A worlds-based story may also provide the best semantics for counterfactuals. But to function well, all these accounts need (...)
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  2. Impossible Worlds and the Logic of Imagination.Francesco Berto - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (6):1277-1297.
    I want to model a finite, fallible cognitive agent who imagines that p in the sense of mentally representing a scenario—a configuration of objects and properties—correctly described by p. I propose to capture imagination, so understood, via variably strict world quantifiers, in a modal framework including both possible and so-called impossible worlds. The latter secure lack of classical logical closure for the relevant mental states, while the variability of strictness captures how the agent imports information from actuality in (...)
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  3. Impossible Worlds.Francesco Berto - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2013).
    It is a venerable slogan due to David Hume, and inherited by the empiricist tradition, that the impossible cannot be believed, or even conceived. In Positivismus und Realismus, Moritz Schlick claimed that, while the merely practically impossible is still conceivable, the logically impossible, such as an explicit inconsistency, is simply unthinkable. -/- An opposite philosophical tradition, however, maintains that inconsistencies and logical impossibilities are thinkable, and sometimes believable, too. In the Science of Logic, Hegel already complained against (...)
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  4.  88
    Impossible Worlds.Franz Berto & Mark Jago - 2013 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    We need to understand the impossible. Francesco Berto and Mark Jago start by considering what the concepts of meaning, information, knowledge, belief, fiction, conditionality, and counterfactual supposition have in common. They are all concepts which divide the world up more finely than logic does. Logically equivalent sentences may carry different meanings and information and may differ in how they're believed. Fictions can be inconsistent yet meaningful. We can suppose impossible things without collapsing into total incoherence. Yet for the (...)
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  5. Impossible Worlds: A Modest Approach.Daniel Nolan - 1997 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 38 (4):535-572.
    Reasoning about situations we take to be impossible is useful for a variety of theoretical purposes. Furthermore, using a device of impossible worlds when reasoning about the impossible is useful in the same sorts of ways that the device of possible worlds is useful when reasoning about the possible. This paper discusses some of the uses of impossible worlds and argues that commitment to them can and should be had without great metaphysical or (...)
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  6. Impossible Worlds and Propositions: Against the Parity Thesis.Francesco Berto - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (240):471-486.
    Accounts of propositions as sets of possible worlds have been criticized for conflating distinct impossible propositions. In response to this problem, some have proposed to introduce impossible worlds to represent distinct impossibilities, endorsing the thesis that impossible worlds must be of the same kind; this has been called the parity thesis. I show that this thesis faces problems, and propose a hybrid account which rejects it: possible worlds are taken as concrete Lewisian (...), and impossibilities are represented as set-theoretic constructions out of them. This hybrid account (1) distinguishes many intuitively distinct impossible propositions; (2) identifies impossible propositions with extensional constructions; (3) avoids resorting to primitive modality, at least so far as Lewisian modal realism does. (shrink)
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  7. Impossible Worlds and Logical Omniscience: An Impossibility Result.Jens Christian Bjerring - 2013 - Synthese 190 (13):2505-2524.
    In this paper, I investigate whether we can use a world-involving framework to model the epistemic states of non-ideal agents. The standard possible-world framework falters in this respect because of a commitment to logical omniscience. A familiar attempt to overcome this problem centers around the use of impossible worlds where the truths of logic can be false. As we shall see, if we admit impossible worlds where “anything goes” in modal space, it is easy to model (...)
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  8. Impossible Worlds.Daniel Nolan - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (4):360-372.
    Philosophers have found postulating possible worlds to be very useful in a number of areas, including philosophy of language and mind, logic, and metaphysics. Impossible worlds are a natural extension to this use of possible worlds, and can help resolve a number of difficulties thrown up by possible‐worlds frameworks.
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  9. Real Impossible Worlds : The Bounds of Possibility.Ira Georgia Kiourti - 2010 - Dissertation, University of St Andrews
    Lewisian Genuine Realism about possible worlds is often deemed unable to accommodate impossible worlds and reap the benefits that these bestow to rival theories. This thesis explores two alternative extensions of GR into the terrain of impossible worlds. It is divided in six chapters. Chapter I outlines Lewis’ theory, the motivations for impossible worlds, and the central problem that such worlds present for GR: How can GR even understand the notion of an (...)
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  10. Impossible Worlds and Partial Belief.Edward Elliott - 2019 - Synthese 196 (8):3433-3458.
    One response to the problem of logical omniscience in standard possible worlds models of belief is to extend the space of worlds so as to include impossible worlds. It is natural to think that essentially the same strategy can be applied to probabilistic models of partial belief, for which parallel problems also arise. In this paper, I note a difficulty with the inclusion of impossible worlds into probabilistic models. Under weak assumptions about the space (...)
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  11. Logically Impossible Worlds.Koji Tanaka - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Logic 15 (2):489.
    What does it mean for the laws of logic to fail? My task in this paper is to answer this question. I use the resources that Routley/Sylvan developed with his collaborators for the semantics of relevant logics to explain a world where the laws of logic fail. I claim that the non-normal worlds that Routley/Sylvan introduced are exactly such worlds. To disambiguate different kinds of impossible worlds, I call such worlds logically impossible worlds. (...)
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  12. Impossible Worlds and Metaphysical Explanation: Comments on Kment’s Modality and Explanatory Reasoning.Nina Emery & Christopher S. Hill - 2017 - Analysis 77 (1):134-148.
    In this critical notice of Kment's _Modality and Explanatory Reasoning_, we focus on Kment’s arguments for impossible worlds and on a key part of his discussion of the interactions between modality and explanation – the analogy that he draws between scientific and metaphysical explanation.
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  13. Truth in Fiction, Impossible Worlds, and Belief Revision.Francesco Berto & Christopher Badura - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (1):178-193.
    We present a theory of truth in fiction that improves on Lewis's [1978] ‘Analysis 2’ in two ways. First, we expand Lewis's possible worlds apparatus by adding non-normal or impossible worlds. Second, we model truth in fiction as belief revision via ideas from dynamic epistemic logic. We explain the major objections raised against Lewis's original view and show that our theory overcomes them.
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  14. Are Impossible Worlds Trivial?Mark Jago - 2013 - In Vit Puncochar & Petr Svarny (eds.), The Logica Yearbook 2012. College Publications.
    Theories of content are at the centre of philosophical semantics. The most successful general theory of content takes contents to be sets of possible worlds. But such contents are very coarse-grained, for they cannot distinguish between logically equivalent contents. They draw intensional but not hyperintensional distinctions. This is often remedied by including impossible as well as possible worlds in the theory of content. Yet it is often claimed that impossible worlds are metaphysically obscure; and it (...)
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  15. Sensitivity, Safety, and Impossible Worlds.Guido Melchior - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):713-729.
    Modal knowledge accounts that are based on standards possible-worlds semantics face well-known problems when it comes to knowledge of necessities. Beliefs in necessities are trivially sensitive and safe and, therefore, trivially constitute knowledge according to these accounts. In this paper, I will first argue that existing solutions to this necessity problem, which accept standard possible-worlds semantics, are unsatisfactory. In order to solve the necessity problem, I will utilize an unorthodox account of counterfactuals, as proposed by Nolan, on which (...)
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  16. What Are Impossible Worlds?Barak Krakauer - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):989-1007.
    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 (...) 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. (shrink)
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  17. The Ontology of Impossible Worlds.David A. Vander Laan - 1997 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 38 (4):597-620.
    The best arguments for possible worlds as states of affairs furnish us with equally good arguments for impossible worlds of the same sort. I argue for a theory of impossible worlds on which the impossible worlds correspond to maximal inconsistent classes of propositions. Three objections are rejected. In the final part of the paper, I present a menu of impossible worlds and explore some of their interesting formal properties.
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    Concrete Impossible Worlds.Martin Vacek - 2013 - Filozofia 68 (6):523-530.
    The paper deals with such a modification of genuine modal realism as to accommodate impossible worlds into its ontology. First of all, the theory of modal realism is presented. Next, several motivations for the acceptance of impossible worlds are adduced. Further, Lewis’s argument against impossible worlds is presented. It is argued that the argument can be weakened by rejection of one of its premises. Finally, two objections against the proposal are countered. Although my strategy (...)
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  19. Impossible Worlds.Nathan Salmon - 1984 - Analysis 44 (3):114 - 117.
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  20. How Close Are Impossible Worlds? A Critique of Brogaard and Salerno’s Account of Counterpossibles.Dan Baras - 2019 - Dialectica 73 (3):315-329.
    Several theorists have been attracted to the idea that in order to account for counterpossibles, i.e. counterfactuals with impossible antecedents, we must appeal to impossible worlds. However, few have attempted to provide a detailed impossible worlds account of counterpossibles. Berit Brogaard and Joe Salerno’s ‘Remarks on Counterpossibles’ is one of the few attempts to fill in this theoretical gap. In this article, I critically examine their account. I prove a number of unanticipated implications of their (...)
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  21. Causal Counterfactuals and Impossible Worlds.Daniel Nolan - 2017 - In Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock & Huw Price (eds.), Making a Difference. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 14-32.
    A standing challenge in the theory of counterfactuals is to solve the “deviation problem”. Consider ordinary counterfactuals involving an antecedent concerning a difference from the actual course of events at a particular time, and a consequent concerning, at least in part, what happens at a later time. In the possible worlds framework, the problem is often put in terms of which are the relevant antecedent worlds. Desiderata for the solution include that the relevant antecedent worlds be governed (...)
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  22.  84
    Who's Afraid of Impossible Worlds?Edwin D. Mares - 1997 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 38 (4):516-526.
    A theory of ersatz impossible worlds is developed to deal with the problem of counterpossible conditionals. Using only tools standardly in the toolbox of possible worlds theorists, it is shown that we can construct a model for counterpossibles. This model is a natural extension of Lewis's semantics for counterfactuals, but instead of using classical logic as its base, it uses the logic LP.
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  23. Impossible Worlds.Brian Leftow - 2006 - Religious Studies 42 (4):393-402.
    Richard Brian Davis offers several criticisms of a semantics I once proposed for subjunctive conditionals with impossible antecedents. I reply to these.
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  24. Impossibility and Impossible Worlds.Daniel Nolan - 2021 - In Otavio Bueno & Scott Shalkowski (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Modality. New York, USA: Routledge Press. pp. 40-48.
    Possible worlds have found many applications in contemporary philosophy: from theories of possibility and necessity, to accounts of conditionals, to theories of mental and linguistic content, to understanding supervenience relationships, to theories of properties and propositions, among many other applications. Almost as soon as possible worlds started to be used in formal theories in logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and elsewhere, theorists started to wonder whether impossible worlds should be postulated as well. In (...)
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    Impossible Worlds and Metaphysical Explanation: Comments on Kment’sModality and Explanatory Reasoning.Nina Emery & Christopher S. Hill - 2016 - Analysis 77 (1):134-148.
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  26. Impossible Worlds.David Vander Laan - 1999 - Dissertation, University of Notre Dame
    The theory of possible worlds has permeated analytic philosophy in recent decades, and its best versions have a consequence which has gone largely unnoticed: in addition to the panoply of possible worlds, there are a great many impossible worlds. A uniform ontological method alone should bring the friends of possible worlds to adopt impossible worlds, I argue, but the theory's applications also provide strong incentives. In particular, the theory facilitates an account of counterfactuals (...)
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  27. A Classically-Based Theory of Impossible Worlds.Edward N. Zalta - 1997 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 38 (4):640-660.
    The appeal to possible worlds in the semantics of modal logic and the philosophical defense of possible worlds as an essential element of ontology have led philosophers and logicians to introduce other kinds of `worlds' in order to study various philosophical and logical phenomena. The literature contains discussions of `non-normal worlds', `non-classical worlds', `non-standard worlds', and `impossible worlds'. These atypical worlds have been used in the following ways: (1) to interpret unusual (...)
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    Impossible Worlds.Ira Kiourti - 2012 - Oxford Bibliographies in Philosophy.
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    Impossible Worlds, by Francesco Berto and Mark Jago. [REVIEW]Koji Tanaka - forthcoming - Mind.
  30.  38
    Impossible Worlds.James W. Felt - 1983 - International Philosophical Quarterly 23 (3):251-265.
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  31. Counterpossibles, Impossible Worlds, and the Notion of Similarity.Maciej Sendłak - 2017 - In Gillman Payette & Rafal Urbaniak (eds.), Applications of Formal Philosophy. The Road Less Travelled. Springer Verlag.
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  32.  76
    Systems of Modal Logic for Impossible Worlds.Charles G. Morgan - 1973 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 16 (1-4):280 – 289.
    The intuitive notion behind the usual semantics of most systems of modal logic is that of ?possible worlds?. Loosely speaking, an expression is necessary if and only if it holds in all possible worlds; it is possible if and only if it holds in some possible world. Of course, contradictory expressions turn out to hold in no possible worlds, and logically true expressions turn out to hold in every possible world. A method is presented for transforming standard (...)
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  33. Impossible Possible Worlds Vindicated.Jaakko Hintikka - 1975 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 4 (4):475 - 484.
  34.  13
    An Excess of Dialetheias: In Defence of Genuine Impossible Worlds.Ira Kiourti - 2019 - In Adam Rieger & Gareth Young (eds.), Dialetheism and its Applications. Cham: Springer. pp. 81-100.
    David Lewis famously dismisses genuine impossible worlds on the basis that a contradiction bound within the scope of his modifier ‘at w’ amounts to a contradiction tout court—an unacceptable consequence. Motivated by the rising demand for impossible worlds in philosophical theorising, this paper examines whether anything coherent can be said about an extension of Lewis’ theory of genuine, concrete possible worlds into genuine, concrete impossible worlds. Lewis’ reasoning reveals two ways to carve out (...)
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  35. Counterpossibles and the Nature of Impossible Worlds.Mattias Skipper Rasmussen - 2016 - SATS 17 (2):145-158.
    One well-known objection to the traditional Lewis-Stalnaker semantics of counterfactuals is that it delivers counterintuitive semantic verdicts for many counterpossibles (counterfactuals with necessarily false antecedents). To remedy this problem, several authors have proposed extending the set of possible worlds by impossible worlds at which necessary falsehoods may be true. Linguistic ersatz theorists often construe impossible worlds as maximal, inconsistent sets of sentences in some sufficiently expressive language. However, in a recent paper, Bjerring (2014) argues that (...)
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  36. The Impossible: An Essay on Hyperintensionality.Mark Jago - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    Mark Jago presents an original philosophical account of meaningful thought: in particular, how it is meaningful to think about things that are impossible. We think about impossible things all the time. We can think about alchemists trying to turn base metal to gold, and about unfortunate mathematicians trying to square the circle. We may ponder whether God exists; and philosophers frequently debate whether properties, numbers, sets, moral and aesthetic qualities, and qualia exist. In many philosophical or mathematical debates, (...)
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  37. Editor's Introduction. Special Issue on “Impossible Worlds” of The.G. Priest - 1998 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 3 (1):481-487.
  38. Omission Impossible.Sara Bernstein - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (10):2575-2589.
    This paper gives a framework for understanding causal counterpossibles, counterfactuals imbued with causal content whose antecedents appeal to metaphysically impossible worlds. Such statements are generated by omissive causal claims that appeal to metaphysically impossible events, such as “If the mathematician had not failed to prove that 2+2=5, the math textbooks would not have remained intact.” After providing an account of impossible omissions, the paper argues for three claims: (i) impossible omissions play a causal role in (...)
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  39. Quantified Logic of Awareness and Impossible Possible Worlds.Giacomo Sillari - 2008 - Review of Symbolic Logic 1 (4):514-529.
    Among the many possible approaches to dealing with logical omniscience, I consider here awareness and impossible worlds structures. The former approach, pioneered by Fagin and Halpern, distinguishes between implicit and explicit knowledge, and avoids logical omniscience with respect to explicit knowledge. The latter, developed by Rantala and by Hintikka, allows for the existence of logically impossible worlds to which the agents are taken to have access; since such worlds need not behave consistently, the agents’ knowledge (...)
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  40. Constructing Worlds.Mark Jago - 2012 - Synthese 189 (1):59-74.
    You and I can differ in what we say, or believe, even though the things we say, or believe, are logically equivalent. Discussing what is said, or believed, requires notions of content which are finer-grained than sets of (metaphysically or logically) possible worlds. In this paper, I develop the approach to fine-grained content in terms of a space of possible and impossible worlds. I give a method for constructing ersatz worlds based on theory of substantial facts. (...)
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  41. Possible Worlds Semantics and Fiction.Diane Proudfoot - 2006 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 35:9-40.
    The canonical version of possible worlds semantics for story prefixes is due to David Lewis. This paper reassesses Lewis's theory and draws attention to some novel problems for his account.
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  42. Thinking the Impossible.Graham Priest - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (10):2649-2662.
    The article looks at the structure of impossible worlds, and their deployment in the analysis of some intentional notions. In particular, it is argued that one can, in fact, conceive anything, whether or not it is impossible. Thus a semantics of conceivability requires impossible worlds.
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  43. " Impossible" Possible Worlds.J. Raclavsky - 2000 - Filosoficky Casopis 48 (6):1035-1036.
     
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    Possible Worlds with Impossible Objects: The Imaginary Logic of NA Vasil'év.Roger Vergauwen & Venanzio Raspa - 1997 - Logique Et Analyse 40 (159):225-248.
    The paper investigates the system of 'Imaginary Logic' created by the Russian logician N.A. Vasil'ev (1880-1940), considered by some to be a forerunner of paraconsistent or intuitionistic logics. It is shown how he constructs a logic without the law of contradiction redefining the concept of negation. Vasil'ev singles out two levels of logic, an external one which is absolute and one depending on commitments in relation to cognizable objects which is not absolute. His reconstruction of the syllogism shows the viability (...)
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  45. Possible Worlds Semantics.Daniel Nolan - 2012 - In Gillian Russell & Delia Fara (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Language. New York, USA: Routledge Press. pp. 242-252.
    This chapter provides an introduction to possible worlds semantics in both logic and the philosophy of language, including a discussion of some of the advantages and challenges for possible worlds semantics.
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  46. Virtual Worlds and Moral Evaluation.Jeff Dunn - 2012 - Ethics and Information Technology 14 (4):255-265.
    Consider the multi-user virtual worlds of online games such as EVE and World of Warcraft, or the multi-user virtual world of Second Life. Suppose a player performs an action in one of these worlds, via his or her virtual character, which would be wrong, if the virtual world were real. What is the moral status of this virtual action? In this paper I consider arguments for and against the Asymmetry Thesis: the thesis that such virtual actions are never (...)
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  47. Modal Meinongianism and Fiction: The Best of Three Worlds.Francesco Berto - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (3):313-35.
    We outline a neo-Meinongian framework labeled as Modal Meinongian Metaphysics (MMM) to account for the ontology and semantics of fictional discourse. Several competing accounts of fictional objects are originated by the fact that our talking of them mirrors incoherent intuitions: mainstream theories of fiction privilege some such intuitions, but are forced to account for others via complicated paraphrases of the relevant sentences. An ideal theory should resort to as few paraphrases as possible. In Sect. 1, we make this explicit via (...)
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  48. Non-Normal Worlds and Representation.Francesco Berto - 2012 - In Michal Peliš & Vít Punčochář (eds.), The Logica Yearbook. College Publications.
    World semantics for relevant logics include so-called non-normal or impossible worlds providing model-theoretic counterexamples to such irrelevant entailments as (A ∧ ¬A) → B, A → (B∨¬B), or A → (B → B). Some well-known views interpret non-normal worlds as information states. If so, they can plausibly model our ability of conceiving or representing logical impossibilities. The phenomenon is explored by combining a formal setting with philosophical discussion. I take Priest’s basic relevant logic N4 and extend it, (...)
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  49. God and Possible Worlds: The Modal Problem of Evil.Theodore Guleserian - 1983 - Noûs 17 (2):221-238.
    Using four principles common to several theories about possible worlds, It is argued that the necessary existence of a divine being that is essentially omnipotent, Omniscient, And morally perfect is impossible. The central argument employs the premise that there are possible worlds that any divine being ought not to actualize (because of their evil contents). This premise is then defended on the grounds that the same sort of justification that we give for other modal statements that we (...)
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    Transworld Depravity and Unobtainable Worlds.Richard Otte - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (1):165-177.
    Alvin Plantinga's free will defense is based on the idea of transworld depravity. Plantinga claims that if every essence suffers from transworld depravity, then it is not possible for God to actualize a world in which there is moral good but no moral evil. I describe possible worlds that imply it is impossible for every essence to suffer from transworld depravity. I then show how to modify the concept of transworld depravity to avoid this problem, and formulate an (...)
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