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    Problems for modal reductionism : concrete possible worlds as a test case

    Nassim, Jonathan (2015) Problems for modal reductionism : concrete possible worlds as a test case. Doctoral thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    Abstract

    This thesis is an argument for the view that there are problems for Modal Reductionism, the thesis that modality can satisfactorily be defined in non-modal terms. I proceed via a case study of David Lewis’s theory of concrete possible worlds. This theory is commonly regarded as the best and most influential candidate reductive theory of modality. Based on a detailed examination of its ontology, analysis and justification, I conclude that it does badly with respect to the following four minimal conditions on a satisfactory reductive theory of modality: that it be (a) genuinely reductive, (b) materially adequate, (c) conceptually adequate and (d) that its justification provides good reason to think it true. These problems for Lewis’s theory are not, I suggest, due to his idiosyncratic conception of possible worlds as concrete entities. Rather, because Lewis’s theory can be seen to represent an important class of structurally similar reductive theories of modality, the problems for Lewis’s theory generalise to problems for these other theories. This suggests that Modal Reductionism is unpromising. In the light of this, the alternative approach to understanding modality, Modal Primitivism, appears more attractive.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2019 16:02
    Last Modified: 11 Jul 2021 18:39
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/40398

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