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It’s a kind of magic: Lewis, magic and properties

  • Daniel NolanEmail author


David Lewis’s arguments against magical ersatzism are notoriously puzzling. Untangling different strands in those arguments is useful for bringing out what he thought was wrong with not just one style of theory about possible worlds, but with much of the contemporary metaphysics of abstract objects. After setting out what I take Lewis’s arguments to be and how best to resist them, I consider the application of those arguments to general theories of properties and relations. The constraints Lewis motivates turn out to yield an argument for concretism about possible individuals that is quite different from the better-known Lewisian arguments for that position. The discussion also touches on the puzzling question of whether things are the way they are because of the properties they have, or are the properties and relations the way they are because of the things that have them.


David Lewis Properties Magical ersatzism Possible worlds 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PhilosophyAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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