“Is it possible!”
many possible worlds.
What are, then, possible worlds?
By a proposition is meant a set of possible worlds.
And non-actual worlds are simply those total possible SOAs that do not.
Kripke called possible outcomes “miniature possible worlds”.
Possible objects—possibilia (sing. possibile)—are objects that are possible.
This makes non-actual possible objects as real as non-actual possible worlds.
A strictly locally possible world is “a globally possible world in miniature” (2007, pp. 72–73).
If a formula is true in some possible world, then from the point of view of every possible world, the formula is true in some possible world.
This suggests the possible existence of a ‘super machine’ that emulates all possible computations on all possible machines and predicts their outcome.
Typically, such realist views of possible worlds identify each maximal possibility with a unique possible world and non-maximal possibilities with sets of possible worlds.
Since ‘Hesperus’ and ‘Phosphorus’ both name Venus in all possible worlds, and since Venus = Venus in all possible worlds, ‘Hesperus = Phosphorus’ is true in all possible worlds.
While ersatzist views identify possible worlds with abstract entities, Lewisian modal realism identifies possible worlds with maximal sums of (analogically) spatiotemporally interrelated entities.
The notion of transworld identity—‘identity across possible worlds’—is the notion that the same object exists in more than one possible world (with the actual world treated as one of the possible worlds).
However, most contemporary philosophers would seek to deploy the explanatorily fruitful possible worlds framework while distancing themselves from full-blown realism about possible worlds themselves (see the entry on possible worlds).
(ST3) We have no good reason for thinking that the entailment relations we know of between possible goods and the permission of possible evils are representative of the entailment relations there are between possible goods and the permission of possible evils.
The apparatus of possible worlds allows us to introduce a set of modal notions: a proposition is necessary just in case it is true in all possible worlds, a proposition is possible just in case it is true in some possible worlds, and it is contingent just in case it is true in some but not all possible worlds.
If one is unwilling to make a distinction between encoding and exemplifying, but one wants to maintain the identification of possible worlds with maximal possible states of affairs, one either has to accept that necessarily equivalent states of affairs are the same or one must identify possible worlds with sets of necessarily equivalent possible states of affairs.
Realism: Realism about possible worlds in the metaphysics of modality maintains that (i) facts about possible worlds are the truth-makers for modal statements, and (ii) that possible worlds are not causally connected to the actual world, either because a possible world is a comprehensive concrete universe that is causally isolated from our world or because a possible world is an abstract object, and in virtue of being an abstract object it has no causes or effects on the actual world.
- capable of happening or existing
Example: a breakthrough may be possible next year
- something that can be done
Example: politics is the art of the possible
- existing in possibility
- an applicant who might be suitable
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Realism Realism about possible worlds in the metaphysics of modality maintains that i facts about possible worlds are the truth-makers for modal statements and ii that possible worlds are not causally connected to the actual world either because a possible world is a comprehensive concrete universe that is causally isolated from our world or because a possible world is an abstract object and in virtue of being an abstract object it has no causes or effects on the actual world