David Lewis – Possible Worlds, Plurality, Modality, Counterfactuals and Causality?

Necessary memes for introducing possible worlds



Intro by Victor Gijsbers


From the Comment-Section: ‘Possible Worlds are the Philosophers Paradise’

  • ‘Originally Set-Theory: as the Mathematicians Paradise (Hilbert?)’
  • ‘The Plurality of Worlds: Everything could have been’
  • ‘We cannot travel to possible worlds’, [they are islands of the mind]

Gordon Petitt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s796Zj7DhNY

  • ‘Lewis’ theory for set-theory – avoiding Plato’s abstracta’
  • ‘class nominalist’
  • “p is the set of all ‘p-ish worlds'”
  • “necessary propositions include all PWs members”
  • Makes formal talk about PW possible
  • “Concepts of modality, properties, and propositions are reduced to set theory and concrete”
  • “The term ‘actual’ is an indexical (like ‘now’ or ‘here’) and refers to different worlds according to its use.”
  • “There is favored status for our actual world. Thus people in other PWs use ‘actual’ to refer to a different world than we do.”
  • ‘PW diverge over branch’
  • “Plantinga” ‘Modality cannot be reduced to sets of concrete things’


How to deal with formulations like “Everything is Possible”

Other Continental Philosophers Struggling:

Comment: It sooths my mind that not only me had problems understanding this.


Stanford Dictionary: “The chief question Lewis faces in this regard is whether there are enough worlds to do the job. The truth condition (20) for the intuitively true (16) says that there exists a possible world in which a counterpart of Algol is no one’s pet. By virtue of what in Lewis’s theory does such a world exist? The ideal answer for Lewis would be that some principle in his theory guarantees a plenitude of worlds, a maximally abundant array of worlds that leaves “no gaps in logical space; no vacancies where a world might have been, but isn’t” (Lewis 1986, 86). From this it would follow that the worlds required by the concretist truth condition for any intuitive modal truth exist. Toward this end, Lewis initially considers the evocative principle:”

Reflections by Me

Modal realism is very different. It means that possible worlds are real so that they are part of the logical space. Basically they idea is that when we think: every statement is the opposite of a multitude of logically possible worlds. To say it more lyrically I believe that we test in our mind what is impossible with fantasies that we then meditate about as possibilities which we then convert into actions. From the impossible to the possible to the actual

  • Islands of possibilities in our mind, logical dreams of other worlds
  • We could have lived, fantasies, novels, dreams, movies, plays
  • Super-powers in these intimate possible realities
  • Impossible worlds (non-stop none-sense)
  • Our mind moves: from the impossible to the possible to the actual
  • Thinking means to go from the Impossible to the Possible to the Actual
  • A Theory is a commitment
  • A belief is a commitment
  • A Commitment is an Action
  • An Action means to act upon something that we perceive as mind-external reality

Is a Theory a necessary part of seeing?
Is a Theory an action?

Another Intro

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