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Monday, December 04, 2023

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Bill writes:

"I am now seated. I might now have been standing. The first is an actual state of affairs, the second is a merely possible state of affairs. How are we to understand the mere possibility of my standing now? Pace the shade of David Lewis, it would be 'crazy' to say that there is a concrete possible world in which a counterpart of me is standing now. But it seems quite sane to say that the possibility of my standing now, when in actual fact I am seated, is grounded in the power (potentiality) I have to stand up."

I do not entirely understand the pace comment. Are you saying there is no possible world in which you are actually standing, in some spatio-temporally parallel world, which is all but for the mere possibility, and possibly the implicated causal chains needed for that to be coherent, is 'crazy'?

No.

I am saying that is it possible that I be standing now, although in actual fact I am seated now, where 'now' picks out the same time.

That implies that there is at least one possible world in which I am standing now. (Indeed, there are many such worlds)

I am assuming that the reader understands David Lewis' extreme modal realism, 'mad dog' aodal realism some call it. I reject that theory using the bloggity-blog 'crazy.' I also assume that the reader understands the 'abstractist' alternative to Lewis' theory (Plantinga, van Inwagne, et al.)

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