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Erkenntnis

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 83–101 | Cite as

Possible worlds as shifting domains

  • Takashi Yagisawa
Article

Abstract

Those who object to David Lewis' modal realism express qualms about philosophical respectability of the Lewisian notion of a possible world and its correlate notion of an inhabitant of a possible world. The resulting impression is that these two notions either stand together or fall together. I argue that the Lewisian notion of a possible world is otiose even for a good Lewisian modal realist, and that one can carry out a good Lewisian semantics for modal discourse without Lewisian possible worls. I do so by generalizing Lewis' own idea that restrictions on quantification “come and go with the pragmatic wind” and relativizing possible worlds as shifting domains of discourse. I then suggest a way to soften the infamous “incredulous stare”.

Keywords

Modal Realism Modal Discourse Lewisian Semantic Correlate Notion Lewisian Modal Realist 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takashi Yagisawa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyCalifornia State UniversityNorthridgeUSA

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