Lewis suggests that the pictures would be representative, specifically, by isomorphism, by a mirroring between parts of the picture and parts of what is represented. Though Lewis’ (1986) view is clearly not a Meinongian one, as we shall see in the next section. His professional duties … Recall: Lewis’ difficulty was that we bear no causal relationships to non-actual worlds, meaning that our epistemic access to these worlds seems problematic. Perhaps the best way to levy the charge is by considering how a distribution of simples relates to macro states-of-affairs. This kind of reaction is what Lewis calls “The Incredulous Stare.” Lewis acknowledges that his view violates commonsense, even “to an extreme extent,” and that this is a liability for the theory. For although ideal scientific entities seem to be fictitious, our tendency is nonetheless to view, for example, the ideal gas laws as literally true. Finally, the Sententialist faces a circularity worry. Even though “there is” such a person, Meinongianism apparently does not determine a fact of the matter. However, charitably Quine recognizes that different concepts are in play here. This indicates another shared feature of worlds among Ersatzers; a world-surrogate is in some sense representational. Deserves to be widely read. (An example would be “the Average American”). Still, he claims that such a possibility is “no central part of our modal thinking,” so he prefers to bite the bullet instead of rejecting his definitions of ‘worldmate’ and ‘world’ (1986, p. 71). Thus, “It is possible for me to be a dentist” is true not because of a concretely existing alternate world, but rather because there is some ersatz world, according to which I am a dentist. Recall that Quine presumes necessity would be definable in terms of analyticity, but the present suggestion ultimately explicates analyticity in terms of necessity (via the notion of synonymy). In the hard sciences, moreover, if an unobservable entity is theoretically useful, that is often seen as a reason to think it exists. Though as Rosen says, this is hard to stomach especially if the story-prefixed statements occasionally lack a truth-value (in accordance with Rosen’s advice above). Still, Quine’s views are radically at odds with the current philosophical orthodoxies, and so many philosophers remain unconvinced. So, this article reviews five kinds of answer to the question about possible worlds: (1) Meinong’s Realism, (2) David Lewis’ Realism, (3) Ersatzism, (4) Fictionalism, and (5) David Armstrong’s hybrid of (3) and (4). Yet metaphysical necessitation is of course a modal notion. Leibniz's metaphysics. An excellent introduction to many of the issues presented in this article. As might be expected, circularity is also a worry for this brand of Ersatzism. For one, the sets cannot just contain sentence-tokens (individual sentences that have actually been spoken or uttered), since there have only been finitely many tokens in the history of the world. Quine’s argument here is found in his “Two Dogmas of Empiricism” (one of the most celebrated philosophical article of the twentieth century). This entry will address this second aspect of his philosophy. (1953). Quine argues that such circularity is in fact ineliminable, and that our modal notions are therefore defective. However, Armstrong puts no constraints on what properties a possible individual might instantiate. Nicholas F. Stang, Kant’s Modal Metaphysics Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016 Pp. (When they do, the objects are called “worldmates.”)  This, in conjunction with the spatio-temporal isolation of worlds, blocks the consequence that all possible worlds form one Big Possible World. So at first, it may seem that Lewis’ theory simply helps itself to one of the modal notions it was supposed to account for. The label ‘Meinongian,’ however, is anachronistic since Alexius Meinong was writing years before the advent of Kripkean worlds. 2-3) Despite the prima facie implausibility, however, there is a type of indispensability argument which may speak in favor of the view. Nonetheless, our concern here is with possibilia only, and Meinong’s view of impossibilia can be bracketted. Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz (/ ˈ l aɪ b n ɪ t s /; German: [ˈɡɔtfʁiːt ˈvɪlhɛlm fɔn ˈlaɪbnɪts] or [ˈlaɪpnɪts]; 1 July 1646 [O.S. Füssli: Der. But in fact, these phrases do not intersubstitute, in a sentence like “Necessarily, a creature with a heart is a creature with a heart.” For while this statement is true, it is false that “Necessarily, a creature with a heart is a creature with a kidney.”. Section 4 is a very useful introduction to conventionalism about modality; other sections are helpful as well regarding Modal Realism, Fictionalism, and the various Ersatzisms. Now ask yourself: Have you imagined the same man or not? Daniel Garber, Leibniz: Body, Substance, Monad. Lewis responded by explaining modal knowledge via “imaginative tests,” where we judge whether an imaginary scenario is possible using the Principle of Recombination. In order to explain Leibniz's modal metaphysics—the metaphysicsof necessity, contingency, and possibility—we must look first atthe foundation of Leibniz's system more generally: his conception ofan individual substance. Possibility, Agency, and Individuality in Leibnizs Metaphysics - Filosofia | Casas Bahia | 16333220 Hence, Quine thinks it could conceivably be rational to revise even logical truths such as the Law of Excluded Middle in light of experimental results from quantum physics. After all, for this Ersatzer, possible objects are individuated only by their properties—so if x and y are objects that have exactly the same properties, it would follow on this view that x = y. This would allow us to reconstrue Meinong’s slogan as the claim that “there are” objects of which it is true to say that there are no such objects. (So for instance, Bertrand Russell is essentially a member of homo sapiens.) The first place where Fictionalism is developed in detail, as a modal metaphysics in its own right. And if so, then such fictitious entities would meet the constraints imposed by Naturalism. What is the difference between the merely possible and the actual? On a related matter, the Fictionalist seems to face a dilemma. Quine protested that Meinongian objects have no clear individuation-conditions. This, along with Part II below, provide a useful overview of the latest developments in the debate regarding Modal Realism vs. its competitors. (Leibniz, 1670) Thus as matter interacts with all other matter in the universe, to ask 'What is matter?' And a commitment to sets and the like may not seem quite as objectionable as a Realist’s commitment to nonactual objects. So far the views here have all assumed Realism about modal truths, even though most refuse Realism about possible worlds. Infamously, Meinong once expressed this in the slogan “there are objects such that it is true to say of them that there are no such objects” (1904, p. 83). There is no sense in which you inhabit some genuinely existing alternative universe. Still, there are other issues. Lewis even suggests it compatible with reducing possible states-of-affairs to sets of Lewisian concrete worlds (if the sets are actual abstracta). [2]Spinoza gives two extremely different, but equally striking accounts ofhow many tokens exist under each of these two basic types. Yet it is unclear whether this is satisfactory, since numbers do not literally represent anything (much less represent nonactual matter); hence, the numbers will apparently be chosen arbitrarily. Leibniz asks his reader to conside… Lewis thus calls the view “non-descript” Ersatzism, complaining that the theory is not much of a theory at all. Nonetheless, the Fictionalist strategy has garnered a lot of attention, since at the least, it may be no more problematic than the Ersatz views. To view the PDF, you must Log In or Become a Member. Lewis’ solution here is to say that knowledge of non-actual worlds does not require causal interaction. These are statements about what is possible or what is necessarily so. Lycan’s point is that it does not, given that the theory rests on the distinction between “possible” and “impossible” worlds. But oddly, this last statement looks truistic given Lewis’ Realism. Many times, a proposition is defined by a set of possible worlds (intuitively, the worlds where the proposition is true)—whereas a property is often defined by a set of possible objects (intuitively, the objects that have the property in question). cit., p. 86). Another is that the isomorphisms would fail, since an abstract ersatz cat is not a cat—an abstract object is not the sort of thing that can instantiate felinehood. Yet the reader can verify that Lewis’ Realism, Ersatzism, Fictionalism, the Armstrong Hybrid, and Conventionalism face circularity worries; each seems to implicitly deploy a modal notion in the analysis of modal notions. So regardless of whether Quine or the conventionalist is right, the primary lesson of this section stands, namely, that metaphysical accounts of possible worlds might be mistaken not just in detail, but in their most basic assumptions. Yet entailment is a modal notion; a conjunction of statements entails a statement just in case it is impossible for the conjunction to be true and the latter false. Abstract. (Though again, a Meinongian view of possibilia, specifically, might just reject incomplete objects.) Instead, a statement must first be embedded in an entire network of statements. Yet even if we grant all this, Lewis may need to explain further how we know that this Principle accords precisely with the real modal facts. In its most basic form, this principle states that any object can co-exist with any other object. Still, the claim that the plentitude of worlds genuinely exists seems ridiculously, outrageously implausible by commonsense standards. One of the first Ersatz views was Rudolf Carnap’s (1947) Sententialism, where maximally consistent sets of sentences took the place of possible worlds. However, if the Fictionalist accepts that the PWF exists as an abstract story, understood as a set of sentences, then it may not be entirely clear how her view differs from Sententialist Ersatzism. Exciting developments in modal logic, culminating in the work of Saul Kripke, had already made the idea of possible worlds central to the understanding of languages with modal operators (Kripke 1963). But for Quine, this just pushes back the question onto “synonymy.” When do terms count as synonymous? One of the main proposals here is that synonyms are terms that can replace each other in the statements they occur, without altering the truth-values of those statements. In more detail, the Property Ersatzer identifies objects with bundles of properties (intuitively, the properties that the object has). The label ‘Meinongian,’ however, is anachronistic since Alexius Meinong was writing years before the advent of Kripkean worlds. Next, we can assign a time t to each point, so that the spatial-temporal location of a point is completely defined by an ordered quadruple . In contrast, Meinongian Realism increases the kinds that entities exist. As Leibnizprofoundly says; Reality cannot be found except in One single source, because of the interconnection of all things with one another. But at the most basic level, the Non-Reductivist simply interprets Kripke’s logic with respect to a domain of abstract objects, which are not analyzed in terms of anything more ontologically fundamental. He grants, however, that we may consider particulars and properties/relations in abstraction from states-of-affairs. Leibniz: A Collection of Critical Essays. Notably, Rosen does not always identify himself as a Fictionalist, and similarly with Daniel Nolan (who is arguably the leading expert on Fictionalism in the early 21st century). Still, many assume that Kripke’s aposteriori necessities are also synthetic truths. This book reveals a thread that runs through Leibnizs metaphysics: from his logical notion of possible individuals to his notion of actual, nested ones. For instance, it appears Occam’s Razor would have us shave off Meinongian objects from our ontology (Quine 1948). Of course, one might forego the possible-worlds analysis of the story-prefix and give a Meinongian account instead. That seems true enough. For instance, the proposition that I am a dentist would often be seen as composed of (representations of) myself and the property of being a dentist. For within the space-time of a world W, there will only be one world that exists as an (improper) part, namely W itself. If so, are they irreducible, or can modal facts be explained in other terms? As in other Ersatz views, concrete possible worlds are replaced with actual abstract objects. The so… Not only is each world “gapless,” he also thinks there is no gap in the collective of worlds. Imagine first a non-existent bald man in a doorway, and then imagine a non-existent fat man in the doorway. We can construe the primary question of modal metaphysics as, “When we make a statement about what is possible or necessary, what determines the truth or falsity of the statement?” As an illustration, consider the statement “It is possible for me to be a dentist.” This says that one possibility for me is to enter the dentistry profession. This is where it all started; it presents Kripke’s logic for modal statements. Since the Fictionalist is not a Realist, she cannot say that the right fiction is the one that corresponds to the real possible worlds. This is the view that truths about what is possible or what is necessary are determined by linguistic convention, rather than by possible worlds, ersatz worlds, or the like. One complaint against Lewis, then, is that these tests provide knowledge of the concrete existing worlds only if we antecedently know that the Recombination Principle provides for exactly the possibilities found in those worlds. Accordingly, Lewis’ use of ‘actual’ only serves to locate an object in the world of concern, among the myriad of worlds that exist. Contains Lewis’ first statement of his Realism, also includes a noteworthy preface by Quine. If so, the implication seems to be an Anti-Realism about modal truth or that modal notions cannot be used in expressing legitimate truths. The Ersatzer would hold that the alien properties are actually instantiated by abstract pictures (though they remain “alien” in being uninstantiated concretely.) (1972). Possible Worlds I: Modal Realism. (Lewis levies this criticism against a view he calls “Magical Ersatzism,” where ersatz worlds are structureless, mereological atoms. Consequently, the view entails that it is possible (say) for Bertrand Russell to be a poached egg—though the current philosophical trends at the beginning of the 21st century are against such a thing. Most basically, the Ersatzer construes talk about a possible world as talk about some ersatz object. So, why is the statement true? The article will not discuss epistemic possibilities. That is, we do not see the ideal gas laws as simply “true in fiction” in the way that we regard “Sherlock Holmes lives at 221B Baker Street” as merely true in fiction. Fast and free shipping free returns cash on … Once these worlds are defined, a statement with the normal form “Possibly, p” is said  [in the most elementary kind of Kripkean logic]  to be true if, and only if, there is at least one possible world in which the state-of-affairs p obtains. A different suggestion is that analytic statements are either logical truths or “true by definition.” The latter kind of truth would be a statement with a predicate that is synonymous with the subject-term, where synonyms could be listed by dictionary definitions. A second difficulty is that, according to Lewis’ Realism, Modal Realism is necessarily true—that is, Modal Realism is true at every world. You can also read more about the Friends of the SEP Society. However, these Meinongians often do not provide much explication of “being” in the scare-quoted sense, and critics have thus doubted its intelligibility. Presents a Non-Reductivist metaphysics, the last chapter is explicitly devoted to comparing Non-Reductivism to Reductivism. But how does Fictionalist fix the facts here? A number of objections have been raised against Quine. But these ersatz worlds are simply identified as “maximal states-of-affairs” or “ways the world might have been” without further analysis in terms of sentences, propositions, universals, or anything else. More generally, since experience may prompt any statement to be revised, Quine sees it as folly to speak of statements that are analytic or necessarily true—that is, true no matter what. And that means non-actual abstracta, which would include non-actual properties, would not characterize any ersatz world. Regardless, Lewis identifies (at least) three difficulties for Pictorial Ersatzism. But this is partly why, at the end of “Two Dogmas,” Quine provides a very general picture of the relations between statements, where the analytic/synthetic distinction (and the necessary/possible distinction) apparently can have no application. Finally, the Fictionalist also faces a more general circularity worry. Modal metaphysics concerns the metaphysical underpinning of our modal statements. In line with Kripke’s logic, the Non-Reductivist can say that her worlds consist of states-of-affairs, which in turn are comprised of individuals and their properties/relations. He contends that a continuous region of space-time is necessary and sufficient to individuate a world. Email: parentt@vt.edu The last section considers Quine’s skepticism about the issue and about modality in general. As Lewis is aware, the most glaring issue is that the view just ignores the Principle of Parsimony, which demands that entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity. Plus, it can be applied to other problematic objects besides possible worlds, “moral facts” for example. “The World is Everything that is the Case,”. We now come to the primary alternative to Modal Realism, the Ersatz approach. Worlds are spatio-temporally isolated on his view; we cannot speak of events occurring at the same time in different worlds, nor can we speak of distances between worlds. 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