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Essays in the Metaphysics of Modality$
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Alvin Plantinga and Matthew Davidson

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195103762

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195103769.001.0001

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Actualism and Possible Worlds

Actualism and Possible Worlds

Chapter:
(p.103) 5 Actualism and Possible Worlds
Source:
Essays in the Metaphysics of Modality
Author(s):

Alvin Plantinga (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195103769.003.0006

In this essay, I defend the compatibility of actualism – i.e., the view that there neither are, nor could have been, any nonexistent objects – and possible worlds. I begin by demonstrating how on the Canonical Conception of possible worlds one is committed to the idea that there are, or could have been, nonexistent objects. I then develop an actualist conception of possible worlds, properties, and essences. In particular, I deny that properties are set theoretical entities; something that the Canonical Conception endorses. Finally, I provide an actualist understanding of propositions such as there could have an object distinct from each object that actually exists – an understanding that does not commit one to belief in nonexistent objects.

Keywords:   actualism, essence, existence, possible worlds, property, proposition

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