What is the name of a/the metaphysic that affirms the reality of all worlds including impossible worlds?

Actualism denies the reality of all non-actual worlds, possibilism affirms the reality of all possible worlds, and anti-realism denies the reality of all worlds (including the actual world).

  • Those who affirm reality of possible worlds are usually called modal realists, not possibilists. There are extensions like extended modal realism or hybrid modal realism that embrace impossible worlds as well, see SEP. There is even a way to be a realist about modality without being a realist about worlds, modal fictionalism, in which case it matters little if they are possible or impossible. – Conifold Mar 7 '17 at 1:47
  • I was under the impression that modal realism refers to a particular kind of possibilism (à la Lewis or Kripke) that is distinct from other possibilist metaphysics (like Leibnizian possibilism). – אהרן רובין Mar 7 '17 at 3:31
  • Here is from the Information Philosopher:"Possibilism should not be confused with the idea of possible worlds, the analytic language philosopher David Lewis's methodology in modal philosophy for investigating the logic of "nearby possible worlds" that differ only slightly from our world, as a tool for examining concepts like truth and falsity, necessity and contingency, possibility and impossibility." – Conifold Mar 7 '17 at 18:45
  • Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy makes a clear distinction between classical possibilism and modal realism, which is an innovation of possibilism: plato.stanford.edu/entries/actualism/possibilism.html Wikipedia's page on actualism makes a similar distinction between modal realism and other forms of possibilism. – אהרן רובין Mar 7 '17 at 20:30
  • 1
    Yes, but you are talking about possible/impossible worlds, which have little to do with classical possibilism. There were some anticipations in Molina and Leibniz but the notion was not really developed until the 20th century. – Conifold Mar 7 '17 at 20:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.