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The Construction of Logical Space$
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Agustín Rayo

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199662623

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199662623.001.0001

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Possibility

Possibility

Chapter:
(p.120) (p.121) 5 Possibility
Source:
The Construction of Logical Space
Author(s):

Agustín Rayo

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199662623.003.0005

This chapter defends an account of metaphysical possibility which is based on the idea that there is a close connection between metaphysical possibility and the ‘just is’-operator. The discussion centers on two main results. First, it is shown that a limited class of ‘just is’-statements can be used to fix a truth-value for every sentence in a first-order modal language. (This is the Extension Theorem.) Second, it is shown that the truth-conditions of arbitrary sentences in a modal language can be specified using only the fragment of the language that does not contain modal operators. (This is the Reduction Theorem.) The chapter also contains an extend discussion of a rival account of metaphysical possibility, defended by David Lewis.

Keywords:   metaphysical possibility, identity, essence, David K. Lewis, possible world, Principle of Recombination, representation, Robert Stalnaker

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