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Should what can’t be impossible be preferred over what may be impossible? [closed]

This came up from a discussion on another thread and it got me thinking. There are certain things we know to be possible. For example, we know that it is possible for life to arise completely by ...
Hart Lort's user avatar
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9 answers
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Can a function have a set as its value? [closed]

In relation to his possible worlds analysis of natural language conditionals (e.g. 1975 Indicative Conditionals) Robert Stalnaker posited a function which takes an antecedent proposition and a ...
Araucaria - Not here any more.'s user avatar
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0 answers
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Do universals exist in all possible worlds?

Exactly what it says on the tin: Do abstract objects, like universals for instance, necessarily exist in all possible worlds? To my knowledge, David Lewis held to the opinion that they did (And that ...
Johnathan Green's user avatar
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Can a necessitarian still believe in this notion of possibility?

I am a necessitarian, meaning, I believe that the only thing that is possible is what actually happens. The reason for that is because I don't believe any possible world except this one exists. ...
user107952's user avatar
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A multiverse of afterworlds [closed]

My question touches on multiverse theory and possible worlds. Put simply, could there be an infinite number of afterworlds, I’m most fixated on there being an infinite number of possible hells. Each ...
Matthew's user avatar
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2 answers
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Do we live forever (in our own specific universes)?

*I would like to preface this by saying I am not philosopher and have not studied any philosophy. This is just something I have been curious about for a long time and finally decided to ask. I am ...
Dylan Levine's user avatar
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0 answers
83 views

Can there be nested possible worlds semantics?

Fairly straightforward question, I'd think: Usually, when we do Modal Logic, we think of propositions as sort of embedded within a framework of possible worlds. What, then, do we make of propositions ...
Johnathan Green's user avatar
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1 answer
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If Kant doesn't have the empirical world as a determinate whole, does this rule out a possible-worlds semantics for his modal logic?

For example, take actualist representationism: Kant's "whole world" doesn't seem to be a finished totality, so referring to "a maximal set of consistent propositions" seems amiss, ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
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2 answers
162 views

How many possible worlds does SDL need (at a minimum)?

The SEP article on deontic logic, in sec. 2.3, reads: We assume that we have a set of possible worlds, W, and a relation, A, relating worlds to worlds, with the intention that Aij iff j is a world ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
48 views

How do Leibniz' possible-worlds model and Heisenberg's view of microphysics relate to each other?

In his answer to a former question @IoannisPaizis presents a quote of Heisenberg from his book Physics and Philosophy The atoms or elementary particles themselves are not as real; they form a world ...
Jo Wehler's user avatar
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Is it even possible to desire something we believe is impossible?

Is it even possible to desire something we believe is impossible? What does that mean, to have something that cannot exist as an intentional object of desire? Nevertheless, people often talk about ...
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Does actualism imply moral nihilism?

Actualism is the view that only the actual is possible. Moral nihilism is the belief in the nonexistence of morality. My question is, does actualism imply moral nihilism? At least in my case, the ...
user107952's user avatar
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Could a being be defined as such that its transworld identity is identical to its in-world identity?

I was reading through Collier[21], which is about Lewisian theism, alongside the SEP article on transworld identity, and have assumed that: The concept of transworld identity (TI) is not necessarily ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
234 views

Is it a fallacy to say that something is possible if not disproven?

If I cannot disprove god or fairies or space monkeys, does this mean that these theories are possible? If it doesn’t mean that, and one cannot prove that they are possible or impossible, what is the ...
user avatar
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7 answers
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Everything must have a cause?

In a possible reality, if something came into existence without something giving rise to it, the fact would be that , there was nothing stopping something from coming into existence without anything ...
loopit's user avatar
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1 answer
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Computer Graphics Imagery (CGI) & Modality (Possibility)

The trend is obvious ... CGI is here to stay. Many movies wouldn't stand a chance in the box office sans computer generated images and I don't mean just the slew of superhero movies (DC & Marvel ...
Hudjefa's user avatar
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4 answers
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Is the notion of “possible” vacuous?

We use the term possible to often refer to events that don’t violate a certain model of reality and impossible to refer to events that do. A human being having ten fingers vs. a human being with five ...
user avatar
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What is the definition of a possible world?

I recently asked if we can know whether other possible worlds exist. However, I should have asked first what the definition of a possible world is, for only then can we know whether other possible ...
user107952's user avatar
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4 votes
4 answers
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How can we test whether other possible worlds exist?

Philosophers talk a lot about possible worlds. I am one person who does not believe any other worlds except ours exist. But how can I know if I am right? How would one know if other possible worlds ...
user107952's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
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platinga's actualism and introduction of essences

I am reading Plantinga's "Actualism and Possible Worlds" and I am struggling to see why he needs to introduce his idea of essences to resolve the following issue: The actualist holds that: (...
zzz's user avatar
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Where does the canon event theory of identity formation come from?

There is an idea in the new Spider-man movie Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, where spider-men through different dimensions have to deal with inter-dimensional problems. In it, one critical part ...
Cathartic Encephalopathy's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
59 views

A question about David Lewis's refutation of taking possibility as consistency

I’m reading a chapter from David Lewis’s counterfactuals. He says something which I’m confused about, wondering if any of you guys can explain what he's saying... “ We might take…. ‘Possibly P’ [to ...
zzz's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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Under what conceptions of God does it follow that we necessarily are in "the best of all possible worlds"?

My personal take on this question is that it would follow that we are living in "the best of all possible worlds" if God were a utilitarian, that is, if we viewed God as an agent making ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
153 views

What is a “possible” event?

Things seem to happen or they don’t. If a dice rolls on 6, does this mean that it could have been possible for it to land on 1-5? We seem to differentiate this kind of event from an “impossible” kind ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
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Is Neil Barton's algebraic/ontological distinction equivalent to the actualist/possibilist distinction?

In, "Multiversism and Concepts of Set: How much relativism is acceptable?" Neil Barton distinguishes between an ontological interpretation of set-theoretic multiverses as referents and an ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
262 views

Why is "Water is not H2O" False in all possible worlds?

I am reading Chalmers' "Two dimensional semantics" and "Two dimensional argument against materialism" and a point is unclear: As per Kripke (1980), "Water is not H2O" is ...
Tejas Bhojraj's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
109 views

How be so sure that implications are bivalent? (An attempt to resolve paradoxes of material implication)

The material conditional, P→Q defined as ¬P∨Q, is usually thought not to match the usual linguistics, as seen by many paradoxes. The Wikipedia article gives few good examples. I tried to resolve them ...
Dannyu NDos's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
82 views

Can one determine the meaning and truth value of counterfactual statements without invoking the existence of possible worlds?

Usually, philosophers explain the meaning and truth value of counterfactual statements using possible world semantics. However, that approach requires one to accept the existence of possible worlds. ...
user107952's user avatar
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1 vote
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How do philosophers answer the following question about a counterfactual notion of free will?

So let's assume that free will requires the ability to have done the opposite. Suppose we abstract from the world (and from our mind) and can reproduce an event in the same conditions as given ...
random_user's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
66 views

What is the relationship between possible worlds and a valuations?

A propositional formula is something like this, A&~B, which uses letters to represent propositions. The letters are called propositional variables. Compare the following two sets of terminologies ...
David Gudeman's user avatar
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1 answer
264 views

Is the multiverse standpoint in set theory "ideologically committed" to plural quantification over universes/axioms?

One of the ways in which Hamkins expresses the multiverse standpoint is as the assertion that there is no "absolute background concept of sets or even ordinals." He spells out examples of ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
284 views

Epistemic access to possible worlds for David Lewis and empiricism

David Lewis believed that possible worlds are real and their existence are similar to actual world. Any world is causally and spatio-temporally disconnected from other worlds. David Lewis was an ...
Arian's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
243 views

The intensionality of modal logic

What exactly makes modal logic intensional? In what follows, for illustration, I will focus on propositional modal logic (MPL). I know that the modal operators in MPL are intensional since the truth ...
Maverick's user avatar
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1 vote
4 answers
276 views

Could our natural numbers be non-standard?

This question is related. It asks: "Can truths about the natural numbers vary across possible worlds?". One comment says: "Well, no, if they use same definitions and axioms about ...
Carla only proves trivial prop's user avatar
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2 answers
188 views

Is there anything constant is every conceivable world/situation?

Is there anything constant, in every world, video game, universe, location, time, dream, the Real world, etc.? I know about logical constants, but those are just fixed definitions of terms, they are ...
Dean's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
99 views

Looking for help understanding modal logic and graph structure

I'm a novice to modal logic and only have a passing familiarity with classical logic. I started reading 'Modal Logic for Open Minds'. It is very readable, but then on page 16 the author introduces a ...
startle_response's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
54 views

Does Human Pride degrade Peace? [closed]

I've been thinking about this question, and I think the reason countries go to war with each other is for their own pride, people die for their own pride. So if the entire world is one country and we ...
Tardy's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
84 views

Is it the fact that we have language that causes us to believe in possible worlds?

I am not quite sure whether this belongs in Philosophy SE, but I couldn't think of a better SE, so I am posting it here. My question is, is it the fact that we have language that causes us to believe ...
user107952's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
139 views

Cardinality of the logical space according to David Lewis

I just read an extract of David Lewis's Counterfactuals and he claims there in a footnote on page 90 that there are at least beth_2 possible worlds. He also claims in the very same footnote that "...
pahohu's user avatar
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2 votes
5 answers
168 views

If something is Possible is it therefore Necessary?

Does anybody agree on this: “Given an infinite time Y, every possible event X needs to happen, right?” From a mathematical point of view it seems OK to me, although depending on the idea we have of ...
andreagalle's user avatar
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0 answers
37 views

How should you live when you have options?

If you have the opportunity to earn money easily (for example just doing dropshipping, or selling oil reserve) which requires less self control and discipline. And the other is by doing difficult job (...
ruben's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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Alternativeness... or not?

We recognize as an axiom that events in our reality can occur in different ways. It is about facts, models that combine facts and our reactions. I call it alternativeness. Here I will not ask: whether ...
Ivanov Denis's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
778 views

Logical/mathematical (non-physical) arguments against simulation hypothesis?

So the Simulation Hypothesis, from what I've heard, is not scientifically testable because it is not falsifiable, which makes perfect sense to me and is the viewpoint I have always adopted. Yet ...
Emerald47890's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
104 views

Stances on possible worlds

Modal realism is the belief that all possible worlds actually exist. Actualism is the belief that possible worlds don’t exist at all. What are some examples of modal-metaphysical views which try to ...
Joa's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is there a Possible World in which Humeanism isn't true?

I'm an amateur philosopher, interested in the work of Ned Hall: Mindscape podcast: Ned Hall on Possible Worlds and the Laws of Nature (Dec-2019) PhilPapers: Humean Reductionism About Laws Of Nature (...
Anuj Manoj Shah's user avatar
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3 answers
97 views

State description in PWS

A very short question: If, following Carnap, we can represent a possible world as a state description starting from a quantified language L, why does it make sense, following standard modal logic, to ...
PwNzDust's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
103 views

Propositions as set of possible worlds in FOL

In possible world semantics for propositional calculus, possible worlds are usually taken to be models for propositional formulas (the set of valuations in which a certain formula is true) In first ...
PwNzDust's user avatar
  • 395
1 vote
2 answers
257 views

Can truths about the natural numbers vary across possible worlds?

The truths of logic are the same in all possible worlds. However, what about truths about natural numbers? Like, for instance, is there a world where there are only finitely many primes, or a world ...
user107952's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
58 views

Is my name a rigid designator if I had an identical twin in a possible world?

In examples I have read defining the term "rigid designator," proper names are used as an example, e.g. Aristotle vs the author of the Nicomachean Ethics. I could well be overanalyzing what ...
jwimberley's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
491 views

Why are some things considered "impossible" even in other universes?

For example, I often hear that life could not develop in a universe where the fundamental constants were even slightly changed, or where certain physical laws were different. But if we're dealing with ...
Emerald47890's user avatar