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 modalrealism does not pass the ‘principle of (...) representation’ and thus modalrealism is not an adequate solution to the problem of intentional inexistence. In this paper, I respond to Kriegel by defending a modal realist solution that he did not consider in 2007, called ‘extendedmodalrealism’. EMR is a version of modalrealism where possible worlds are not completely isolated as they are under the Lewisian model. Rather, under EMR worlds are, in a way, spatiotemporally related. The fact EMR worlds are related allows EMR to sufficiently pass the principle of representation and thus can be deemed a legitimate solution to the problem of intentional inexistence. I conclude that either EMR can pass the principle of representation in some cases or, and I think the more sensible option, we give up on the principle of representation altogether. (shrink)
This thesis argues that we should consider extendedmodalrealism as a new player in the debate about non-existence. The primary aim is to show that extendedmodalrealism is a viable theory when it comes to solving problems of non-existence. At times I will argue that extendedmodalrealism has advantages over Lewisian modalrealism when it comes to examining the problems of non-existence, not only in the case (...) of problems relating to thought but also problems concerning truth as well. However, I do not intend for the proposed advantages of extendedmodalrealism to be presented as knockdown arguments against other strategies. -/- Not only do I argue that extendedmodalrealism is viable when it comes to solving these problems, but I also make adjustments and additions to the theory that supports the conclusion of this thesis, and I argue that these are improvements to the modal realist theory. I include arguments for a new theory of existence that removes the need for the extendedmodal realist to rely on set-theoretic notations to understand existence, which I consider problematic. I argue for the revival of the Lewis-Rosen proposal for truth-making and a semantic instrumentalist theory of thought, both of which naturally accompany extendedmodalrealism. Throughout this thesis, I will comment on the proposals and strategies of other authors, and some of these comments will be critical. At this very early stage, I want to clarify that this thesis's success does not rest on showing that all other competitor theories fail. I only include critical comments to situate extendedmodalrealism within the landscape of viable positions that are available for one to occupy. (shrink)
Theories of possible worlds abound. Since the introduction of modal logic, the term of a possible world, and the very nature of an entity denoted by the term, have stood on the top of metaphysical inquiries. A possible world, roughly speaking, is a complete way things could have been. On the face of it, whatever is possible takes place in some possible world, and whatever is not possible, does not. The aim of the present book is to argue that (...) even impossible things happen. By taking David Lewis’s ModalRealism (henceforth as “MR”) seriously, I claim that besides infinitely many concrete ways things could have been, there exist ways things could not have been. I call them concrete impossible worlds. In Chapter I, I outline Lewis’s well-defined conception of philosophical analysis. I present its structure, aims, methodology and criteria for success. Besides the virtues of the Lewisian conception, I point out several limitations the theory has and offer very simple solution: the admission of concrete impossible worlds. In Chapter II, I present a version of an epistemological objection against MR and a positive account in favour of Modal Fictionalism (henceforth as “MF”). I then present the puzzle in this matter and attempt to generalise my point. 9 Introduction Chapter III demonstrates how flexible Lewis’s theory is. I consider a putative impossibility of there being island universes – spatiotemporally disjoint spacetimes – and show what a proponent of modalrealism can do in order to account for it. I present three possible moves: a revision of our pre-theoretical opinions, a modification of our definitions and, finally, an ex- tension of our metaphysical commitments. I consider two ersatz theories of impossible worlds in Chapter IV. In particular, I scrutinize Franz Berto’s and Edwin Mares’s (hybrid) theories of MR. Although I admit that the theories radically extend the scope of applications of MR without extending its metaphysical commitments, the approaches do have some limits. Finally, in Chapter V, I present ExtendedModalRealism (henceforth EMR), a theory according to which the best way to go in order to account for impossible phenomena is to ex- tend our metaphysical base by genuine impossibilia. I try to (at least) weaken, if not meet, the crucial objections to the proposal. Namely, I challenge the proclaimed universality of classical logic and, subsequently, motivate certain kind of paraconsistent approach to modal reality. Although the consequences are very hard to swallow, I argue that it is because of the fact that we are unsure of our pre-theoretical opinions concerning the impossible. (shrink)
We argue that genuine modalrealism can be extended, rather than modified, so as to allow for the possibility of nothing concrete, a possibility we term ‘metaphysical nihilism’. The issue should be important to the genuine modal realist because, not only is metaphysical nihilism itself intuitively plausible, but also it is supported by an argument with pre-theoretically credible premises, namely, the subtraction argument. Given the soundness of the subtraction argument, we show that there are two ways (...) that the genuine modal realist can accommodate metaphysical nihilism: (i) by allowing for worlds containing only spatiotemporal points and (ii) by allowing for a world containing nothing but the null individual. On methodological grounds, we argue that the genuine modal realist should reject the former way but embrace the latter way. (shrink)
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.
What are the requirements on an adequate genuine modal realist analysis of modal discourse? One is material adequacy: the modal realist must provide for each candidate analysandum an analysans in the language of counterpart theory which by his lights has the same truth value as the candidate analysandum. Must the material biconditional joining these be necessarily true? This is the requirement of strict adequacy. It is not satisfied if Lewis’s 1968 scheme provides the analysis. John Divers puts (...) forward a modification, which identifies cases of ‘advanced modalizing’ in which the modal operator is semantically redundant. Even with this modification modal realist analyses of statements of modal discourse will be strictly inadequate. Strict adequacy can be achieved by extending the redundancy interpretation to all de dicto modal statements. The price is the denial of de dicto contingency. But perhaps material adequacy is enough. If the modal realist has a systematic means of replacing every sentence of quantified modal logic which he considers true by a sentence of counterpart theory that he considers true, perhaps he need do no more. Still, traditionally philosophical analysis aims at strict adequacy so it is as well to know that this is a test the modal realist analysis fails unless he abandons de dicto contingency. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to point out the limitations of Hybrid ModalRealism as a general theory of modalities, i.e. one that gives an analysis of possibilities as well as impossibilities. To do so we will firstly sketch the goals that theories of impossible worlds should achieve. Secondly we will briefly present the two most popular accounts of impossibilities—ExtendedModalRealism and Extended Ersatzism. We will focus on the aspects of both theories (...) which became the motivation for a hybrid view. In the last part of this paper we will analyze Francesco Berto’s Hybrid ModalRealism and present reasons why this account is an insufficient tool for analyzing impossibilities. (shrink)
To solve the problem of counterpossibles, many philosophers have been arguing that one needs to invoke impossible worlds. This extension of the ontology of modality should save the analysis of counterfactuals from being insensitive to the problem of counterpossibles. Since theories of impossible worlds are extensions of original accounts of modalities, it is worth stressing that proper analyses of counterpossibles should not weaken the latter.In this paper I argue that these theories of impossible wolrds, which are based on D. Lewis' (...)modalrealism - ExtendedModalRealism and Hybrid ModalRealism - might be consider as either an unattractive for modal realists or insufficient for analyzing counterpossibles. (shrink)
Chihara introduces this book as a response to critics of his last book, which gave an account of mathematical objects in terms of possible constructions of open sentences. Several reviewers charged him with exchanging an ontology of platonistic mathematical objects for an equally extravagant ontology of possible entities. In this book Chihara replies with an extended account how one can use modal logic, and even the notions of possible worlds semantics, without accepting merely possible worlds or objects. A (...) final chapter extends his anti-platonist arguments about philosophy of mathematics, directed primarily against Penelope Maddy and the “Indispensibility” argument associated with Quine and Putnam. (shrink)
The principle of modal ubiquity - that every truth is necessary or contingent - and the validity of possibility introduction, are principles that any modal theory suffers for failing to accommodate. Advanced modal claims are modal claims about entities other than spatiotemporally unified individuals (perhaps, then, spatiotemporally disunified individuals, sets, numbers, properties, propositions and events). I show that genuine modalrealism, as it has thus far been explicitly developed, and in so far as it (...) deals with advanced modal claims, cannot accommodate the principles in question. On behalf of the genuine modal realist I motivate and propose a redundancy interpretation of advanced possibility claims and extend that interpretation to the cognate cases of necessity, impossibility and contingency. I then show that the problematic principles as they apply to advanced modal claims can be derived from these interpretations. I show further how the proposed interpretation enables the genuine modal realist to deal with a number of objections that centre on the alleged inadequacy of the genuine modal realist's expressive resources. I conclude that genuine modalrealism emerges the stronger for having been shown capable of dealing with advanced modal claims on the basis of no conceptual and ontological resources beyond those it requires to deal with ordinary modal claims. (shrink)
Mark Jago’s four arguments against Takashi Yagisawa’s extendedmodalrealism 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.
In Furnishing the mind, Prinz defends a view of concept representation that assumes all representations are rooted in perception. This view is attractive, because it makes clear how concepts could be learned from experience in the world. In this paper, we discuss three limitations of the view espoused by Prinz. First, the central proposal requires more detail in order to support the claim that all representations are modal. Second, it is not clear that a theory of concepts must make (...) a realist assumption. Third, the arguments focus on object categories that can be described by features, which are only one of many types of categories. Despite the flaws in the book, however, it clearly highlights a road that can be taken by those interested in defending an empiricist view of concepts. (shrink)
The modal interpretation of quantum mechanics allows one to keep the standard classical definition of realism intact. That is, variables have a definite status for all time and a measurement only tells us which value it had. However, at present modal dynamics are only applicable to situations that are described in the orthodox theory by projective measures. In this paper we extend modal dynamics to include positive operator measures. That is, for example, rather than using a (...) complete set of orthogonal projectors, we can use an overcomplete set of nonorthogonal projectors. We derive the conditions under which Bell's stochastic modal dynamics for projective measures reduce to deterministic dynamics, showing that Brown and Hiley's generalization of Bohmian mechanics [quant-ph/0005026, ] cannot be thus derived. We then show how deterministic dynamics for positive operators can also be derived. As a simple case, we consider a Harmonic oscillator, and the overcomplete set of coherent state projectors. We show that the modal dynamics for this POM in the classical limit correspond to the classical dynamics, even for the nonclassical number state |n>. This is in contrast to the Bohmian dynamics, which for energy eigenstates, the dynamics are always non-classical. (shrink)
We introduce a realist, unextravagant interpretation of quantum theory that builds on the existing physical structure of the theory and allows experiments to have definite outcomes but leaves the theory’s basic dynamical content essentially intact. Much as classical systems have specific states that evolve along definite trajectories through configuration spaces, the traditional formulation of quantum theory permits assuming that closed quantum systems have specific states that evolve unitarily along definite trajectories through Hilbert spaces, and our interpretation extends this intuitive picture (...) of states and Hilbert-space trajectories to the more realistic case of open quantum systems despite the generic development of entanglement. We provide independent justification for the partial-trace operation for density matrices, reformulate wave-function collapse in terms of an underlying interpolating dynamics, derive the Born rule from deeper principles, resolve several open questions regarding ontological stability and dynamics, address a number of familiar no-go theorems, and argue that our interpretation is ultimately compatible with Lorentz invariance. Along the way, we also investigate a number of unexplored features of quantum theory, including an interesting geometrical structure—which we call subsystem space—that we believe merits further study. We conclude with a summary, a list of criteria for future work on quantum foundations, and further research directions. We include an appendix that briefly reviews the traditional Copenhagen interpretation and the measurement problem of quantum theory, as well as the instrumentalist approach and a collection of foundational theorems not otherwise discussed in the main text. (shrink)
Quantification into modal contexts depends on cross-Identifications of individuals between possible worlds, Which in turn depends on the structure and interrelations of these worlds. There is hence no guarantee that cross-Identification always succeeds. It will fail for the worlds needed for realistic applications of logical modalities, Partly vindicating quine's criticism of them. In general, World lines of individuals cannot always be extended from a world to others.
We summarize a new realist, unextravagant interpretation of quantum theory that builds on the existing physical structure of the theory and allows experiments to have definite outcomes but leaves the theory's basic dynamical content essentially intact. Much as classical systems have specific states that evolve along definite trajectories through configuration spaces, the traditional formulation of quantum theory permits assuming that closed quantum systems have specific states that evolve unitarily along definite trajectories through Hilbert spaces, and our interpretation extends this intuitive (...) picture of states and Hilbert-space trajectories to the more realistic case of open quantum systems despite the generic development of entanglement. Our interpretation—which we claim is ultimately compatible with Lorentz invariance—reformulates wave-function collapse in terms of an underlying interpolating dynamics, makes it possible to derive the Born rule from deeper principles, and resolves several open questions regarding ontological stability and dynamics. (shrink)
In this paper, I formulate, elucidate, and defend a version of modalrealism with overlap, the view that objects are literally present at more than one possible world. The version that I defend has several interesting features: it is committed to an ontological distinction between regions of spacetime and material objects; it is committed to compositional pluralism, which is the doctrine that there is more than one fundamental part-whole relation; and it is the modal analogue of endurantism, (...) which is the doctrine that objects persist through time by being wholly present at each moment they are located. (shrink)
The main aim in the forthcoming discussion is to contrast theistic modalrealism and theistic actualist realism. Actualist realism is the dominant view among theists and presents the most serious challenge to theistic modalrealism. I discuss various prominent forms of theistic actualist realism. I offer reasons for rejecting the view of metaphysical reality that actualist realism affords. I discuss theistic modalrealism and show that the traditional conception of God (...) is perfectly consistent with the metaphysics of genuine modalrealism. Indeed theistic modalrealism is more suited to traditional theism than is any version of actualist realism. (shrink)
It is a commonsense thesis that unactualized possibilities are not parts of actuality. To keep his modalrealism in line with this thesis, David Lewis employed his indexical account of the term “actual.” I argue that the addition of counterpart theory to Lewis’s modalrealism undermines his strategy for respecting the commonsense thesis. The case made here also reveals a problem for Lewis’s attempt to avoid haecceitism.
In Sections 1–7, I provide a detailed description of some of the advantages of theistic modalrealism. The aim is to show specifically how theistic modalrealism solves many of the intractable problems of philosophical theology. A detailed description of all of the advantages would require a much longer treatment. The aim is to give a good sense of the theoretical benefits that theistic modalrealism affords traditional theists. I offer some concluding remarks in (...) Section 8. (shrink)
The paper argues that Lewis’ Genuine ModalRealism, in taking the plurality of worlds to be necessarily the way it is, implies the existence of necessary connections of the sort that contradicts the Humean thesis that Lewis endorses. By endorsing, pace Divers, a non-redundancy interpretation of advanced modalizing, we gain the means to exactly state what these connections amount to.
The question of which is the logic that underlies quantum physics does not have an absolute answer, but only in relation to a conventional choice of interpretation . Most of the interpretations that have been offered work within the framework of classical logic. In contrast to these, we examine the corpuscular interpretation which is assumed in the application of non-distributive logic . The experiment in which single photons pass through a Mach-Zehnder interferometer is examined, indicating the difficulty of employing a (...) realist corpuscular interpretation in this context. One way to save this interpretation would be to use non-distributive logic to analyze the experiment, but this is not satisfactory . However, the use of an alethic modal logic solves the problem, blocking the argument that put the aforementioned corpuscular interpretation into difficulty. In the discussion of the conceptual problems involved, we suggest that a stochastic corpuscular interpretation is well adapted to this logical description. The project of extending this modal logical approach to other experiments in quantum physics, and of providing a rigorous logical treatment, is left open. (shrink)
Realism is the claim that truth may transcend all possible verification. The familiar Dummettian argument against that modal claim is that there is no way to manifest an understanding of it in actual linguistic practice. The Dummettian anti-realist's provisional conclusion is that the modal claim must be false. ;The attack on truth-conditional semantics and on the principle of bivalence are familiar ingredients of the anti-realist negative programme. I agree that, whether mathematical formulae or ordinary sentences in the (...) past tense are concerned, we cannot manifest a knowledge of the truth-conditions of particular instances of 'It is possible that ' by deciding their truth. There is nevertheless a way to argue in favour of specific instances of the modal claim when s is a sentence in the past tense. The proposed argument does not appeal to the recognitional abilities which, in the standard anti-realist perspective, constitute grasp of meaning. It does not commit one to the endorsement of the principle of bivalence, although the principle implies the modal claim. ;Our understanding of the workings of nature, whether grounded on scientific theories or on common sense, implies the modal claim. Since we are only contingently connected to the evidence pro or con past events and since the existence of evidence is itself a contingent matter, sentences which say that those events occurred could be true whether or not we can, at any point in time, detect that they are true. The possibility that truths about past facts transcend all possible verification is a purely natural possibility, grounded on what we know of the workings of nature. ;This implies that decidable statements in the past tense are not immune to the realism vs. anti-realism debate. Although they do not transcend verifiability, they could transcend whatever our recognitional abilities, no matter how extended, would allow us to establish at any point in time, either in the past, right now, or in an indefinitely extensible future. (shrink)
When I profess realism about possible worlds, I mean to be taken literally. Possible worlds are what they are, and not some other thing. If asked what sort of thing they are, I cannot give the kind of reply my questioner probably expects: that is, a proposal to reduce possible worlds to something else. I can only ask him to admit that he knows what sort of thing our actual world is, and then explain that possible worlds are more (...) things of that sort, differing not in kind but only in what goes on at them. (shrink)
A powerful challenge to some highly influential theories, this book offers a thorough critical exposition of modalrealism, the philosophical doctrine that many possible worlds exist of which our own universe is just one. Chihara challenges this claim and offers a new argument for modality without worlds.
In this paper I argue that ModalRealism, the thesis that there exist non-actual possible individuals and worlds, can be made compatible with Metaphysical Nihilism, the thesis that it is possible that nothing concrete exists. ModalRealism as developed by Lewis rules out the possibility of a world where nothing concrete exists and so conflicts with Metaphysical Nihilism. In the paper I argue that ModalRealism can be modified so as to be compatible with (...) Metaphysical Nihilism. Such a modification makes ModalRealism neither incur further theoretical costs nor lose its theoretical benefits. Thus such a modification constitutes an improvement of ModalRealism. (shrink)
In this reply, we defend our argument for the incompleteness of Genuine ModalRealism against Paseau's criticisms. Paseau claims that isomorphic set of worlds represent the same possibilities, but not only is this implausible, it is inimical to the target of our paper: Lewis's theory of possible worlds. We argue that neither Paseau's model-theoretic results nor his comparison to arithmetic carry over to GMR. We end by distinguishing two notions of incompleteness and urge that, for all that Paseau (...) has said, GMR remains incomplete in the relevant sense. (shrink)
In his book Worlds and Individuals, Possible and Otherwise (2010), Takashi Yagisawa presents and argues for a novel and imaginative version of modalrealism. It differs both from Lewis’s modalrealism (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 so even if Yagisawa accepts a paraconsistent notion of logical consequence, on which contradictions do not entail arbitrary conclusions. The second argument is independent of Yagisawa’s acceptance of impossibilia. It shows that Yagisawa’s metaphysics of possible worlds is incoherent. Using ordinary modal reasoning, I derive a contradiction from Yagisawa’s account of possible worlds. (shrink)
The aim of the paper is to discuss the ersatz theory of Lewis’s impossible worlds, point out its undeniable benefits and demonstrate its costs. Firstly, I present two approaches to Lewis’s impossible worlds taken as constructions out of possibilia. Secondly, I evaluate the proposals using the Lewisian criteria of success concerning the well defined conception of analysis. Although appealing, I do not find the proposals fully persuasive. Thirdly, I discuss the objection from an ad hoc distinction between possible and impossible (...) worlds. I conclude that the objection does not present a special problem for the Lewisian theory. Finally, I motivate a theory of extendedmodalrealism, to wit, modalrealism enriched with concrete impossibilia. (shrink)
In this paper, I examine the putative incompatibility of three theses: (1) Haecceitism, according to which some maximal possibilities differ solely in terms of the non-qualitative or de re possibilities they include; (2) Modal correspondence, according to which each maximal possibility is identical with a unique possible world; (3) Counterpart theory, according to which de re modality is analyzed in terms of counterpart relations between individuals. After showing how the modalrealism defended by David Lewis resolves this (...) incompatibility by rejecting modal correspondence, I defend modal correspondence and develop an alternative strategy for reconciling these theses. Specifically, I examine Lewis’s arguments against non-qualitative counterpart theory and undermine them by developing a novel version of non-qualitative counterpart theory that appeals to a metaphysics of bare particulars. I then indicate how this version of non-qualitative counterpart theory accommodates both haecceitism and modal correspondence. (shrink)
The standard conception of God is that of a necessary being. On a possible worlds semantics, this entails that God exists at every possible world. According to the modal realist account of David Lewis, possible worlds are understood to be real, concrete worlds—no different in kind from the actual world. Some have argued that Lewis’s view is incompatible with classical theism (e.g., Sheehy, 2006). More recently, Ross Cameron (2009) has defended the thesis that Lewisian modalrealism and (...) classical theism are in fact compatible. I argue that this is not the case. Modalrealism, I argue, is equipped to accommodate necessary beings in only one of three ways: (1) By way of counterpart theory, or (2) by way of a special case of trans-world identity for causally inert necessary beings (e.g., pure sets), or else (3) causally potent ones which lack accidental intrinsic properties. However, each of these three options entails unacceptable consequences—(1) and (2) are incompatible with theism, and (3) is incompatible with modalrealism. I conclude that (at least) one of these views is false. (shrink)
It is difficult to wander far in contemporary metaphysics without bumping into talk of possible worlds. And reference to possible worlds is not confined to metaphysics. It can be found in contemporary epistemology and ethics, and has even made its way into linguistics and decision theory. What are those possible worlds, the entities to which theorists in these disciplines all appeal? This paper sets out and evaluates a leading contemporary theory of possible worlds, David Lewis's ModalRealism. I (...) note two competing ambitions for a theory of possible worlds: that it be reductive and user-friendly. I then outline ModalRealism and consider objections to the effect that it cannot satisfy these ambitions. I conclude that there is some reason to believe that ModalRealism is not reductive and overwhelming reason to believe that it is not user-friendly. (shrink)
Modal realists face a puzzle. For modalrealism to be justified, modal realists need to be able to give a successful reduction of modality. A simple argument, however, appears to show that the reduction they propose fails. In order to defend the claim that modalrealism is justified, modal realists therefore need to either show that this argument fails, or show that modal realists can give another reduction of modality that is successful. (...) I argue that modal realists cannot do either of these things and that, as a result, modalrealism is unjustified and should be rejected. (shrink)
The paper outlines and immediately discusses the so-called ‘soft’ impossibility, i.e., non-logical impossibility generated by modalrealism. It will be shown that although in a particular case genuine modalrealism, straightforwardly applied, deems impossible a proposition that other philosophers have claimed to be (intuitively) possible, there is a variety of methodologically acceptable moves available in order to avoid the problem. The impossibility at issue is the existence of island universes. Given the Lewisian analysis there are three (...) points at which we might try to square genuine modalrealism with such a controversial and problematic claim of (im)possibility, namely: a) the contraction of our pre-theoretical opinions about possibility, b) the revision of some Lewisian definitions and/or c) the extension of our ontological commitments. I shall look at each of these approaches applied to the problematic case. (shrink)
Although it is frequently said that logic is a purely formal discipline lacking any content for special philosophical subdisciplines, I argue in this essay that the concepts of predication, and of the properties of objects presupposed by standard first-order logic are sufficient to address many of the traditional problems of ontology. The concept of an object's having a property is extended to provide an intensional definition of the existence of an object as the object's possessing a maximally consistent property (...) combination, consisting, for any property or its complement. Nonexistent objects by the proposed definition are those that either lack both some property and its complement, or have both a property and its complement included in its corresponding property combination. The definition in turn makes it possible to offer solutions based on purely logical concepts of such longstanding metaphysical problems as why there is something rather than nothing, and why there exists exactly one logically contingent actual world, itself a maximally consistent combination of true predication instances or facts. Additionally, the ontology upholds an argument in support of modal actualism and against modalrealism, treating all logically possible worlds other than the actual world as predicationally incomplete nonexistent objects or semantic fictions. (shrink)
This paper examines the relationship between the classical theistic conception of God and modalrealism. I suggest that realism about possible worlds has unwelcome consequences for that conception. First, that modalrealism entails the necessity of divine existence eludes explanation in a way congenial to a commitment to both modalrealism and classical theism. Second, divine knowledge is dependent on worlds independent of the creative role and action of God, thereby suggesting a limitation (...) on the nature of divine knowledge and on the nature of God's creative role. Third, modalrealism indicates the existence of real, albeit non-actual, worlds of appalling evil threatening the classical conception of divine omnipotence and benevolence. (Published Online July 10 2006). (shrink)
Conceivability is, I say, prima facie evidence for possibility. Hence, we may count the cost of theories about possibility by listing the ways in which, according to the theory in question, something conceivable is said nonetheless to be impossible. More succinctly we may state a principle, Hume's razor to put alongside Ockham's. Hume's razor says that necessities are not to be multiplied more than necessary. In this paper I count the cost of David Lewis's modalrealism, showing that (...) many of the objections are replied to by Lewis only at the cost of multiplying necessities. (shrink)