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Questions tagged [possible-worlds]

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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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276 views

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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260 views

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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1answer
135 views

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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1answer
506 views

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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291 views

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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1answer
169 views

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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1answer
334 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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1answer
79 views

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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1answer
114 views

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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3answers
395 views

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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290 views

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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3answers
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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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1answer
211 views

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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1answer
663 views

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.
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3k views

If there are infinite realities, do realities exist in which there are no infinite realities?

I don't have any experience with physics. I am just very interested to know whether or not this might be possible.
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2k views

The possibility of impossible

While thinking about the possible and impossible I came into the following conclusion. Some people say that nothing is impossible. But by saying that "nothing is impossible" they automatically ...
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3answers
154 views

Does the theory of multiple dimensions disprove itself?

This video suggests that a universe exists for each different possibility in the world. However, doesn't that mean that there must be a universe in which this theory has been disproved? Wouldn't that ...
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1answer
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What comes first: Necessity or Possible Worlds?

The context of my question is van Inwagens 'Material Beings' and Siders essay 'Van Inwagen and the possibility of Gunk'. There Sider presents a counterexample, a gunk world, to the claim that ...
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130 views

Is there a possible world in which the secondary attributes of our world become primary?

After Aristotle wrote on substance, a theory developed about the attributes that could inhere in a substance. They were distinguished between primary and secondary. For example, colour is a secondary ...
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1answer
189 views

Does the universe have solid structures on multiple spatial scales?

Is it reasonable to suggest that if we were to "zoom out" further and further in space with our eyes focused on some object at our initial position, that all the solar systems, then galaxies, and so ...
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1answer
50 views

One-placed intersection operator

What is the meaning of a formulation like: "A iff ∩A ⊆p" A is a set of propositions, p is a specific proposition, and the whole formulation is explicated as "There is no possible world where all ...
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196 views

For the modal realist, do possible individuals (and worlds) exist necessarily?

For David Lewis's Modal Realism, do the worlds and individuals that inhabit them exist necessarily? In a sense, the answer is "no". For an individual to exist necessarily would be for it to have a ...
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Can we ever know the origin of universe? [closed]

For sake of argument, let's assume that everything has to come from something. In this case, our universe must have come from something, lets call it 'thing 1'. 'Thing 1' in turn must have come from '...
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302 views

How to address initial criticisms of modal logic, in particular "I can imagine a world where [necessary truth] is false?"

Whether you ultimately agree with it or not, I feel that a study of modal logic, including David Lewis's (and others') notion of possible words is a valuable facet of a proper understanding of logic ...

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