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Re: [ontolog-forum] A different approach to ontology

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 11 May 2008 14:52:52 -0500
Message-id: <7A7D937A-005E-468A-8A83-3FF5A0A5DC09@xxxxxxxx>
> The papers I've seen on possible worlds seem to cover a wide variety  
> of
> other topics like, necessity, possibility, etc ...    (01)

Yes, worlds (re-)entered the philosophical lexicon to provide an  
intuitive underpinning to Kripke's formal semantics for modal logic.   
Formally, the set of "possible worlds" in Kripke semantics is just a  
set W of featureless objects whose role is basically to index a  
collection of Tarski interpretations.  Since, in a Kripke model of a  
given modal language, every sentence of the language is true or false  
at any given element w of W, "possible world" is a reasonably natural  
and intuitive label, as a possible world is, intuitively, a complete  
"way things could be", a complete "alternative description" of reality.    (02)

> http://www-csli.stanford.edu/~jperry/PHILPAPERS/posswld.pdf
> Would you happen to have a reference to an academic paper the  
> defines an
> interpretation as a world?    (03)

Well, that's sort of mixing apples and oranges  Interpretations are  
formal, mathematical models.  Worlds (unless stipulated otherwise) are  
inherently, informal, philosophical entities.  Each bears similarities  
to the other, but one can't *define* a formal notion in terms of an  
informal one.    (04)

> CL model theory doesn't make the same claim: that an interpretation  
> is a world. Why?    (05)

I'd say for the reason just noted.    (06)

-chris    (07)

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