But if so, what determines its truth? The label âMeinongian,â however, is anachronistic since Alexius Meinong was writing years before the advent of Kripkean worlds. Different writers take different entities as their ersatz worlds, but the common idea is to use objects that are just plain actual, thus avoiding a Realist commitment to non-actuals. (In contrast, every maximally consistent set patently contains infinitely many sentences.) This indicates another shared feature of worlds among Ersatzers; a world-surrogate is in some sense representational. Normally, a statement is true because it represents a situation that actually obtains, but in the present case, the statement represents a situation which does not actually obtain. Contains the slogan “There are objects of which it is true to say that there are no such objects.” One of the few pieces by Meinong widely available in English. Where did Lewiss modal realism come from? Now ask yourself: Have you imagined the same man or not? A sustained defense of Lewis’ Realism, and an attack on the alternative, Ersatz views. Another articulation of Lewis’ Realism; this is also the main source for Lewis on counterparts. It is key that Lewis’ early version of Modal Realism holds that “‘There are x’ is true at a world iff x exists in that world,” that is, as a spatio-temporal part of that world. Modal statements concern what is possible or impossible, necessary or contingent. 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. Namely, ‘world’ in Lewis’ mouth means possible world, in contrast to the impossible worlds whose existence Lewis rejects. Alvin Plantinga is an American philosopher, currently the John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University And so besides sets, the Ersatzer now may incur an ontological commitment to a further kind of abstract object, “types.”. Leibnizs Metaphysics of Time and Space. He contends that a continuous region of space-time is necessary and sufficient to individuate a world. Rather, they are to be placed in neither category, and instead lie “beyond being and non-being” (op. 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. A second concern is that some Meinongian objects seem incomplete or gappy. Of course, one might forego the possible-worlds analysis of the story-prefix and give a Meinongian account instead. Nevertheless, he emphasizes that commonsense is not the final arbiter on what is philosophically best, and that the theoretical advantages of his Realism ultimately outweigh the disadvantages. In Modal Logic as Metaphysics, Timothy Williamson argues for positive answers to those questions on the basis of an integrated approach to the issues, applying the technical resources of modal logic to provide structural cores for metaphysical theories. A handy collection of Plantinga’s work in the area, including Chapter 8 of Plantinga (1974). That seems true enough. 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. Alternatively, some Meinongians respond to the charge by distinguishing two kinds of being, that is to say, the usual kind of being, and the sort of the “being” that Pegasus has (with scare quotes). 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. Whereas in other contexts, perhaps the only thing that will do is a dentist who is a strict molecule-for-molecule duplicate of you. (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. Finally, the Fictionalist also faces a more general circularity worry. The Non-Reductivist can respond, however, by explicitly denying such reductions. So, the sentence “It is possible for me to become a dentist” is true because there is at least one possible world, so defined, where I am a dentist. The picture, known as the “web of belief,” is one which (in the first instance) jettisons the idea that an individual hypothesis can be confirmed or disconfirmed by experience. Indeed, many have said that Lewis should admit impossible worlds anyway, for the same kind of indispensability reasons in favor of possible worlds. Written around January 1686, it is the most accomplished systematic expression of Leibniz's philosophy in the 1680s, the period in which Leibniz's philosophy reached maturity. Nonetheless, it is entirely true to say “According to Lewis’ theory, there is some possible world with a talking donkey.” Taking this as her cue, the Fictionalist says that for any modal statement p, the statement is true if and only if, according to Lewis’ view, p. One advantage that Fictionalism has over Lewis’ Realism is that the view is not as apt to provoke the “Incredulous Stare” by ignoring commonsense. (Otherwise, the view would not secure the possibility of two objects differing only in alien properties.) Why are modal metaphysics and modal logic called âmodalâ? Quine, this would hardly come as a surprise. After university study in Leipzig and elsewhere, it would have been natural for him to go into academia. So at best, the result is a rather tight circle of definitions. 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. One is that if ersatz worlds are defined via properties, then it will be impossible to have distinct yet indiscernible objects. Still, Quine’s views are radically at odds with the current philosophical orthodoxies, and so many philosophers remain unconvinced. Available in PDF, EPUB, and Mobi Format. The most important objection is that Armstrong does not describe the metaphysics of his fictions, beyond comparing them to frictionless surfaces and perfect vacuums. For they wish to limit themselves to actual abstracta when building the ersatz world. Typically, a proposition is a complex of objects and properties/relations (or representations thereof). And apparently, the Non-Reductivist is simply taking as primitive the crucial explanatory notions like “states-of-affairs,” “properties,” and so forth. The Discourse on Metaphysics is one of Leibnizs fundamental works. It is natural to think that causal interaction with x is required in order to know about x, as when the senses causally interact with the world. For another, the view naturally extends the commonsense semantics of ordinary names to empty names such as ‘Pegasus.’ Unlike the descriptivist, say, the Meinongian simply regards ‘Pegasus’ labeling an object (albeit a non-existing one), just in the way that people commonly regard ‘Tony Blair’ as a label for a person. Also sketches a Propositionalist/Property Ersatz view. 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. Contains several relevant papers on modal metaphysics, including Lewis’ criticisms of Routley (a contemporary Meinongian) and of Armstrong. “The Theory of Objects,” in. So the Sententialist apparently takes as given one of the notions it wants to explicate. Christia Mercer has exposed for the first time the underlying doctrines of Leibniz's philosophy. Most basically, however, Armstrong wants a “Naturalist” metaphysics, a metaphysics where anything that exists (i) has a location in actual space-time, and also (ii) enters into causal relations. an example of extreme metaphysics. Thus, Lewis proposes that these abstract pictorial objects should be idealized pictures which represent by a complete isomorphism (in as much as this is possible). View Leibniz's metaphysics Research Papers on Academia.edu for free. Catherine Wilson examines the shifts in Leibnizâs thinking as he confronted the major philosophical problems of his era. Recall: Lewis’ difficulty was that we bear no causal relationships to non-actual worlds, meaning that our epistemic access to these worlds seems problematic. Brandon C. Look. Not only is each world “gapless,” he also thinks there is no gap in the collective of worlds. de Rosset, L. (2009b). A later approach to come on the scene is the Fictionalist view of possibilia. Finally, the Sententialist faces a circularity worry. Another glaring issue for the Fictionalist is to give an adequate semantics of her story-prefix. Leibniz's metaphysics. Leibniz and the Possibility of God's Existence. And as Lewis admits, it is counter-intuitive to say that. Rather, it illustrates that Lewis uses ‘actual’ as an indexical term vis-à-vis worlds: Just as the pronoun ‘I’ picks out different people on different occasions (depending on the speaker), ‘actual’ can denote the objects of different worlds, depending on which world is relevant. Quine, W.V. Lewis thus calls the view “non-descript” Ersatzism, complaining that the theory is not much of a theory at all. Since she denies the concrete existence of the worlds, she can hold that the “imaginative tests” are enough for modal knowledge. (In contrast, Sententialism can explain the representational nature of its ersatz worlds by the representational nature of sentences.). Nicholas F. Stang, Kantâs Modal Metaphysics Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016 Pp. de Rosset, L. (2009a). Nonetheless, if we follow Kripke’s logic to the letter, the statement “It is possible for me to be a dentist” is true (if uttered by you), in virtue of some alternate world where you yourself exist and are a dentist. What is possible and why? And so, contrary statements would have the same truth-value. So oddly, even though alternate worlds exist just as much as we do, they do not exist anywhere in relation to us. The idea is that talk of “possible worlds” is too useful to modal semantics to see it as a mere façon de parler (way of speaking). 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. For instance, simply as a logical point, it has the strange consequence that “Necessarily, I am myself” is true only in virtue of objects that are neither identical to me nor to one another. In its most basic form, this principle states that any object can co-exist with any other object. Lewis’ “no overlap” intuition brings us to an important feature of his modal metaphysics. The soâ¦ He just utilized the sets as they were, referring to them as “state descriptions.” Still, posterior to Kripke’s modal logic, one might naturally assimilate state descriptions to ersatz worlds, since state descriptions fulfill the semantic role that is otherwise played by worlds. Yet Rosen points out that, given Lewis’ silence, the contrary statement “no possible spacetime houses uncountably many donkeys” would also come out false. As an illustration, a Combinatorialist might start with a co-ordinate system in a four-dimensional Newtonian spacetime, and identify the position of each space-time point in the usual manner, using numerical values along the x-axis, the y-axis, and the z-axis. To view the PDF, you must Log In or Become a Member. For it is possible to distinguish cases where we revise a statement’s truth-value, from cases where we revise a statement’s meaning. Buy Leibniz's Metaphysics: A Historical and Comparative Study by Wilson, Catherine online on Amazon.ae at best prices. ), As concerns the “web of belief,” Grice & Strawson (1956) argue that this picture does not in fact preclude an analytic/synthetic distinction. A number of objections have been raised against Quine. Leibniz's Metaphysics: Its Origins and Development will not be ignored; it will be read and passionately debated for years to come." U. S. A. Presents Armstrong’s hybrid of Combinatorialism and Fictionalism, putatively in line with Naturalist ontology. “The World is Everything that is the Case,”. 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. So far the views here have all assumed Realism about modal truths, even though most refuse Realism about possible worlds. On a related matter, the Fictionalist seems to face a dilemma. 352 ISBN 9780198712626 (hbk) $74.00 - Volume 22 Issue 2 - Jessica Leech 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. The book is a highly effective overview and response to the literature on modal metaphysics. (Though, note, Lewis thinks that there are still cardinality problems unless the sentences are “Lagadonian,” where objects themselves are used as their own names). Still, there are other issues. It also has Plantinga’s (1972) modal metaphysics, as well as his (1987) relevance objection to Lewis’ Realism. Lewis responded by explaining modal knowledge via “imaginative tests,” where we judge whether an imaginary scenario is possible using the Principle of Recombination. But when is an object “sufficiently similar?” Lewis in fact thinks there are no absolute conditions on this. But in line with Naturalism, Armstrong rejects the abstract set-theoretic constructions which the typical Combinatorialist posits. But he thinks the point carries over.) For although every Ersatzer is committed to abstract objects, the Pictorial Ersatzer’s objects are not “abstract” in the usual senses of the term. (Technical addendum: Since a space can be mapped by more than one co-ordinate system, a world is ultimately defined by an equivalence class of such systems.). 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). So at first, it may seem that Lewis’ theory simply helps itself to one of the modal notions it was supposed to account for. Most notably, an abstract object is prototypically one that does not enter into spatio-temporal relations. That is to say, absolutely every way that a world could possibly be is the way that some world is. Quine’s argument here is found in his “Two Dogmas of Empiricism” (one of the most celebrated philosophical article of the twentieth century). His reply is that for the most part, our modal knowledge follows from our (tacit) knowledge of the Recombination Principle. So as before, it appears the Ersatzer has a circular analysis on her hands. Are there future people, who have not yet been conceived? Kripke then argues further that some necessities are aposteriori, such as ‘Hesperus = Phosphorus’, (and as a lesser point, that some contingencies seem apriori, such as ‘I am here now’). If Lewis were to surrender this distinction, so that ‘world’ denotes any kind of world whatsover, then ‘world’ could be a nonmodal term in Lewis’ primitive vocabulary. Possible Worlds I: Modal Realism. Leibniz's Modal Metaphysics [PDF Preview] This PDF version matches the latest version of this entry.