Possibilia and Possible Worlds
Marcus (Ruth Barcan)
Source: Marcus, Modalities : Philosophical Essays
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

    Four questions are raised about the semantics of quantified modal logic1 (QML). Does QML admit possible objects, i.e., possibilia? Is it plausible to admit them? Can sense be made of such objects? Is QML committed to the existence of possibilia? The conclusions are that QML, generalized as in Kripke, would seem to accommodate possibilia, but they are rejected on philosophical and semantical grounds. Things must be encounterable, directly nameable and a part of the actual order before they may plausibly enter into the identity relation. QML is not committed to possibilia in that the range of variables may be restricted to actual objects. Support of the conclusions requires some discussion of substitution puzzles; also, the semantical distinction between proper names which are directly referring, and descriptions even where the latter are "rigid designators." Views of W V Quine, B Russell, A Donnellan, D Kaplan as well as S Kripke are invoked or evaluated in conjunction with these issues.

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