It is often assumed that pluralities are rigid, in the sense of having all and only their actual members necessarily. This assumption is operative in standard approaches to modal plural logic. I argue that a sceptical approach towards the assumption is warranted.
Mereological universalists and nihilists disagree on the conditions for composition. In this paper, we show how this debate is a function of one’s chosen semantics for plural quantifiers. Debating mereologists have failed to appreciate this point because of the complexity of the debate and extraneous theoretical commitments. We eliminate this by framing the debate between universalists and nihilists in a formal model where these two theses about composition are contradictory. The examination of the two theories in the model brings (...) clarity to a debate in which opponents frequently talk past one another. With the two views stated precisely, our investigation reveals the dependence of the mereologists’ ontological commitments on the semantics of plural quantifiers. Though we discuss the debate with respect to a simplified and idealized model, the insights provided will make more complex debates on composition more productive and deflationist criticisms of the debate less substantial. (shrink)
This paper criticizes George Boolos's famous use of plural quantification to argue that monadic second-order logic is pure logic. I deny that plural quantification qualifies as pure logic and express serious misgivings about its alleged ontological innocence. My argument is based on an examination of what is involved in our understanding of the impredicative plural comprehension schema.
Ordinary English contains different forms of quantification over objects. In addition to the usual singular quantification, as in 'There is an apple on the table', there is plural quantification, as in 'There are some apples on the table'. Ever since Frege, formal logic has favored the two singular quantifiers ∀x and ∃x over their plural counterparts ∀xx and ∃xx (to be read as for any things xx and there are some things xx). But in recent decades it has (...) been argued that we have good reason to admit among our primitive logical notions also the plural quantifiers ∀xx and ∃xx. More controversially, it has been argued that the resulting formal system with plural as well as singular quantification qualifies as ‘pure logic’; in particular, that it is universally applicable, ontologically innocent, and perfectly well understood. In addition to being interesting in its own right, this thesis will, if correct, make plural quantification available as an innocent but extremely powerful tool in metaphysics, philosophy of mathematics, and philosophical logic. For instance, George Boolos has used plural quantification to interpret monadic second-order logic and has argued on this basis that monadic second-order logic qualifies as “pure logic.” Plural quantification has also been used in attempts to defend logicist ideas, to account for set theory, and to eliminate ontological commitments to mathematical objects and complex objects. (shrink)
Jeffrey King has recently argued: (i) that the semantic value of a sentence at a context is (or determines) a function from possible worlds to truth values, and (ii) that this undermines Jason Stanley's argument against the rigidity thesis, the claim that no rigid term has the same content as a non-rigid term. I show that King's main argument for (i) fails, and that Stanley's argument is consistent with the claim that the semantic value of a sentence at a (...) context is (or determines) a function from worlds to truth values. (shrink)
Within much contemporary social ontology there is a particular methodology at work. This methodology takes as a starting point two or more asocial or atomic individuals. These individuals are taken to be perfectly functional agents, though outside of all social relations. Following this, combinations of these individuals are considered, to deduce what constitutes a social group. Here I will argue that theories which rely on this methodology are always circular, so long as they purport to describe the formation of all (...) social groups, as they must always presuppose a pre-existing collectivity. Such methodology also produces various distortions in our theories, such as voluntarism. I focus on the workings of Plural Subject Theory as laid out by Margaret Gilbert in On Social Facts. I show that the formation of a plural subject always requires communication, and that communication always requires a pre-existing collectivity. i examine the elements within Plural Subject Theory which protect gilbert from these accusations of circularity, and argue against them. I finalise by suggesting that what Plural Subject Theory, and social ontology in general, requires as a theoretical starting point is not atomic individuals and their combinations, but rather combinations of already socialised or embedded individuals. (shrink)
I argue for the view that some we-thoughts are immune to error through misidentification (IEM) relative to the first-person plural pronoun. To prepare the ground for this argument I defend an account of the semantics of ‘we’ and note the variety of different uses of that term. I go on to defend the IEM of a certain range of we-thoughts against a number of objections.
In Mathematics is megethology Lewis reconstructs set theory combining mereology with plural quantification. He introduces megethology, a powerful framework in which one can formulate strong assumptions about the size of the universe of individuals. Within this framework, Lewis develops a structuralist class theory, in which the role of classes is played by individuals. Thus, if mereology and plural quantification are ontologically innocent, as Lewis maintains, he achieves an ontological reduction of classes to individuals. Lewis’work is very attractive. However, (...) the alleged innocence of mereology and plural quantification is highly controversial and has been criticized by several authors. In the present paper we propose a new approach to megethology based on the theory of plural reference developed in To be is to be the object of a possible act of choice. Our approach shows how megethology can be grounded on plural reference without the help of mereology. (shrink)
In this article, I argue that a capacity for mindreading conceived along the line of simulation theory provides the cognitive basis for forming we-centric representations of actions and goals. This explains the plural first personal stance displayed by we-intentions in terms of the underlying cognitive processes performed by individual minds, while preserving the idea that they cannot be analyzed in terms of individual intentional states. The implication for social ontology is that this makes sense of the plural subjectivity (...) of joint actions without making group agents require either a corporate body or the unity of consciousness. (shrink)
A paradigmatic case of rigidity for singular terms is that of proper names. And it would seem that a paradigmatic case of rigidity for general terms is that of natural kind terms. However, many philosophers think that rigidity cannot be extended from singular terms to general terms. The reason for this is that rigidity appears to become trivial when such terms are considered: natural kind terms come out as rigid, but so do all other general terms, (...) and in particular all descriptive general terms. This paper offers an account of rigidity for natural kind terms which does not trivialise in this way. On this account, natural kind terms are de jure obstinately rigid designators and other general terms, such as descriptive general terms, are not. (shrink)
This paper defends 'plural reference', the view that definite plurals refer to several individuals at once, and it explores how the view can account for a range of phenomena that have been discussed in the linguistic literature.
In the semantic revolution that has led many philosophers of language away from Fregeanism and towards the acceptance of direct reference, the notion of rigidity introduced by Saul Kripke in Naming and Necessity has played a crucial role. The notions of rigidity and direct reference are indeed different, but proponents of new theories of reference agree that there is a one way connection between them: although not all rigid terms are directly referential (witness rigid definite descriptions), all directly (...) referential terms are rigid. My purpose in this paper is to contest this widely held view. I will argue that, on a certain conception of what direct reference is (a conception present in the works of the main proponents of the theory), the fact that a term is directly referential does not entail that it is rigid. From this conclusion, I will argue, we can learn some substantial lessons about the assumptions and commitments of new theories of reference. (shrink)
It is generally assumed that rigidity plays a key role in explaining the necessary a posteriori status of identity statements, both between proper names and between natural kind terms. However, while the notion of rigid designation is well defined for singular terms, there is no generally accepted definition of what it is for a general term to be rigid. In this paper I argue that the most common view, according to which rigid general terms are the ones which designate (...) the same kind in all possible worlds, fails to deliver a posteriori necessities. I also present an alternative view, on which the work of explaining a posteriori necessities is not done by rigidity, but by a related metasemantic notion, which I call actuality - dependence. (shrink)
Modal sentences of the form "every F might be G" and "some F must be G" have a threefold ambiguity. in addition to the familiar readings "de dicto" and "de re", there is a third reading on which they are examples of the "plural de re": they attribute a modal property to the F's plurally in a way that cannot in general be reduced to an attribution of modal properties to the individual F's. The plural "de re" readings (...) of modal sentences cannot be captured within standard quantified modal logic. I consider various strategies for extending standard quantified modal logic so as to provide analyses of the readings in question. I argue that the ambiguity in question is associated with the scope of the general term 'F'; and that plural quantifiers can be introduced for purposes of representing the scope of a general term. Moreover, plural quantifiers provide the only fully adequate solution that keeps within the framework of quantified modal logic. (shrink)
PG (Plural Grundgesetze) is a predicative monadic second-order system which exploits the notion of plural quantification and a few Fregean devices, among which a formulation of the infamous Basic Law V. It is shown that second-order Peano arithmetic can be derived in PG. I also investigate the philosophical issue of predicativism connected to PG. In particular, as predicativism about concepts seems rather un-Fregean, I analyse whether there is a way to make predicativism compatible with Frege’s logicism.
One of the standard views on plural quantification is that its use commits one to the existence of abstract objects–sets. On this view claims like ‘some logicians admire only each other’ involve ineliminable quantification over subsets of a salient domain. The main motivation for this view is that plural quantification has to be given some sort of semantics, and among the two main candidates—substitutional and set-theoretic—only the latter can provide the language of plurals with the desired expressive power (...) (given that the nominalist seems committed to the assumption that there can be at most countably many names). To counter this approach I develop a modal-substitutional semantics of plural quantification (on which plural variables, roughly speaking, range over ways names could be) and argue for its nominalistic acceptability. (shrink)
PG (Plural Grundgesetze) is a predicative monadic second-order system which is aimed to derive second-order Peano arithmetic. It exploits the notion of plural quantification and a few Fregean devices, among which the infamous Basic Law V. In this paper, a model-theoretical consistency proof for the system PG is provided.
Noun phrases with overt determiners, such as <i>some apples</i> or <i>a quantity of milk</i>, differ from bare noun phrases like <i>apples</i> or <i>milk</i> in their contribution to aspectual composition. While this has been attributed to syntactic or algebraic properties of these noun phrases, such accounts have explanatory shortcomings. We suggest instead that the relevant property that distinguishes between the two classes of noun phrases derives from two modes of existential quantification, one of which holds the values of a variable fixed (...) throughout a quantificational context while the other allows them to vary. Inspired by Dynamic Plural Logic and Dependence Logic, we propose Plural Predicate Logic as an extension of Predicate Logic to formalize this difference. We suggest that temporal <i>for</i>-adverbials are sensitive to aspect because of the way they manipulate quantificational contexts, and that analogous manipulations occur with spatial <i>for</i>-adverbials, habituals, and the quantifier <i>all</i>. (shrink)
According to the singular conception of reality, there are objects and there are singular properties, i.e. properties that are instantiated by objects separately. It has been argued that semantic considerations about plurals give us reasons to embrace a plural conception of reality. This is the view that, in addition to singular properties, there are plural properties, i.e. properties that are instantiated jointly by many objects. In this article, I propose and defend a novel semantic account of plurals which (...) dispenses with plural properties and thus undermines the semantic argument in favor of the plural conception of reality. (shrink)
We defend the view that defines the rigidity of general terms as sameness of designated universal across possible worlds from the objection that such a characterization is incapable of distinguishing rigid from non-rigid readings of general terms and, thus, that it trivializes the notion of rigidity. We also argue that previous attempts to offer a solution to the trivialization problem do no succeed.
In Lewis reconstructs set theory using mereology and plural quantification (MPQ). In his recontruction he assumes from the beginning that there is an infinite plurality of atoms, whose size is equivalent to that of the set theoretical universe. Since this assumption is far beyond the basic axioms of mereology, it might seem that MPQ do not play any role in order to guarantee the existence of a large infinity of objects. However, we intend to demonstrate that mereology and (...) class='Hi'>plural quantification are, in some ways, particularly relevant to a certain conception of the infinite. More precisely, though the principles of mereology and plural quantification do not guarantee the existence of an infinite number of objects, nevertheless, once the existence of any infinite object is admitted, they are able to assure the existence of an uncountable infinity of objects. So, ifMPQ were parts of logic, the implausible consequence would follow that, given a countable infinity of individuals, logic would be able to guarantee an uncountable infinity of objects. (shrink)
The state of affairs of some things falling under a predicate is supposedly a single entity that collects these things as its constituents. But whether we think of a state of affairs as a fact, a proposition or a possibility, problems will arise if we adopt a plural logic. For plural logic says that any plurality include themselves, so whenever there are some things, the state of affairs of their plural self-inclusion should be a single thing that (...) collects them all. This leads to paradoxes analogous to those that afflict naïve set theory. Here I suggest that they are the very same paradoxes, because sets can be reduced to states of affairs. However, to obtain a consistent theoretical reduction we must restrict the usual axiom scheme of Comprehension for plural logic to ‘stratified’ formulas, to avoid viciously circular definitions. I prove that with this modification to the background plural logic, the theory of states of affairs is consistent; moreover, it yields the axioms of the familiar set theory NFU. (shrink)
This chapter considers whether our moral entitlement to manifest certain kinds of partiality stems from a morally basic permission to be partial, or whether it can be accounted for in some other way. In particular, it explores the possibility of justifying partial conduct via a general moral prerogative to pursue our own projects. On this approach, in contexts of plural agency, where two or more people together pursue a joint project, we would have permission to favour our co-agents — (...) but only in ways that relate to our joint project. While this approach might limit the scope of morally permissible partiality, it seems more faithful to the concerns that animate the partiality debates than the alternative of claiming an unrestricted basic right to be partial to whomsoever we wish. (shrink)
In this paper I examine two ways of defining the rigidity of general terms. First I discuss the view that rigid general terms express essential properties. I argue that the view is ultimately unsatisfactory, although not on the basis of the standard objections raised against it. I then discuss the characterisation in terms of sameness of designation in every possible world. I defend that view from two objections but I argue that the approach, although basically right, should be interpreted (...) cautiously. (shrink)
Andrea Westlund's account of love involves lovers becoming a Plural Subject mirroring Margaret Gilbert's Plural Subject Theory. However, while for Gilbert the creation of a plural will involves individuals jointly committing to pool their wills and the plural will directly normatively constraining those individuals, Westlund, in contrast, sees the creation of a plural will as a continual process thus rejecting the possibility of such direct normative constraint. This rejection appears to be required to explain the (...) flexibility that allows for a central place for reciprocity in loving relationships. However, this paper argues against the existence of such flexibility and presents instead the case that variance in the normative pain of rebelling against the collective will can be accommodated by replacing Gilbert's notion of all-or-nothing pooling of wills with an account that see wills as becoming entangled through levels of identification with the plural subject. (shrink)
In this paper I provide a decompositional analysis of three kinds of plural indefinites in two related languages, European Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. The three indefinites studied are bare plurals, the unos (Spanish)/uns (Portuguese) type, and the algunos (Spanish)/alguns (Portuguese) type. The paper concentrates on four properties: semantic plurality, positive polarity, partitivity, and event distribution. The logic underlying the analysis is that of compositionality, applied at the subword level: as items become bigger in form (with the addition of morphemes), (...) they also acquire more semantic properties. The paper proposes the “indefinite hierarchy", which establishes a set of components for languages to build their indefinites with, in a particular order. (shrink)
Joseph Almog says concerning “a certain locus where Quine doesn’t exist…qua evaluation locus, we take to it [singular] propositions involving Quine [as a constituent] which we have generated in our generation locus.” This seems to be either murder, or worse, self-contradiction. It presumes that certain designators designate their designata even at loci where the designata do not exist, i.e., the designators have “Kaplan rigidity.” Against this view, this paper argues that negative existentials such as “Quine does not exist” are (...) true only at ordered couples of loci (times or possible worlds) < l, l’ > such that the constituents of the truthmaker are the designatum itself from l and whatever corresponds to “does not exist” from l’. (shrink)
Margaret Gilbert's plural subject theory defines social collectives in terms of common knowledge of expressed willingness to participate in some joint action. The author critically examines Gilbert's application of this theory to linguistic phenomena involving "we," arguing that recent work in linguistics provides the tools to develop a superior account. The author indicates that, apart from its own relevance, one should care about this critique because Gilbert's claims about the first person plural pronoun play a role in the (...) argument in favor of her recent theory of political obligation. Key Words: collective agent • Gilbert • plural subject • semantics • we. (shrink)
Various syntacticians have argued that coordinate structures involve a three-dimensional syntactic structure. This paper proposes an interpretation of three-dimensional syntactic structures in terms of plural reference and argues that such structures give further support for plural reference, the view that plural terms refer to several entities at once, rather than referring to a single plural individual.
Sentences that exhibit sensitivity to order (e.g. 'John and Mary arrived at school in that order' and 'Mary and John arrived at school in that order') present a challenge for the standard formulation of plural logic. In response, some authors have advocated new versions of plural logic based on fine-grained notions of plural reference, such as serial reference (Hewitt 2012) and articulated reference (Ben-Yami 2013). The aim of this article is to show that sensitivity to order should (...) be accounted for without altering the standard formulation of plural logic. In particular, sensitivity to order does not call for a fine-grained notion of plural reference. We point out that the phenomenon in question is quite broad and that current proposals are not equipped to deal with the full range of cases in which order plays a role. Then we develop an alternative and unified account, which locates the phenomenon not in the way in which plural terms can refer, but in the meaning of special expressions such as 'in that order' and 'respectively'. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss two approaches to rigidity. I argue that they differ in the general conception of semantics that each embraces. Moreover, I argue that they differ in how each explains the rigidity of general terms, and in what each presupposes in that explanation.
I offer an understanding of what it is for a term to be rigid which makes no serious metaphysical commitments to or about identity across possible worlds. What makes a term rigid is not that it 'refers to the same object(property) with respect to all worlds' - rather (roughly) it is that the criteria of application for the term with respect to other worlds, when combined with the criteria of identity associated with the term, ensure that whatever meets the criteria (...) of identity also meets the criteria of application and vice versa - in the simplest case, the criteria of application just are the criteria of identity - but things can be more complex to allow for the necessary a posteriori. This makes rigidity a non-metaphysically loaded semantic matters, and allows us to see that the phenomenon of and involving rigidity - especially the necessary a posteriori - are of no metaphysical significance on their own. (shrink)
In Naming and Necessity Kripke argues 'intuitively' that names are rigid. Unlike Kripke, Ben-Yami first introduces and justifies the Principle of the Independence of Reference (PIR), according to which the reference of a name is independent of what is said in the rest of the sentence containing it. Ben-Yami then derives rigidity, or something close to it, from the PIR. Additional aspects of the use of names and other expressions in modal contexts, explained by the PIR but not by (...) the rigidity claim, are then discussed. Ben-Yami next examines a difficulty in accepted definitions of rigidity, stemming from the fact that the same name can be used to name different particulars. This difficulty might force us to adopt a revised form of the rigidity claim. (shrink)
A distinction is introduced between itemized and non-itemized plural predication. It is argued that a full-fledged system of plural logic is not necessary in order to account for the validity of inferences concerning itemized collective predication. Instead, it is shown how this type of inferences can be adequately dealt with in a first-order logic system, after small modifications on the standard treatment. The proposed system, unlike plural logic, has the advantage of preserving completeness. And as a result, (...) inferences such as ‘Dick and Tony emptied the bottle, hence Tony and Dick emptied the bottle’ are shown to be first-order. (shrink)
Margaret Gilbert has defended the claim that her plural subject theory can give a reasonable account of retrospective (or backward-looking) collective responsibility. On one occasion, publishing in this periodical, she writes that she deliberately left out the discussion of prospective (or forward-looking) collective responsibility, or the “responsibilities” of a collective. In the present paper, I want to show that plural subject theory, in fact, also allows accounting for prospective responsibilities of groups and institutions. In order to do so, (...) I will first sketch the social ontological background of my discussion which is, in fact, an amended version of Gilbert’s theory of plural subjects (§ 2). Based on the assumption that a prospective responsibility accrues from some kind of commissioning, I will then discuss a variety of possible sources of prospective collective responsibilities: self-commissioning, third-party commissioning and what I will call commissioning by unique capability (§ 3). Having done so, I will discuss some consequences of this account and defend it against objections (§ 4). (shrink)
Jonathan Weisberg has argued that Jeffrey Conditioning is inherently “anti-holistic” By this he means, inter alia, that JC does not allow us to take proper account of after-the-fact defeaters for our beliefs. His central example concerns the discovery that the lighting in a room is red-tinted and the relationship of that discovery to the belief that a jelly bean in the room is red. Weisberg’s argument that the rigidity required for JC blocks the defeating role of the red-tinted light (...) rests on the strong assumption that all posteriors within the distribution in this example are rigid on a partition over the proposition that the jelly bean is actually red. But individual JC updates of propositions do not require such a broad rigidity assumption. Jeffrey conditionalizers should consider the advantages of a modest project of targeted updating focused on particular propositions rather than seeking to update the entire distribution using one obvious partition. Although Weisberg’s example fails to show JC to be irrelevant or useless, other problems he raises for JC (the commutativity and inputs problems) remain and actually become more pressing when we recognize the important role of background information. (shrink)
This article offers a pragmatist conception of multiplicitous subjectivity that captures the best features of Richard Rorty’s private ironist and John Dewey’s social self while rejecting anti-democratic implications I identify in each. On the one hand, Rorty rightly sees that having a plural self is crucial for self-creation but fails to see the connection between self-creation and social justice. On the other hand, Dewey rightly sees the interrelationship between personal and social growth but fails to appreciate the danger implicit (...) in his emphasis on integration of differences (both within the self and in the community). To see how we can achieve a compelling synthesis of these two views, I turn to Gloria Anzaldúa’s theory of “mestiza consciousness,” which points us toward a model of democratic citizenship that brings together Rorty’s tolerance for multiplicity and ambivalence with Dewey’s relational understanding of personal development and social progress. (shrink)
A highly rigid Souslin tree T is constructed such that forcing with T turns T into a Kurepa tree. Club versions of previously known degrees of rigidity are introduced, as follows: for a rigidity property P, a tree T is said to have property P on clubs if for every club set C (containing 0), the restriction of T to levels in C has property P. The relationships between these rigidity properties for Souslin trees are investigated, and (...) some open questions are stated. (shrink)
Between James Parkinson's 'shaking palsy' and the first report of the post-encephalitic manifestation — initially not recognizable as a complication of that incipient 'Spanish flu' epidemic — it took over a hundred years to arrive at a clear appreciation and differentiation of its most disabling feature: rigidity. This paper traces the development, step by hesitant or bold step, of the pertinent ideas and terms regarding muscle tone before and after Parkinson, their basis in neuropathological advances as they were made (...) for related syndromes of basal ganglia disorders, toward the eventual clinical correlation. Chief credits, after Sauvages, must go to Charcot for emphasizing the increase in muscle tone, and to Kinnier Wilson for establishing the extrapyramidal connection. (shrink)
The present paper discusses two interesting phenomena concerning phi-features on plural pronouns: plural pronouns that denote atomic individuals, and plural pronouns with more than one binder. A novel account of these two phenomena is proposed, according to which all occurrences of phi-features are both semantically and morphologically relevant. For such a ‘uniformly semantic account’ of phi-features, dependent plural pronouns constitute a theoretical challenge, while partial binding is more or less straightforwardly accounted for. In order to make (...) sense of the semantic effects of the phi-features on dependent plural pronouns, the following idea is pursued: the phi-features on a dependent plural pronoun reflect the range of values that the pronoun takes, rather than the particular value it denotes at a time. This idea is implemented in a compositional semantics by making use of choice functions. An appealing feature of the present account is that, unlike its predecessors, it accounts for dependent plural pronouns without c-commanding antecedents in essentially the same way as for those with c-commanding antecedents. It is also shown how this account of dependent plural pronouns can straightforwardly be augmented with set indices to account for partial binding. (shrink)
The book argues for Plural Reference for the semantics of natural language and makes the connection between Plural Reference and Alternative Semantics for the purpose of the interpretation of three-dimensional syntactic structures of coordinate sentences (in the sense of my 1992 MIT Ph D thesis).
A dilemma put forward by Schein (1993) and Rayo (2002) suggests that, in order to characterize the semantics of plurals, we should not use predicate logic, but non-singular logic, a formal language whose terms may refer to several things at once. We show that a similar dilemma applies to mass nouns. If we use predicate logic and sets, we arrive at a Russellian paradox when characterizing the semantics of mass nouns. Likewise, a semantics of mass nouns based upon predicate logic (...) and mereological sums is too weak, since it cannot characterize the “intermediary” construals that sentences containing mass nouns may receive. We then develop an account where mass nouns are treated as non-singular terms, which may refer to several things at once. This semantics is faithful to the intuition that, if there are eight pieces of silverware on a table, the speaker refers to eight things at once when he says: “The silverware that is on the table comes from Italy”. We show that this account provides a satisfactory semantics for a wide range of sentences, including cases often seen as difficult, like “The gold on the table weighs seven ounces” (Bunt 1985) and “All phosphorus is either red or black” (Roeper 1983). (shrink)
Most philosophers recognize that applying the standard semantics for complex demonstratives to non-deictic instances results in truth conditions that are anomalous, at best. This fact has generated little concern, however, since most philosophers treat non-deictic demonstratives as marginal cases, and believe that they should be analyzed using a distinct semantic mechanism. In this paper, I argue that non-deictic demonstratives cannot be written off; they are widespread in English and foreign languages, and must be treated using the same semantic machinery that (...) is applied to deictic instances. (shrink)
Wright (In Gendler and Hawthorne (Eds.), Conceivability and possibility, 2002) rejects some dominant responses to Kripke’s modal argument against the mind-body identity theory, and instead he proposes a new response that draws on a certain understanding of counterpossibles. This paper offers some defensive remarks on behalf of Lewis’ objection to that argument, and it argues that Wright’s proposal fails to fully accommodate the conceivability intuitions, and that it is dialectically ineffective.