Questions tagged [possible-worlds]

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David Lewis and naturalism

I am studying Lewis and I am wondering what are the cornerstones of his philosophical perspective. In particular, I am wondering if Lewis is a naturalist like his supervisor Quine.
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Can a Rigid Designator still exist if there is only one possible world?

According to Kripke, a rigid designator is a pronoun (but not all pronouns are rigid designators) and they pick out the same unique individual in each possible world. I understand this, however, if ...
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Modal logics - philosophical paradoxes using modeling by possible worlds

I'm searching for "paradoxes" in classical modal logics, meaning lines of reasoning which give a counterintuitive conclusion if performed in classical logic, which can be modelled by the (semantical) ...
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263 views

Is there any physics-model version of Tegmark's hypothesis?

Tegmark's mathematical universe hypothesis is very interesting (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_universe_hypothesis) but it has virtually no support among physicists because it is too ...
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Is it possible to mathematically define a hypercomputer-universe where things that could not be computed by it could exist? [duplicate]

There are a few physicists that propose that the universe is a hypercomputer. One example is Roger Penrose, who, basing in his quantum interpretation (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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Propositions that can't be used to distinguish possible worlds

Are there known ways of formalizing the notion of propositions that can't be targeted by counterfactuals in a coherent way? Or of propositions that are outside the scope of the framework in question? ...
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4answers
292 views

Can many worlds interpretation have universes with different laws?

The Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics is classified by Max Tegmark as a level-3 multiverse hypothesis. This means that in the universes that it will predict, there could be different ...
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1answer
102 views

How does this anthropic principle argument from Schopenhauer make any sense?

According to a blog post This is what another universe looks like, "in Arthur Schopenhauer's 1844 work "Von der Nichtigkeit und dem Leiden des Lebens", he argues that our world must be the worst of ...
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Can Schmidhuber's hypothesis reproduce all types of universes? And Wheeler's it from bit? Or Weizsäcker's ur-theory?

I found a paper that talked about paraconsistent logic systems (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraconsistent_logic) and trivialist systems (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trivialism) and the ...
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81 views

Does Tegmark himself include paraconsistent mathematical structures in his mathematical multiverse hypothesis?

Tegmark postulates in his hypothesis that all possible mathematical structures would exist. But does he include also possible mathematical structures described by other types of logic like ...
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Did David Deutsch really disprove the Simulation Hypothesis?

In The Fabric of Reality (1997) by David Deutsch, he says: Imagine a computer built to render every possible Virtual Reality. Suppose all possible environments produced by this generator can be ...
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Does Tegmark's Mathematical Universe hypothesis allow existence of alternative mathematics?

Tegmark's mathematical multiverse hypothesis assumes that all mathematical structures exist as universes But do you know whether his hypothesis also allows/accept universes described by other types ...
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365 views

Can possible-but-non-actual objects have accidental properties?

The modal logic I am considering is the "Simplest Quantified Modal Logic" which combines first-order predicate logic with identity, with S5 in the most straightforward way, described here and slightly ...
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265 views

How could we get a world where only impossible things happen? [closed]

Imagine a universe where 1+1=3. This contradiction would trigger the effects of the principle of explosion, and thus, literally everything (possible and impossible things) could happen. If we lived in ...
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129 views

Is essentialism compatible with naturalism?

I am not an expert and I cannot understand why essentialism is incompatible with naturalism? Why scientific laws cannot describe essential properties of objects?
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2answers
101 views

What's the difference between logical modalities and physical modalities?

I am just wondering what's the difference between the two. I would say that there is something different, but honestly I can't define what it is exactly. What do you think?
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What is the Lange's viewpoint on laws of nature?

I am just wondering what is the Lange's philosophical perspective on laws of nature and what line of thought he follows in the contemporary debate.
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1answer
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Do Alexius Meinong's impossible worlds describe all impossible worlds/things? [duplicate]

Does his impossible worlds category include (and can describe) literally all impossible things/worlds? Inconsistencies, paradoxes, impossible solutions to problems (and impossible problems); really ...
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203 views

Why can we not reduce necessity to analyticity?

Why can’t we eliminate talk of necessity and possible worlds, for talk of analyticity and (non-modal) logical consistency? Has there been any attempt in recent times to do this? I'm not 100% sure, but ...
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If we imagine a world that functions without causality, how absurd could it be?

If we assume that there's a universe that is devoid of causality, and if we assume that it isn't eternally static, would that mean that everything can happen because there are no reasons inhibiting ...
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226 views

Is there an idea of non-spatial reality in philosophy?

Our world is spatial. In particular there are 3 dimensions and we can measure lengths of objects in either of them. However, when thinking about metaphysics I came to the conclusion that there might ...
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206 views

How does the concept of the 'virtual' (Deleuze) relate to 'counterfactuals' (Lewis)?

We read: "[...] Deleuze will reject the notion of the possible in favor of that of the virtual. Rather than awaiting realization, the virtual is fully real; what happens in genesis is that the ...
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Ontological status of Axiom of Choice

Mathematical facts are necessary truths, either in a Platonic sense or by way of axioms. In the latter sense I mean that the Peano Axioms prove that 2+3=5, for example. In other words, "PA ⊨ 2+3=5"...
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circularity of possibility defined over possible worlds

I have just checked similar questions that have been asked(and answered) before but I am still confused. How is it that the notion of possibility defined over as being True in some possible world not ...
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1answer
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How to valuate (assign truth values to) a formula in modal logic (Kripke model)

A total novice here, and exasperated at that. I can translate natural language statements into formulae of modal logic, but their valuation in Kripke model seems elusive, as I'm simply unsure how to ...
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Truth that requires two possible worlds not causally linked

There is a clear example I have in mind of a modal transformer. The primary winding is in possible world, W1. The secondary winding is in possible world, W2. W1 and W2 are not causally linked in any ...
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What is the theory that existence, life, and/or consciousness arise simply because all possibilities must be exhausted, and this is one of them?

I distinctly recall reading a Wikipedia page listing multiple theories on the origin of existence itself. One in particular, described in the title, was fascinating and came to mind recently, but I ...
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Why does it matter if we live in “the best of all possible worlds”?

We can formalize the argument in this way: There is good and evil. The good tries with all its power to prevent the evil from doing more evil (otherwise the good wouldn't be the good). A possible ...
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105 views

What is the explanatory power of Possible World Semantics?

What kind of problems is PWS particularly suited that e.g. FOL couldn't address? I'm just wondering when is a good time to use PWS and for what kinds of questions. Thanks!
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193 views

In what sense are mathematical relations necessary?

I just stumbled upon the following statement: (1) The number of discovered chemical elements is 118. Take the sentence "The number of chemical elements is necessarily greater than 100". Again, ...
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Real impossible worlds

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 ...
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Are analytic propositions always vacuously true?

In a possible world where there are no bachelors is the proposition "bachelors are unmarried" vacuously true? Or is it tautologically true and you would then need to quantify bachelors as "all ...
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Does semantic externalism imply modal realism?

Semantic externalism, or more broadly externalism about mental content, is the idea that propositions, intentions, attitudes, etc. derive their meaning from the external world as opposed to internally ...
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Consistency in Modal Metaphysics

I read this article Modal Metaphysics weeks ago, but one thing that struck and perplexed me was the definition of consistency offered in this article. According to this article, it seems that one ...
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Is there any way to represented nested modalities in alethic modal logic?

It is possible to represent simple statements involving possibility and necessity in alethic modal logic and possible world semantics. But consider a statement like "It is possible that it is ...
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Is there anyone who believes that all modal statements are meaningless or trivial?

It is often useful to interpret statements in various modal logics using possible-world semantics. For instance "it is necessary that P" means "P is true in all possible worlds", "it is possible that ...
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Defining logical possibility without circularity

In explaining logical possibility (broad), I tend to say that a thing is logically possible if it exists in some possible world, some possible description of reality, but in what sense is such a world/...
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Can one be a Modal Realist without also having to incorporate the existence of impossible worlds?

I know Modal Realism well enough itself, and have read many of the objections (and subsequent responses) that David Lewis himself took up in relation to the philosophical position. My question is, do ...
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181 views

The definition of a possible world

I have a two-part question about the definition of a possible world. I will make the assumption that time is tensed. First of all, is a possible world a complete list of all propositions that are ...
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Can different varieties of modality be used with existential quantification?

I'm wondering if it makes sense to talk about worlds which aren't this one being real. It seems like you can claim that something possibly exists. Now I'm wondering, because it seems to amount to ...
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Is there a symbolic formulation of modal realism?

Is there a symbolic formulation of modal realism, i.e. the doctrines of modal realism captured in some formal system?
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Help understanding possible world formalism

I am a total novice to philosophy trying to make sense of a computer science article which makes reference to possible world theory. I don't really understand the formalization in the last sentence ...
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Modal Realism: Possible Worlds spatio-temporally isolated?

In Lewis' 5th doctrine of possible worlds in modal realism it says: Possible worlds are unified by the spatiotemporal interrelations of their parts; possible worlds are spatiotemporally isolated from ...
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Indiscernibility of possible worlds

According to Lewis, possible words are indiscernible from each other, that is, an individual in a possible world cannot say in which world it resides. It's somewhat similar to the indiscernibility of ...
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How to interpret “it is possible that x is impossible”?

The question is about the logical form of the sentence, x can be any object or process, actual infinity, tachyon, philosophical zombie, telepathy, etc. To conclude that x is impossible we are supposed ...
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Does Flatland exist according to modal realism?

Does Flatland exist according to modal realism, since it is a possible world?
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Time of Occurrence of Events

I'm wrestling with the notion of events in indeterministic worlds. Suppose that given an event type and a world we can in principle tell if the event occurs in that world. (Indeed we could represent ...
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What do necessity and possibility mean in Aquinas' Third Way argument for the existence of God?

In his famous Summa Theologica, the Scholastic theologian Thomas Aquinas presents Five Ways to demonstrate the existence of God. Here is Aquinas' Third Way, the argument from contigency: The third ...
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Abstractionism about Possible Worlds and the Contingently Non-Concrete

Concretists about possible worlds say that possible worlds are concrete entities (usually some kind of mereological sum of concrete individuals). Abstractionists say that worlds are abstract things: ...
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Is the Ideal World a possible world? [closed]

Is there any sense in postulating that there is a way to reach a so called "Ideal World"? By Ideal World I mean, in a sense, the best of all possible worlds.