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Actualism, singular propositions, and possible worlds : essays in metaphysics of modality

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dc.contributor.advisor Robert C. Stalnaker. en_US
dc.contributor.author Hoffmann, Aviv, 1964- en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2009-01-23T16:40:31Z
dc.date.available 2009-01-23T16:40:31Z
dc.date.copyright 2002 en_US
dc.date.issued 2002 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/8154 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/8154
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy, 2002. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references. en_US
dc.description.abstract My dissertation consists of three essays in the Metaphysics of Modality: In "A Puzzle about Truth and Singular Propositions," I consider two theses that seem to be true and then an argument for the conclusion that they form an inconsistent pair. One thesis is that a proposition that is singular with respect to a given object implies that the object exists. This is so because the proposition predicates something of the object. The other thesis is that some propositions are true with respect to possible worlds in which they do not exist. An example is the negation of the proposition that Socrates is wise. This proposition is true with respect to possible worlds in which Socrates does not exist, but it does not exist in those worlds. In "Actualism, Ontological Dependence, and Possible Worlds," I consider Actualism, the doctrine that every possible object is an actual object. Plantinga has argued that the actualist is committed to the existence of unexemplified essences if he analyzes statements of modality by quantifying over possible worlds and over members of their domains. I argue that the actualist is committed to the existence of unexemplified essences even if he paraphrases statements of modality by quantifying only over possible worlds and actual objects. In "Possibilism and the Nature of Actuality," I consider Possibilism, the doctrine that there are possible objects that are not actual objects. en_US
dc.description.abstract (cont.) Possibilism seems to be a coherent ontological doctrine. It is not Meinong's doctrine that there are objects of which it is true to say that there are no such objects. If one fails to distinguish between these two doctrines, then one's attempt to refute Possibilism might amount to an attack on a blatant contradiction. I illustrate this claim by arguing that the distinction between Possibilism and Meinong's doctrine has eluded Plantinga. I then consider the view that Possibilism is a consequence of Lewis's doctrine that 'actual' is an indexical term. I also argue that the sense in which Lewis said that 'actual' is indexical is an esoteric sense of the word, not a sense it ordinarily has. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Aviv Hoffmann. en_US
dc.format.extent 82 leaves en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/8154 en_US
dc.rights.uri http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/7582 en_US
dc.subject Linguistics and Philosophy. en_US
dc.title Actualism, singular propositions, and possible worlds : essays in metaphysics of modality en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 51870201 en_US


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