more from John Perry

Single Idea 4898

[catalogued under 10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 2. Nature of Possible Worlds / a. Nature of possible worlds]

Full Idea

Possible worlds can be thought of as indices for models of the language in question, or as concrete realities (David Lewis), or as abstract ways the world might be (Robert Stalnaker), or in various other ways.


'Indices' are (presumably) theoretical marker posts

Gist of Idea

Possible worlds are indices for a language, or concrete realities, or abstract possibilities


John Perry (Knowledge, Possibility and Consciousness [2001], 8.1)

Book Reference

Perry,John: 'Knowledge, Possibility and Consciousness' [MIT 2001], p.170

A Reaction

I strongly favour the Stalnaker route here. Reducing great metaphysics to mere language I find abhorrent, and I suspect that Lewis was trapped by his commitment to strong empiricism. We must embrace abstractions into our ontology.