David Lewis Modal Realism

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  • Created by: A. Person
  • Created on: 16-05-17 16:15
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  • David Lewis: Concrete Modal Realism
    • Quantification
      • Restricted
        • Quantify only over actual world.
        • From this POV only this-wordly things exist.
          • compare: all the beer is in the fridge.
      • Unrestricted
        • Quantify over all possible worlds.
      • Modality = possibly there are blue swans iff for some world w, at w there are blue swans.
        • at w = restricts domain of quantification.
    • Objections to Lewis
      • 1. Misrepresents his own position.
        • Incorrect to say that our world is actual and others not.
          • Actualism: everything is actual. A trivial truth.
          • Other worlds just more of actuality
            • Nothing to do w/ possibility - possibilities are not actual!
        • Lewis Replies that he is not using 'actual' as a blanket term.
          • Indexical
      • All Worlds in One?
        • Premises about possibility map classes of worlds onto a single world.
          • Unrestricted principle of recombination.
            • Can patch together parts of worlds; world copies a class of individuals iff contains non overlapping duplicates!
              • So will have one giant world w/ all worlds.
                • Including this world?
                  • World bigger than itself/regress?
      • How can we know?
        • Richards: poss world truth conditions cannot tell us whether they are met.
          • so cannot know if there's a world with a given possibility!
          • Donkey response
            • knowledge of a donkey = contingent. Visual stimulation etc.
            • Knowledge of possible donkey = necessary.
            • Demarcation not of concrete/abstract, but of contingent/necessary...
      • Indifference
        • Adams: CMR cannot say why we should care about actualising evils, if they will occur anyway...
        • Prudential variant: why bother writing a book, or continuing to live...
          • b/c egocentric concern!
            • Futile to want whole system of words to be a certain way, but not our own world!!

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