Reflections on Counterpart Theory

Allen Hazen

in Oxford Studies in Metaphysics volume 7

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199659081
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745201 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Metaphysics

Reflections on Counterpart Theory

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The simplest (and, arguably, correct at the level of descriptive adequacy) semantics for quantified modal logic uses objects that exist in multiple worlds. David Lewis's counterpart theoretic semantics was an attempt to replace this with something more metaphysically palatable, but fails at the descriptive level, not validating the intuitively correct logic. It turns out to be surprisingly difficult to define a semantics that combines the virtues of these extremes. This chapter notes a new difficulty, argues that various obvious solutions for it won’t do, and tentatively suggests one that uses more sophisticated logical machinery than is usual in discussions of modal semantics.

Keywords: counterpart theory; modal fictionalism; proper classes; forcing models

Chapter.  9187 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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