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Re: [ontolog-forum] intangibles (was RE: Why most classifications are fu

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Avril Styrman" <Avril.Styrman@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2011 22:52:52 +0300
Message-id: <20110721225252.132713kmwneivtzo.astyrman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
MW: Lewis specifically asserts that possible worlds actually exist in  
the sense you mean.    (01)

Lewis' modal realism is well known:    (02)

When I profess realism about possible worlds, I mean to be taken  
literally... Our actual world is only one among others. We call it  
alone actual not because it differs in kind from all the rest but  
because it is the world we inhabit. Lewis [212, p85].    (03)

But if the other worlds are necessarily inaccessible to our world,  
which is also what Lewis thinks, then it really makes no difference to  
us whether the other worlds exist in the concrete sense or not:    (04)

I do not... think that it is necessary to treat other worlds besides  
this one as anything more than convenient fictions. The reason why we  
need not take the worlds realistically is that they have no causal or  
nomic links with the actual world. ... The actual world will be no  
different whether they are there or are not. Why, then, give the  
possible worlds ... any existence? Armstrong [211, p68]    (05)

As Jaegwon Kim has pointed out, an existence without causal powers is  
an existence hardly worth having. Pylkkänen [112, p235]    (06)

Other possible worlds, whether Leibnizian or Lewisian, are not thought  
to have any effect on our actual world. Nor is there thought to be any  
non-causal law of nature linking such worlds with our world. Armstrong  
[151, p7]    (07)

But if the entities postulated lie beyond our world, and in addition  
have no causal ... connection with it, then the postulation has no  
explanatory value. Armstrong [151, p7-8]    (08)

Modality is a complicated topic, but it can be simplified at least by  
understanding that it is totally indifferent whether the necessarily  
inacessible worlds exist outside of our minds or not.    (09)

Armstrong promotes combinatorialist fictionalism about possible  
worlds. In this sense, possible worlds are considered as fictions  
about how the actual world will be, was, or is now. Combinatorialism  
means that the state of the actual world tomorrow will be some  
recombination of the elements of the actual world today. This way, the  
actual world tomorrow will not just be a member of the set of all  
logically possible worlds, but also a member of the more constrained  
set of all worlds that are combinatorially possible tomorrow. This is  
also what the physicist mainly do when they predict the future; they  
don't have to think about "the set of all logically possible worlds".    (010)

-Avril    (011)

[112] Paavo Pylkkäanen. Mind, Matter, and the Implicate Order. Springer, 2007.    (012)

[151] David Malet Armstrong. A Combinatorial Theory of Possibility.  
Cambridge University Press, 1989.    (013)

[211] David Malet Armstrong. Reply to Peter Forrest. Ontology,  
causality, and mind: essays in honour of D.M. Armstrong. Cambridge  
University Press, 1993.    (014)

[212] David Lewis. Counterfactuals. Blackwell & Harvard U.P., 1973  
(revised printing 1986).    (015)

> Please note my reply to
> Chris M:  Lewis also said that a solution that did not assume the
> existence of possible worlds would be preferable if it could derive the
> same results.  Michael Dunn demonstrated such a solution, but Lewis was
> not aware of it.  As I said before, please, please, please read the
> following article:
> http://www.jfsowa.com/pubs/worlds.pdf
> MW: Talk about possible worlds
> might or might not correspond to something that really exists.
> That
> is true.  But even if some claim about a possible world happened to be
> true, that does not refute my point that the claim was both intensional
> (with an S) and  intentional (with a T).
> In general, I agree that
> looking at extensions is a useful exercise.  But further evidence and
> inferences are necessary to determine the intensions (with an S) that
> generated the extensions and the intentions (with a T) that led to the
> intensions.
> Those inferences are often very difficult, and they may
> be mistaken.
> John
>    (016)

--     (017)

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