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Worlds and Individuals, Possible and Otherwise

Oxford University Press (2009)

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  1. Materiality, parthood, and possibility.Samuele Iaquinto & Giuliano Torrengo - 2020 - Erkenntnis 87 (3):1125-1131.
    This paper offers an argument in favour of a Lewisian version of concretism that maintains both the principle of material inheritance and the materiality-modality link.
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  • Understanding Yagisawa's Worlds.K. I. M. Seahwa - 2011 - Analytic Philosophy 52 (4):293-301.
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  • Understanding Yagisawa's Worlds.Seahwa Kim - 2011 - Analytic Philosophy 52 (4):293-301.
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  • The Only Way To Be.Trenton Merricks - 2019 - Noûs 53 (3):593-612.
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  • The Many‐Worlds Theory of Consciousness.Christian List - 2022 - Noûs.
    This paper sketches a new and somewhat heterodox metaphysical theory of consciousness: the “many-worlds theory”. It drops the assumption that all conscious subjects’ experiences are features of one and the same world and instead associates different subjects with different “first-personally centred worlds”. We can think of these as distinct “first-personal realizers” of a shared “third-personal world”, where the latter is supervenient, in a sense to be explained. This is combined with a form of modal realism, according to which different subjects’ (...)
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  • Yagisawa on Trans-Indexical Individuals and Fictional Characters.Reina Hayaki - 2011 - Analytic Philosophy 52 (4):283-292.
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  • Non-Measurability, Imprecise Credences, and Imprecise Chances.Yoaav Isaacs, Alan Hájek & John Hawthorne - forthcoming - Mind:fzab031.
    We offer a new motivation for imprecise probabilities. We argue that there are propositions to which precise probability cannot be assigned, but to which imprecise probability can be assigned. In such cases the alternative to imprecise probability is not precise probability, but no probability at all. And an imprecise probability is substantially better than no probability at all. Our argument is based on the mathematical phenomenon of non-measurable sets. Non-measurable propositions cannot receive precise probabilities, but there is a natural way (...)
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  • Dualism About Possible Worlds.Michael Tze-Sung Longenecker - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (1):17-33.
    Dualism about possible worlds says that merely possible worlds aren’t concrete objects, but the actual world is concrete. This view seems to be the natural one for ersatzers about merely possible worlds to take; yet one is hard-pressed to find any defenders of it in contemporary modal metaphysics. The main reason is that Dualism struggles with the issue of how merely possible worlds could have been actual. I explain that there are two different Dualist strategies that can be taken to (...)
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  • Between Existentialism and Anti-Existentialism.Oleh Bondar - 2022 - Wisdom 21 (1):204-216.
    The article is an evaluation of Pollock’s anti-existentialist argument and its place in the contemporary debates about Existentialism. We demonstrate that the main contemporary objections to Pollock’s Anti-Existentialism can be grouped into two argumentative directions: Pollock’s supposed confusion of inner and outer truth ; Pollock’s assumption that there is such state of affairs as Socrates’s not existing. We also introduce an argument against Pollock`s crucial argumentative step against existentialism.
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  • The Value Question in Metaphysics.Guy Kahane - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (1):27-55.
    Much seems to be at stake in metaphysical questions about, for example, God, free will or morality. One thing that could be at stake is the value of the universe we inhabit—how good or bad it is. We can think of competing philosophical positions as describing possibilities, ways the world might turn out to be, and to which value can be assigned. When, for example, people hope that God exists, or fear that we do not possess free will, they express (...)
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  • 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 use of impossible and as well (...)
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  • God, Mind and Logical Space: A Revisionary Approach to Divinity.István Aranyosi - 2013 - London, England: Palgrave-Macmillan.
    In God, Mind and Logical Space István Aranyosi takes the reader on a journey for the mind by revisiting the fundamental questions and the everlasting debates in philosophy of religion, ontology, and the philosophy of mind. The first part deals with issues in ontology, and the author puts forward a radical view according to which all thinkable objects and states of affairs have an equal claim to existence in a way that renders existence a relative notion. In the second part (...)
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  • Much Ado About Aboutness.Sam Baron, Reginald Mary Chua, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy (3).
    Strong non-maximalism holds that some truths require no ontological ground of any sort. Strong non-maximalism allows one to accept that some propositions are true without being forced to endorse any corresponding ontological commitments. We show that there is a version of truthmaker theory available—anti-aboutness truthmaking—that enjoys the dialectical benefits of the strong non-maximalist’s position. According to anti-aboutness truthmaking, all truths require grounds, but a proposition need not be grounded in the very thing(s) that the proposition is about. We argue that (...)
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  • Extended Modal Realism — A New Solution to Problems Related to Non-Existence.Andrew Thomas - 2021 - Dissertation, Durham University
  • Possible in Philosophy.Antoine Taillard - 2021 - The Palgrave Encyclopedia of the Possible.
    Within philosophy, the word “possible” is generally used to speak about either of the following. (1) Possibility: the notion that is expressed by sentences such as “It is possible that there are green cats,” “She may become the best surgeon in the city,” and “Our team can win the race.” Among the features of possibility, three are of particular interest to philosophers: it is closely related with necessity, contingency, and actuality; it is not unified, but comes in multiple varieties; it (...)
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  • The Problem of Temporal Unity: An Examination of the Problem and Case Study on Ersatzer Presentism.Robert E. Pezet - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (3):791-821.
    This paper elaborates the problem of temporal unity for dynamic presentism and diagnoses the source of that problem in the dynamic presentist’s discarding the traditional C-series in its avoidance of McTaggart’s A-series paradox. This C-series provided the fixed structure of time which the transitory aspects of time then followed, and thereby unify those transitory aspects. It then considers ersatzer presentism as an ostensible solution to the problem of temporal unity by providing a new abstract C-series for dynamic presentism. However, after (...)
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  • 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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  • To B- or Not to B- a Relation.Robert E. Pezet - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (3):635-654.
    In his seminal work, McTaggart :457–484, 1908; The nature of existence, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1927) dismissed the possibility of understanding the B-Relations as irreducibly temporal relations, and with it dismissing the B-Theory of time, which assumes the reality of irreducible B-relations. Instead, he thought they were mere constructions from irreducible A-determinations and timeless ordering relations. However, since, philosophers have almost universally dismissed his dismissal of irreducible B-relations. This paper argues that McTaggart was correct to dismiss the possibility of B-relations, (...)
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  • Fiction: Impossible!Martin Vacek - 2018 - Axiomathes 28 (2):247-252.
    I argue that modal realism is unable to account for fictional discourse. My starting point is an overview of modal realism. I then present a dilemma for modal realism regarding fictional characters. Finally, I provide responses to both horns of the dilemma, one motivating modal dimensionalism, the other motivating a disjunctive analysis of modality.
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  • Propositions, Representation, and Truth.Geoff Georgi - 2019 - Synthese 196 (3):1019-1043.
    Theories of propositions as sets of truth-supporting circumstances are committed to the thesis that sentences or other representations true in all and only the same circumstances express the same proposition. Theories of propositions as complex, structured entities are not committed to this thesis. As a result, structured propositions can play a role in our theories of language and thought that sets of truth-supporting circumstances cannot play. To illustrate this difference, I sketch a theory of transparent, non-deflationary truth consistent with some (...)
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  • Non-Concrete Parts of Material Objects.Michael Longenecker - 2018 - Synthese 195 (11):5091-5111.
    This article offers a novel solution to the problem of material constitution: by including non-concrete objects among the parts of material objects, we can avoid having a statue and its constituent piece of clay composed of all the same proper parts. Non-concrete objects—objects that aren’t concrete, but possibly are—have been used in defense of the claim that everything necessarily exists. But the account offered shows that non-concreta are independently useful in other domains as well. The resulting view falls under a (...)
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  • An Impossible Proof of God.Robert E. Pezet - 2018 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 83 (1):57-83.
    A new version of the ontological argument for the existence of God is outlined and examined. After giving a brief account of some traditional ontological arguments for the existence of God, where their defects are identified, it is explained how this new argument is built upon their foundations and surmounts their defects. In particular, this version uses the resources of impossible worlds to plug the common escape route from standard modal versions of the ontological argument. After outlining the nature of (...)
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  • Hyperintensional Propositions.Mark Jago - 2015 - Synthese 192 (3):585-601.
    Propositions play a central role in contemporary semantics. On the Russellian account, propositions are structured entities containing particulars, properties and relations. This contrasts sharply with the sets-of-possible-worlds view of propositions. I’ll discuss how to extend the sets-of-worlds view to accommodate fine-grained hyperintensional contents. When this is done in a satisfactory way, I’ll argue, it makes heavy use of entities very much like Russellian tuples. The two notions of proposition become inter-definable and inter-substitutable: they are not genuinely distinct accounts of how (...)
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  • What Could Be Caused Must Actually Be Caused.Christopher Gregory Weaver - 2012 - Synthese 184 (3):299-317.
    I give two arguments for the claim that all events which occur at the actual world and are such that they could be caused, are also such that they must actually be caused. The first argument is an improvement of a similar argument advanced by Alexander Pruss, which I show to be invalid. It uses Pruss’s Brouwer Analog for counterfactual logic, and, as a consequence, implies inconsistency with Lewis’s semantics for counterfactuals. While (I suggest) this consequence may not be objectionable, (...)
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  • Trading Ontology for Ideology.Martin Vacek - 2020 - Acta Analytica 35 (3):405-420.
    In this paper, I defend modal dimensionalism against the objection that it is ontologically and ideologically heavy. First, I briefly outline the theory and the objection against it. The objection relies on the widely accepted view that ontological and ideological parsimony are operational criteria when comparing metaphysical theories. Second, I outline the conventional distinction between ontology and ideology in the metaphysical tradition. Third, I challenge a particular kind of parsimony: reduction by identification. Fourth, even if reduction by identification is accepted, (...)
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  • Extended Modal Realism — a New Solution to the Problem of Intentional Inexistence.Andrew D. Thomas - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (3):1197-1208.
    Kriegel described the problem of intentional inexistence as one of the ‘perennial problems of philosophy’, 307–340, 2007: 307). In the same paper, Kriegel alluded to a modal realist solution to the problem of intentional inexistence. However, Kriegel does not state by name who defends the kind of modal realist solution he has in mind. Kriegel also points out that even what he believes to be the strongest version of modal realism does not pass the ‘principle of representation’ and thus modal (...)
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  • Duration Enough for Presentism.Robert E. Pezet - 2020 - Axiomathes 30 (4):391-421.
    This paper considers a problem for dynamic presentism that has received little attention: its apparent inability to accommodate the duration of events. After outlining the problem, I defend presentism from it. This defence proceeds in two stages. First, I argue the objection rests on a faulty assumption: that duration is temporal extension. The paper challenges that assumption on several different ways of conceiving of temporal extension. This is the negative case and forms the bulk of the paper. Second, after diagnosing (...)
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  • (Mock-)Thinking About the Same.Alberto Voltolini - 2017 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 24:282-307.
    In this paper, I want to address once more the venerable problem of intentional identity, the problem of how different thoughts can be about the same thing even if this thing does not exist. First, I will try to show that antirealist approaches to this problem are doomed to fail. For they ultimately share a problematic assumption, namely that thinking about something involves identifying it. Second, I will claim that once one rejects this assumption and holds instead that thoughts are (...)
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  • THE Way OF THE MOdal REalisT: dialETHEisM aNd BUddHisT PHilOsOPHy.Takashi Yagisawa - 2013 - Philosophy East and West 63 (3):359-369.
  • 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 many applications, possible worlds (...)
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  • On the Indispensability of (Im)Possibilia.Martin Vacek - 2013 - Humana Mente 6 (25).
    According to modal realism formulated by David Lewis, there exist concrete possible worlds. As he argues the hypothesis is serviceable and that is a sufficient reason to think it is true. On the other side, Lewis does not consider the pragmatic reasons to be conclusive. He admits that the theoretical benefits of modal realism can be illusory or that the acceptance of controversial ontology for the sake of theoretical benefits might be misguided in the first place. In the first part (...)
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  • Against Lewisian Modal Realism From a Metaontological Point of View.Tora Koyama - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (3):1207-1225.
    Modal realism is an ontological position made familiar by David Lewis, according to which there exist possible worlds other than the actual world that we inhabit. It is hard to uphold modal realism, and indeed modal realism has only a few advocates. However, as most contemporary metaphysicians agree, this does not mean that it is easy to refute modal realism. In this paper, I argue against modal realism from a metaontological point of view. First, I provide a precise formulation of (...)
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  • An Exact Measure of Paradox.A. C. Paseau - 2013 - Analysis 73 (1):17-26.
    We take seriously the idea that paradoxes come in quantifiable degree by offering an exact measure of paradox. We consider three factors relevant to the degree of paradox, which are a function of the degree of belief in each of the individual propositions in the paradox set and the degree of belief in the set as a whole. We illustrate the proposal with a particular measure, and conclude the discussion with some critical remarks.
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  • On the Humphrey Objection to Modal Realism.Michael De - 2018 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (2):159-179.
    An intuitive objection to modal realism is that merely possible worlds and their inhabitants seem to be irrelevant to an analysis of modality. Kripke originally phrased the objection in terms of being concerned about one’s modal properties without being concerned about the properties one’s other-worldly counterparts have. The author assesses this objection in a variety of forms, and then provides his own formulation that does not beg the question against the modal realist. Finally, the author considers two potential answers to (...)
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  • Against Yagisawa's Modal Realism.Mark Jago - 2013 - Analysis 73 (1):10-17.
    In his book Worlds and Individuals, Possible and Otherwise (2010), Takashi Yagisawa presents and argues for a novel and imaginative version of modal realism. It differs both from Lewis’s modal realism (Lewis 1986) and from actualists’ ersatz accounts (Adams 1974; Sider 2002). In this paper, I’ll present two arguments, each of which shows that Yagisawa’s metaphysics is incoherent. The first argument shows that the combination of Yagisawa’s metaphysics with impossibilia leads to triviality: every sentence whatsoever comes out true. This is (...)
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  • Propositions as Truthmaker Conditions.Mark Jago - 2017 - Argumenta 2 (2):293-308.
    Propositions are often aligned with truth-conditions. The view is mistaken, since propositions discriminate where truth conditions do not. Propositions are hyperintensional: they are sensitive to necessarily equivalent differences. I investigate an alternative view on which propositions are truthmaker conditions, understood as sets of possible truthmakers. This requires making metaphysical sense of merely possible states of affairs. The theory that emerges illuminates the semantic phenomena of samesaying, subject matter, and aboutness.
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  • The Singularity of Experiences and Thoughts.Alberto Voltolini - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):459-473.
    Recently, various people have maintained that one must revise either the externalistically-based notion of singular thought or the naïve realism-inspired notion of relational particularity, as respectively applied to some thoughts and to some perceptual experiences. In order to do so, one must either provide a broader notion of singular thought or flank the notion of relational particularity with a broader notion of phenomenal particularity. I want to hold that there is no need of that revision. For the original notions can (...)
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  • New Powers for Dispositionalism.Giacomo Giannini - 2020 - Synthese (ST: New Foundations for Disposit):1-30.
    Establishing Dispositionalism as a viable theory of modality requires the successful fulfilment of two tasks: showing that all modal truths can be derived from truths about actual powers, and offering a suitable metaphysics of powers. These two tasks are intertwined: difficulties in one can affect the chances of success in the other. In this paper, I generalise an objection to Dispositionalism by Jessica Leech and argue that the theory in its present form is ill-suited to account for de re truths (...)
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  • Truthmakers or Truthmaking Supervenience?Michael De - 2020 - Synthese 198 (10):9821-9839.
    I argue that counterpart theory is incompatible with truthmaking supervenience, the thesis that truth supervenes on what there is and how things are. I further argue that David Lewis’s “qua” strategy for providing ontologically innocent and Humean-friendly truthmakers for predications faces a number of difficulties. I propose and assess various solutions to those difficulties, each of which comes at the cost of sacrificing one of the two main virtues of the qua strategy.
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  • Extended Modal Dimensionalism.Martin Vacek - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (1):13-28.
    Modal dimensionalism is realism about spaces, times and worlds—metaphysical indices that make objects spatial, temporal and modal, respectively, and that play the role of alethic relativizers, i.e. items to which matters of truth are relativized. This paper examines several arguments against MD and shows that MD offers a feasible way to understand modal discourse.
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  • Modal Realism and the Possibility of Island Universes: Why There Are No Possible Worlds.Jiri Benovsky - 2021 - Metaphysica 22 (1):1-13.
    In this article, I defend Lewisian modal realism against objections arising from the possibility of ‘Island Universes’ and other similar cases. The problem comes from Lewis’ claim that possible worlds are spatio-temporally isolated. I suggest a modification of Lewisian modal realism in order to avoid this family of objections. This modification may sound quite radical since it amounts to abandoning the very notion of a possible world, but as radical as it may sound it in fact remains well in the (...)
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  • 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 “one of the (...)
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  • Modal Tense and the Absolutely Unrestricted Quantifier.Seahwa Kim - 2012 - Acta Analytica 27 (1):73-76.
    In this paper, I examine Takashi Yagisawa’s response to van Inwagen’s ontic objection against David Lewis. Van Inwagen criticizes Lewis’s commitment to the absolutely unrestricted sense of ‘there is,’ and Yagisawa claims that by adopting modal tenses he avoids commitment to absolutely unrestricted quantification. I argue that Yagisawa faces a problem parallel to the one Lewis faces. Although Yagisawa officially rejects the absolutely unrestricted sense of a quantifying expression, he is still committed to the absolutely unrestricted sense of ‘is a (...)
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  • Impossibilia and Modally Tensed Predication.Takashi Yagisawa - 2015 - Acta Analytica 30 (4):317-323.
    Mark Jago’s four arguments against Takashi Yagisawa’s extended modal realism are examined and shown to be ineffective. Yagisawa’s device of modal tense renders three of Jago’s arguments harmless, and the correct understanding of predications of modal properties of world stages blocks the fourth one.
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  • Transworld Identity.Penelope Mackie - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
     
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  • Conditionals.R. A. Briggs - 2019 - In Richard Pettigrew & Jonathan Weisberg (eds.), The Open Handbook of Formal Epistemology. PhilPapers Foundation. pp. 543-590.
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  • Possible Worlds.Christopher Menzel - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This article includes a basic overview of possible world semantics and a relatively comprehensive overview of three central philosophical conceptions of possible worlds: Concretism (represented chiefly by Lewis), Abstractionism (represented chiefly by Plantinga), and Combinatorialism (represented chiefly by Armstrong).
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