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Impossible worlds

Jago, Mark

Authors

Mark Jago



Abstract

Impossible worlds are representations of impossible things and impossible happenings. They earn their keep in a semantic or metaphysical theory if they do the right theoretical work for us. As it happens, a worlds-based account provides the best philosophical story about semantic content, knowledge and belief states, cognitive significance and cognitive information, and informative deductive reasoning. A worlds-based story may also provide the best semantics for counterfactuals. But to function well, all these accounts need use of impossible and as well as possible worlds. So what are impossible worlds? Graham Priest claims that any of the usual stories about possible worlds can be told about impossible worlds, too. But far from it. I'll argue that impossible worlds cannot be genuine worlds, of the kind proposed by Lewis, McDaniel or Yagisawa. Nor can they be ersatz worlds on the model proposed by Melia or Sider. Constructing impossible worlds, it turns out, requires novel metaphysical resources.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Oct 11, 2013
Journal Noûs
Print ISSN 0029-4624
Electronic ISSN 0029-4624
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2013
APA6 Citation Jago, M. (2013). Impossible worlds. Noûs, 2013, doi:10.1111/nous.12051
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/nous.12051
Publisher URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nous.12051/full
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0





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