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Ways a World Might BeMetaphysical and Anti-Metaphysical Essays$
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Robert C. Stalnaker

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199251483

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199251487.001.0001

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On what Possible Worlds could not be (1996)

On what Possible Worlds could not be (1996)

(p.40) 2 On what Possible Worlds could not be (1996)
Ways a World Might Be

Robert C. Stalnaker (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This paper explores the analogy between mathematical Platonism and modal realism, and between Benacerraf’s dilemma and the epistemological objection. It is argued that the parallels and contrasts may clarify both modal realism and the general problem of model epistemology. The paper begins with a sketch of Benacerraf’s reasons for thinking that there is a prima facie conflict between a straightforward account of mathematical truth and a reasonable account of mathematical knowledge. It then develops presents a strategy to respond to the dilemma, and argues that this does not suggest a parallel response to the epistemological objection to modal realism. Finally, a more general problem for an epistemology of necessary truth is examined.

Keywords:   mathematical Platonism, modal realism, Paul Benacerraf’s dilemma, mathematical truth, mathematical knowledge, epistemological objection, truth

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