Possibilities and the Actual World

  • John J. Drummond
Part of the Contributions to Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 4)


Smith and McIntyre have developed their interpretation of Husserl’s theory of the noema in the context of responses to various problems concerning intentional and semantic reference, problems to which the Husserlian theory of intentionality and the Fregean theory of sense appear as solutions. They supplement their interpretation with an analysis of Husserl’s concept of horizon and further examine the relations between Husserl’s notion of horizon-analysis and possible-worlds semantics. Indeed, it is one of the virtues of their work that they attempt to demonstrate how Husserl’s theory so interpreted responds both to the problems motivating (in part) Husserl’s own work and to contemporary issues in the theory of intentionality and in semantics. In this chapter, I shall examine how the interpretation I have developed herein addresses the aforementioned problems and discuss the relation between my view of Husserl and that of possible-world semanticists. Let us begin, then, with the semantical issues associated with modal and act-contexts, viz. the failures of the principles of substitutivity of identity and existential generalization.


Actual World Outer Horizon Intended Object Good Player Intensional Context 
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  1. 1.
    For a lengthier discussion of quotation and the intentional modifications introduced thereby, cf. Robert Sokolowski, “Quotation,” The Review of Metaphysics 37 (1984): 699-723.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cf. Drummond, “Seeing,” pp. 27-29.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    For a fuller account of this view of the presentation of ideal objects, cf. John J. Drummond, “The Perceptual Roots of Geometric Idealizations,” The Review of Metaphysics 37 (1984): 785-810.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    J. N. Mohanty makes the same point; cf. “Husserl on ‘Possibility’,” Husserl Studies 1 (1984): 25.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    Cf. also Sokolowski, Husserlian Meditations, §65.Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    Charles W. Harvey, “Husserl’s phenomenology and possible worlds semantics: A reexamination,” Husserl Studies 3 (1986): 200-201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 11.
    Harvey, “Husserl’s Phenomenology and possible worlds semantics: A reexamination,” p. 205.Google Scholar
  8. 12.
    Cf. Mohanty’s similar claim regarding Hintikka’s possible-worlds interpretation of intentionality, “Intentionality and ‘Possible Worlds’,” pp. 28-29.Google Scholar
  9. 13.
    Cf. Mohanty, “Intentionality and ‘Possible Worlds’,” pp. 43-44.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • John J. Drummond
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyMount Saint Mary’s CollegeEmmitsburgUSA

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