Date of Award
Master of Arts
Michael Liston, Peter van Elswyk
Lewis, Metaphysics, Modality, Truthmakers
Lewisian modal realism is infamous for explaining the objectivity of modal discourse in terms
of concrete possible worlds. Many have developed alternative theories which seek to explain
the objectivity of modal discourse without concrete possible worlds. One such alternative,
due to Fabrizio Mondadori and Adam Morton, attempts to ground modal discourse in actual,
physical fact. Shockingly, Lewis seems to have claimed that their view is consistent with his
own. I argue that the two views are consistent, from Lewis’s perspective. The result of the
project is twofold. First, we see that in Lewisian realism intrinsic features of the actual world
are a necessary component (i) for making modal propositions true in the actual world and (ii)
for causally explaining how modal events would occur, if they did. Second, this insight
motivates a rejection of the classic ‘Humphrey objection’ to counterpart theory, and
ameliorates the worry that Lewis’ possible worlds somehow “change the subject”.
Lopez-Wild, Josiah, "Lewis and the Poisoned Pawn" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 3301.