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Possible Worlds

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2013)

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  1. Modal Metaphysics and the Existence of God.Joshua R. Sijuwade - 2022 - Metaphysica:1-70.
    In this article, I seek to assess the extent to which Theism, the claim that there is a God, can provide a true fundamental explanation for the existence of the infinite plurality of concrete and abstract possible worlds, posited by David K. Lewis and Alvin Plantinga. This assessment will be carried out within the (modified) explanatory framework of Richard Swinburne, which will lead to the conclusion that the existence of God provides a true fundamental explanation for these specific entities. And (...)
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  • The Propensity Interpretation of Probability: A Re-Evaluation.Joseph Berkovitz - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (S3):629-711.
    Single-case and long-run propensity theories are among the main objective interpretations of probability. There have been various objections to these theories, e.g. that it is difficult to explain why propensities should satisfy the probability axioms and, worse, that propensities are at odds with these axioms, that the explication of propensities is circular and accordingly not informative, and that single-case propensities are metaphysical and accordingly non-scientific. We consider various propensity theories of probability and their prospects in light of these objections. We (...)
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  • An Observation About Truth.David Kashtan - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Jerusalem
    Tarski's analysis of the concept of truth gives rise to a hierarchy of languages. Does this fragment the concept all the way to philosophical unacceptability? I argue it doesn't, drawing on a modification of Kaplan's theory of indexicals.
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  • Epistemologia Analítica, Vol .1: debates contemporâneos.Tiegue Vieira Rodrigues (ed.) - 2019 - Editora Fi.
    O presente volume se trata de uma coletânea de artigos que reúne alguns dos trabalhos propostos para o evento “III International Colloquium of Analytic Epistemology and VII Conference of Social Epistemology”, realizado entre os dias 27 e 30 de Novembro de 2018, na Universidade Federal de Santa Maria. O “III International Colloquium of Analytic Epistemology and VII Conference of Social Epistemology” é um dos principais eventos de Epistemologia analítica da América Latina e reúne especialistas do Brasil e do exterior para (...)
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  • Agents’ Abilities.Romy Jaster - 2020 - Berlin, New York: De Gruyter.
    In the book, I provide an account of what it is for an agent to have an ability. According to the Success View, abilities are all about success across possible situations. In developing and applying the view, the book elucidates the relation between abilities on the one hand and possibility, counterfactuals, and dispositions on the other; it sheds light on the distinction between general and specific abilities; it offers an understanding of degrees of abilities; it explains which role intentions and (...)
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  • Temas em filosofia contemporânea II.Becker Arenhart Jonas Rafael, Conte Jaimir & Mortari Cezar Augusto - 2016 - Florianópolis, SC, Brasil: NEL/UFSC - Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina.
    Sumário: 1. El caso del método científico, Alberto Oliva; 2. Un capítulo de la prehistoria de las ciencias humanas: la defensa por Vico de la tópica, Jorge Alberto Molina; 3. La figura de lo cognoscible y los mundos, Pablo Vélez León; 4. Lebenswelt de Husserl y las neurociencias, Vanessa Fontana; 5. El uso estético del concepto de mundos posibles, Jairo Dias Carvalho; 6. Realismo normativo no naturalista y mundos morales imposibles, Alcino Eduardo Bonella; 7. En la lógica de pragmatismo, Hércules (...)
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  • Towards a Philosophy of Chemical Reactivity Through the Molecule in Atoms-of Concept.Saturnino Calvo-Losada & José Joaquín Quirante - 2022 - Axiomathes 32 (1):1-41.
    A novel non-classical mereological concept built up by blending the Metaphysics of Xavier Zubiri and the Quantum Theory of Atoms in Molecules of R. F. W. Bader is proposed. It is argued that this philosophical concept is necessary to properly account for what happens in a chemical reaction. From the topology of the gradient of the laplacian of the electronic charge density, \\) within the QTAIM framework, different “atomic graphs” are found for each atom depending on the molecular context, reflecting (...)
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  • Open Future, Supervaluationism and the Growing-Block Theory: A Stage-Theoretical Account.Roberto Loss - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):14249-14266.
    I present a ‘stage-theoretical’ interpretation of the supervaluationist semantics for the growing-block theory of time according to which the ‘nodes’ on the branching tree of historical possibilities are taken to be possible stages of the growth of the growing-block. As I will argue, the resulting interpretation (i) is very intuitive, (ii) can easily ward off an objection to supervaluationist treatments of the growing-block theory presented by Fabrice Correia and Sven Rosenkranz, and (iii) is also not saddled by the problems affecting (...)
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  • A Response to Chisholm’s Paradox.Andrew Dennis Bassford - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (4):1137-1155.
    Essentialists suppose that for every individual, if that individual exists at any possible world, then necessarily that individual exemplifies some non-trivial qualitative property essential to it, as such. Anti-essentialists deny this. One important argument leveled by some anti-essentialists against essentialism takes the form of a thought experiment, one originally introduced by Roderick Chisholm, sometimes referred to as Chisholm's Paradox (CP). In this essay, I defend essentialism against CP. I begin by presenting the argument and showing how it leads to a (...)
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  • Ontological Expressivism.Vera Flocke - 2021 - In J. T. M. Miller (ed.), The Language of Ontology. Oxford, UK:
    Ontological expressivism is the view that ontological existence claims express non-cognitive mental states. I develop a version of ontological expressivism that is modeled after Gibbard’s (2003) norm-expressivism. I argue that, when speakers assess whether, say, composite objects exist, they rely on assumptions with regard to what is required for composition to occur. These assumptions guide their assessment, similar to how norms may guide the assessment of normative propositions. Against this backdrop, I argue that “some objects have parts”, uttered in the (...)
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  • An Argument for Completely General Facts.Landon D. C. Elkind - 2021 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 9 (7).
    In his 1918 logical atomism lectures, Russell argued that there are no molecular facts. But he posed a problem for anyone wanting to avoid molecular facts: we need truth-makers for generalizations of molecular formulas, but such truth-makers seem to be both unavoidable and to have an abominably molecular character. Call this the problem of generalized molecular formulas. I clarify the problem here by distinguishing two kinds of generalized molecular formula: incompletely generalized molecular formulas and completely generalized molecular formulas. I next (...)
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  • Counterpossibles in Scientific Practice - Three Case Studies in Support of Worldly Hyperintensionality.Giorgio Lenta - 2021 - Dissertation, University of Turin
    Hyperintensionality – the failure of substitutivity salva veritate of intensionally equivalent expressions – is one of the most debated topics in recent philosophy of language. Being a phenomenon that affects a wide variety of different sentential contexts, a question concerning its source arises: is hyperintensionality something that can originate from actual features of the world, or it is simply some kind of representational phenomenon, which entirely depends on our conceptual faculties and preferred semantics? After a brief general introduction to the (...)
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  • Counterfactual Reasoning Within Physical Theories.Samuel C. Fletcher - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 16):3877-3898.
    If one is interested in reasoning counterfactually within a physical theory, one cannot adequately use the standard possible world semantics. As developed by Lewis and others, this semantics depends on entertaining possible worlds with miracles, worlds in which laws of nature, as described by physical theory, are violated. Van Fraassen suggested instead to use the models of a theory as worlds, but gave up on determining the needed comparative similarity relation for the semantics objectively. I present a third way, in (...)
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  • Supreme Confusion About Causality at the Supreme Court.Robin Dembroff & Issa Kohler-Hausmann - forthcoming - CUNY Law Review.
    Twice in the 2020 term, in Bostock and Comcast, the Supreme Court doubled down on the reasoning of “but-for causation” to interpret antidiscrimination statutes. According to this reasoning, an outcome is discriminatory because of some status—say, sex or race—just in case the outcome would not have occurred “but-for” the plaintiff’s status. We think this reasoning embeds profound conceptual errors that render the decisions deeply confused. Furthermore, those conceptual errors tend to limit the reach of antidiscrimination law. In this essay, we (...)
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  • Logical Omnipotence and Two Notions of Implicit Belief.Danilo Fraga Dantas - 2019 - In Tiegue Vieira Rodrigues (ed.), Epistemologia Analítica: Debates Contemporâneos. Santa Maria: Editora Fi. pp. 29-46.
    The most widespread models of rational reasoners (the model based on modal epistemic logic and the model based on probability theory) exhibit the problem of logical omniscience. The most common strategy for avoiding this problem is to interpret the models as describing the explicit beliefs of an ideal reasoner, but only the implicit beliefs of a real reasoner. I argue that this strategy faces serious normative issues. In this paper, I present the more fundamental problem of logical omnipotence, which highlights (...)
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  • Fragmentation and Old Evidence.Will Fleisher - forthcoming - Episteme:1-26.
    Bayesian confirmation theory is our best formal framework for describing inductive reasoning. The problem of old evidence is a particularly difficult one for confirmation theory, because it suggests that this framework fails to account for central and important cases of inductive reasoning and scientific inference. I show that we can appeal to the fragmentation of doxastic states to solve this problem for confirmation theory. This fragmentation solution is independently well-motivated because of the success of fragmentation in solving other problems. I (...)
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  • The Epistemological Objection to Modal Primitivism.Jennifer Wang - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 8):1887-1898.
    Modal primitivists hold that some modal truths are primitively true. They thus seem to face a special epistemological problem: how can primitive modal truths be known? The epistemological objection has not been adequately developed in the literature. I undertake to develop the objection, and then to argue that the best formulation of the epistemological objection targets all realists about modality, rather than the primitivist alone. Furthermore, the moves available to reductionists in response to the objection are also available to primitivists. (...)
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  • Fictional Possibilities Grounded in Foundational Nominalism.Peter Forrest - 2020 - Philosophia 49 (1):1-16.
    David Armstrong in his A Combinatorial Theory of Possibility proposes that non-actual possibilities may be treated as fictions grounded in instantiated universals. In this paper, I first provide some objections to his theory. Then I make the case for Foundational Nominalism, the Armstrong inspired thesis that the whole of ontology supervenes on particulars described much as in the Quinean Nominalism that Armstrong rejected as an ontological ostrich. Finally, I argue that Foundational Nominalism permits a fictional theory of possibilities similar to (...)
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  • The Limits of Modal Knowledge.Rehan P. Visser - 2019 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 23 (2):323-343.
    Modal agnosticism is the view that we must be agnostic about whether things could have turned out differently. I argue that claims about unrealised possibilities are not justified by our modal intuitions, nor are they justified by any of the means proposed by philosophers. It follows that we do not have merely metaphysical modal knowledge, and that we must adopt modal agnosticism.
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  • O expressivismo lógico de Aristóteles segundo Lucas Angioni: um breve e introdutório quadro teórico.Aislan Fernandes Pereira - 2017 - Books of Abstracts (3rd FILOMENA Workshop).
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  • Conceivability and the Epistemology of Modality.Asger Bo Skjerning Steffensen - 2015 - Dissertation, Aarhus University
    The dissertation is in the format of a collection of several academic texts, composed of a two-part presentation and three papers on the topic of conceivability and the epistemology of modality. The presentation is composed of, first, a general introduction to conceivability theses and objections and, second, a discussion of two cases. Following the presentation, Asger provides three papers. The first paper, Pretense and Conceivability: A reply to Roca-Royes, presents a problem and a dilemma for Roca-Royes’ Non-Standard Dilemma for conceivability-based (...)
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  • God’s Necessity on Anselmian Theistic Genuine Modal Realism.Matthew Collier - 2019 - Sophia 58 (3):331-348.
    On Anselmian theism, God is, amongst other things, a necessary being. On genuine modal realism, possible worlds are maximal mereological sums of spatiotemporally connected individuals. I argue in this paper that AT and GMR are either incompatible or their conjunction leads to—amongst other things—modal collapse. Specifically, I argue: regardless of whether God is concrete or abstract, His necessary existence either is inconsistent with AT-GMR or it leads to, amongst other things, modal collapse for AT-GMR. I conclude the paper by contending (...)
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  • Abstract Objects.Gideon Rosen - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • No Rationality Through Brute-Force.Danilo Fraga Dantas - 2017 - Filosofia Unisinos 18 (3):195-200.
    All reasoners described in the most widespread models of a rational reasoner exhibit logical omniscience, which is impossible for finite reasoners (real reasoners). The most common strategy for dealing with the problem of logical omniscience is to interpret the models using a notion of beliefs different from explicit beliefs. For example, the models could be interpreted as describing the beliefs that the reasoner would hold if the reasoner were able reason indefinitely (stable beliefs). Then the models would describe maximum rationality, (...)
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  • Ontological Commitment.Phillipn D. Bricker - 2014 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Nonexistent Objects.Maria Reicher - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Are there nonexistent objects, i.e., objects that do not exist? Some examples often cited are: Zeus, Pegasus, Sherlock Holmes, Vulcan (the hypothetical planet postulated by the 19th century astronomer Le Verrier), the perpetual motion machine, the golden mountain, the fountain of youth, the round square, etc. Some important philosophers have thought that the very concept of a nonexistent object is contradictory (Hume) or logically ill-formed (Kant, Frege), while others (Leibniz, Meinong, the Russell of Principles of Mathematics) have embraced it wholeheartedly. (...)
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  • A Abertura da Lógica de Hegel E o Possível Mundo Vazio.Marco Simionato - 2015 - Revista Opinião Filosófica 6 (2).
    Nesse papel, tentarei mostrar que uma leitura da lógica de Hegel baseada em mundos possíveis, particularmente da rejeição de um mundo possível absolutamente vazio poderia fornecer a confirmação da tese hegeliana de acordo com a qual a noção de ser puro implica a noção de ser determinado. Na seção 1, eu retomo o desenvolvimento hegeliano do ser puro ao ser determinado através da interpretação de Stephen Houlgate da abertura da lógica de Hegel. Na seção 2, eu retomo brevemente a noção (...)
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  • Why Be an Intellectually Humble Philosopher?Moti Mizrahi - 2016 - Axiomathes 26 (2):205-218.
    In this paper, I sketch an answer to the question “Why be an intellectually humble philosopher?” I argue that, as far as philosophical argumentation is concerned, the historical record of Western Philosophy provides a straightforward answer to this question. That is, the historical record of philosophical argumentation, which is a track record that is marked by an abundance of alternative theories and serious problems for those theories, can teach us important lessons about the limits of philosophical argumentation. These lessons, in (...)
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