Chapter

The Logic of What Might Have Been (1989)

Nathan Salmon

in Metaphysics, Mathematics, and Meaning

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780199284719
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603235 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199284717.003.0008
 The Logic of What Might Have Been (1989)

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It is argued that some possible worlds are only contingently possible, and likewise that some impossible worlds are only contingently impossible. There are counterexamples to S5 modal logic and even to S4. What about B? Although there are no convincing grounds for supposing that even the actual world is only contingently possible, as far as the logic of modality is concerned (as opposed to the metaphysical reality), the actual world might instead have been impossible. The correct modal propositional logic is the simple system T.

Keywords: actuality; Lewis; logic; modality; necessity; possibility; world

Chapter.  12660 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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