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

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2011 18:17:30 -0700
Message-id: <30E07296-A001-4A61-82E4-C9E079A5F924@xxxxxxxx>
On Jul 21, 2011, at 4:49 PM, sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx wrote:

We agree on the formalism.  I agree that Lewis's metaphor of possible worlds had some stimulating influence on the imagination.  The question is whether there is any conclusion derivable from  Lewis's worlds that cannot be derived equally well from Dunn's laws and facts.

> Dunn came up with a formal semantics for modal
> languages equivalent to Kripke's. It can be used for the same sorts of
> formal purposes that Kripke semantics can be used for — proving soundness
> and completeness results, proving the consistency of certain modal
> principles, etc. Dunn did NOT provide (nor did he purport to provide)
> alternatives to the solutions to numerous problems in semantics,
> philosophy of language, metaphysics, philosophy of mind etc that Lewis
> propounded in terms of worlds.

Could you please give one example of a problem that can be solved by Lewis's approach,  but not by Dunn's laws and facts.

You set the bar too high; I can't give an example that CANNOT be solved by Dunn's approach.  All I can say is that Lewis provided world-based solutions to, e.g., the analysis of modality, the analysis of intensional entities, and the problem of mental content, among others, and that, to my knowledge, no solutions to those problems exist in terms of laws and facts.  (For another thing, I don't think there has been any detailed philosophical account of what laws and facts even ARE in anything other than a purely formal sense. It is thus not even clear how one would develop Dunn's account to metaphysical ends.)


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