Single Idea 9662

[catalogued under 10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 2. Nature of Possible Worlds / b. Worlds as fictions]

Full Idea

Linguistic representations of possible worlds have three problems: some descriptions are inconsistent (which worlds cannot be); we cannot have indiscernible descriptions (though some worlds might be so); and descriptions are limited by vocabulary.

Gist of Idea

Linguistic possible worlds have problems of inconsistencies, no indiscernibles, and vocabulary


David Lewis (On the Plurality of Worlds [1986], 3.2)

Book Reference

Lewis,David: 'On the Plurality of Worlds' [Blackwell 2001], p.165

A Reaction

Lewis is wonderful at getting problems clearly on the table. I take the idea of possible worlds as linguistic entities to be a non-starter, because (as usual) animals do it too, when they think of possibilities, which even the dimmest ones must do.