Actuality, Possibility, and Worlds by Alexander R. Pruss

By Alexander R. Pruss

Reality, hazard and Worlds is an exploration of the Aristotelian account that sees probabilities as grounded in causal powers. On his strategy to that account, Pruss surveys a few historic techniques and argues that logicist methods to chance are implausible.

The idea of attainable worlds seems to be necessary for plenty of reasons, comparable to the research of counterfactuals or elucidating the character of propositions and houses. This usefulness of attainable worlds makes for a moment normal query: Are there any attainable worlds and, if this is the case, what are they? Are they concrete universes as David Lewis thinks, Platonic abstracta as in line with Robert M. Adams and Alvin Plantinga, or perhaps linguistic or mathematical constructs reminiscent of Heller thinks? Or is likely to be Leibniz correct in pondering that possibilia usually are not on par with actualities and that abstracta can purely exist in a brain, in order that attainable worlds are principles within the brain of God?

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Actuality, Possibility, and Worlds

Reality, risk and Worlds is an exploration of the Aristotelian account that sees percentages as grounded in causal powers. On his approach to that account, Pruss surveys a few historic techniques and argues that logicist techniques to threat are implausible.

The suggestion of attainable worlds seems to be precious for plenty of reasons, resembling the research of counterfactuals or elucidating the character of propositions and homes. This usefulness of attainable worlds makes for a moment normal query: Are there any attainable worlds and, if that is so, what are they? Are they concrete universes as David Lewis thinks, Platonic abstracta as in step with Robert M. Adams and Alvin Plantinga, or perhaps linguistic or mathematical constructs corresponding to Heller thinks? Or might be Leibniz correct in pondering that possibilia are usually not on par with actualities and that abstracta can in simple terms exist in a brain, in order that attainable worlds are principles within the brain of God?

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Additional resources for Actuality, Possibility, and Worlds

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A proposition is necessary if and only if it holds at all times and possible if it holds at some time. 15 This Aristotelian theory is structurally quite sim ilar to Lewis’s, except w ith time-slices in the place of concrete universes. In both cases, modal claims are analyzed in terms of quantification over concreta. It is also true on Aristotle’s theory that the difference between mere possibility and actuality is indexical. e. in o u r world. There is, however, a difference. Aristotle does not see, as far as I can tell, the full ontological parity between other times and the present that Lewis sees between other worlds and ours.

The privation that he had not a mere lack: it was a potentiality for beardedness. O n this account, there is something in the substance which can be identi­ fied as a potentiality for the alternate states of the substance. If we further accept the general Aristotelian thesis that potentiality is grounded in actual­ ity, we have to say that there is something actual in the substance in virtue o f which that substance can change. But this account not only helps to solve the Parmenidean puzzle about change, but it may also help w ith the extended Parmenidean puzzle about the grounds of modality.

But this will not do, because the adjectival phrase “merely possible” is truth-canceling in the way “fake” is — fake money isn't money — while “tom orrow ’s” is not truth-canceling. A merely possible sea battle is not anything that exists. If it is not anything that exists, it cannot make anything true. But w hat else could the assertion that there can be a sea battle be about, one asks, other than the future sea battle? Parmenides, not having a clear notion o f modality, merely claims that his one reality is atem porally unchanging.

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