Philosophical Studies

, Volume 152, Issue 2, pp 155–166 | Cite as

The things that aren’t actually there

  • Richard WoodwardEmail author


The standard Kripkean semantic theories for quantified modal logic allow the individuals that exist at other worlds to vary from those that exist at the actual world. This causes a problem for those who deny the existence of non-actual individuals. I focus on two prominent strategies for solving this problem, due respectively to Bernard Linsky and Edward Zalta (who identify the possible individuals with the actual individuals) and Alvin Plantinga (who identifies the possible individuals with the individual essences). I argue, contra various commentators, that both of these solutions are acceptable by the lights of those who deny the existence of mere possibilia.


Actualism Modality Possible worlds Possibilia Plantinga Kripke semantics 



Thanks to Elizabeth Barnes, Ross Cameron, John Divers, Joseph Melia, Tatjana von Solodkoff, Jason Turner and Robbie Williams. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Logic Seminar at the University of Cambridge, and I thank my audience on that occasion, and Tim Button in particular, for helpful discussion. Special thanks to to the Analysis Trust for postdoctoral research funding, which supported me financially during my initial work on this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LeedsLeedsUK

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