<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>On the Plurality of Worlds (Lewis (David)) - Theo Todman's Book Collection (Book-Paper Abstracts)</title> <link href="../../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../../TT_ICO.png" /> </head> <a name="Top"></a> <BODY> <div id="header"> <HR><H1>Theo Todman's Book Collection (Book-Paper Abstracts)</H1></div> <hr><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950><tr><td colspan =3><A HREF = "../BookSummary_637.htm">On the Plurality of Worlds</A></td></tr><tr><td colspan =3><A HREF = "../../../Authors/L/Author_Lewis (David).htm">Lewis (David)</a></td></tr><tr><td colspan =3>This Page provides (where held) the <b>Abstract</b> of the above <b>Book</b> and those of all the <b>Papers</b> contained in it.</td></tr><tr><td><A HREF="#ColourConventions">Text Colour-Conventions</a></td><td><A HREF = "../BookCitings_637.htm">Books / Papers Citing this Book</A></td><td><A HREF = "../BooksToNotes_637.htm">Notes Citing this Book</A></td></tr></tr></TABLE></CENTER><hr> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>BOOK ABSTRACT: </B><BR><BR><u>Cover Blurb</u><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>This book is a defense of <a name="1"></a><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>1</SUP> realism; the thesis that our world is but one of a plurality of worlds, and that the individuals that inhabit our world are only a few out of all the inhabitants of all the worlds. </li><li>Lewis argues that the philosophical utility of <a name="2"></a><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>2</SUP> realism is a good reason for believing that it is true. After putting forward the type of <a name="3"></a><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>3</SUP> realism he favors, Lewis answers numerous objections that have been raised against it. These include an insistence that everything must be actual; paradoxes akin to those that confront naive set theory; arguments that <a name="4"></a><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>4</SUP> realism leads to inductive skepticism, or to disregard for prudence and morality; and finally, sheer incredulity at a theory that disagrees so badly with common opinion. Lewis grants the weight of the last objection, but takes it to be outweighed by the benefits to systematic theory that acceptance of <a name="5"></a><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>5</SUP> realism brings. He asks whether these same benefits might be gained more cheaply if we replace his many worlds by many merely 2 abstract2 representations; but concludes that all versions of this 2 ersatz <a name="6"></a><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>6</SUP> realism2 are in serious trouble. In the final chapter, Lewis distinguishes various questions about trans world identity, and argues that his 2 method of counterparts2 is preferable to alternative approaches.</li><li>David Lewis (1941  2001) was Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University. His publications include Convention (reissued by Blackwell 2002), <a name="17"></a>"<A HREF = "../../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_00/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_34.htm">Lewis (David) - Counterfactuals</A>" (reissued by Blackwell 2000), <a name="18"></a>"<A HREF = "../../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_00/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_705.htm">Lewis (David) - Parts of Classes</A>" (1991), and of numerous articles in metaphysics and other areas. Many of his writings are available in his Collected Papers. </li></ol><FONT COLOR = "800080"><BR><u>Amazon Customer Review</u><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>If you're at all interested in analytic philosophy, it's surely worth being acquainted with David Lewis, and this is probably the essential Lewis book. His defence of <a name="7"></a><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>7</SUP> realism is beautifully written, with clear, lucid arguments, and it covers a wide range of philosophical problems in an accessible manner. Possible worlds are postulated within <a name="8"></a><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal logic</A><SUP>8</SUP>, but there's no difficult formal logic here; anyone with an interest in the book and a bit of background in philosophy should be able to follow the main ideas easily.</li><li>I do think there are big problems here... in fact, I find analytic metaphysics in general to be quite seriously misguided, and much of OPW isn't particularly relevant to my worldview or approach to philosophy. Yet I still love it. Lewis was one of the great system-builders, and despite how much I strongly disagree with most of his system, I find it ingenious and fascinating. Not only because I like craziness, and one of the core ideas is pretty crazy (though maybe not so crazy these days - I'm aware, though I haven't read any books on it yet, that some people (e.g. <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_B637_9">Yagisawa</A></U><SUB>9</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_B637_9"></A>) now espouse 'extended <a name="9"></a><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>10</SUP> realism', which would add <em>impossible</em> worlds to our ontology), but also because Lewis was just a superb writer with a superb mind.</li><li>Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of philosophers reject <a name="10"></a><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>11</SUP> realism due to its deeply counter-intuitive ontology. However, over time it's shown itself to be a powerful theory. The nature of possible worlds is a lively debate in metaphysics, and OPW remains one of the most important books on the subject.</li><li>If you want another example of <a name="11"></a><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>12</SUP> realism in action and you're interested in the God debate, check out Lewis's short essay <a name="14"></a>"<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_00/Abstract_110.htm">Lewis (David) - Anselm and Actuality</A>", in which he uses a <a name="12"></a><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>13</SUP> realist framework to provide a brilliant refutation of Anselm's famous ontological argument. It was available online last time I checked, or if not, in <a name="19"></a>"<A HREF = "../../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_00/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_7.htm">Lewis (David) - Philosophical Papers Volume I</A>" (which is probably as good a place as any to go if you want more Lewis after OPW).</li><li>Incidentally, <a name="13"></a><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>14</SUP> realism has nothing to do with any theories of the multiverse postulated in physics. It's a <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_B637_15">mistake</A></U><SUB>15</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_B637_15"></A> to conflate the two. </li></ol><FONT COLOR = "800080"><BR><HR><BR><U><B>In-Page Footnotes</U> (<a name="20"></a>"<A HREF = "../../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_00/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_637.htm">Lewis (David) - On the Plurality of Worlds</A>")</B><a name="On-Page_Link_B637_9"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_B637_9"><B>Footnote 9</B></A></U>: Presumably the relevant paper is <a name="15"></a>"<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_19/Abstract_19955.htm">Yagisawa (Takashi) - Beyond Possible Worlds</A>". I have my doubts that Yagisawa is really positing the existence of <em>impossible</em> worlds, but rather setting up a <em>reductio</em> concerning Lewis s arguments for <em>possible</em> worlds. <a name="On-Page_Link_B637_15"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_B637_15"><B>Footnote 15</B></A></U>: I agree  there seems to be just such a mistake in <a name="16"></a>"<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_08/Abstract_8955.htm">Salmon (Nathan) - An Empire of Thin Air: Review of David Lewis's 'On the Plurality of Worlds'</A>". <BR><BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><B>BOOK COMMENT: </B><BR><BR>On-Line at <a name="W5755W"></a><A HREF = "http://daalv.free.fr/Master-2011-2012/LMPHI%20155%20-%20Anglais%20philo/Lewis-David-(1986)-On-the-Plurality-of-Worlds.pdf" TARGET = "_top">Link</A>.</P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_12/PaperSummary_12899.htm">Lewis (David) - On the Plurality of Worlds (Selections)</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Haslanger (Sally) & Kurtz (Roxanne) - Persistence : Contemporary Readings<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><BR><BR><u>Full Text</u><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>Our question of overlap of worlds parallels the this-worldly problem of identity through time; and our problem of accidental intrinsics <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P12899_1">parallels</A></U><SUB>1</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P12899_1"></A> a problem of temporary intrinsics, which is the traditional problem of change. Let us say that something <em>persists</em> iff, somehow or other, it exists at various times; this is the neutral word. Something <em>perdures</em> if it persists by having different temporal parts, or stages, at different times, though no one part of it is wholly present at more than one time; whereas it <em>endures</em> if it persists by being wholly present at more than one time. Perdurance corresponds to the way a road persists through space; part of it is here and part of it is there, and no part is wholly present at two different places. Endurance corresponds to the way a <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P12899_2">universal</A></U><SUB>2</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P12899_2"></A>, if there are such things, would be wholly present wherever and whenever it is instantiated. Endurance involves overlap: the content of two different times has the enduring thing as a common part. Perdurance does <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P12899_3">not</A></U><SUB>3</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P12899_3"></A>.</li><li> (There might be mixed cases: entities that persist by having an enduring part and a perduring part. An example might be a person who consisted of an enduring entelechy ruling a perduring body; or an electron that had a universal of unit negative charge as a permanent part, but did not consist entirely of <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1008.htm">universals</A><SUP>4</SUP>. But here I ignore the mixed cases. And when I speak of ordinary things as perduring, I shall ignore their enduring <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1008.htm">universals</A><SUP>5</SUP>, if such there be.)</li><li>Discussions of endurance versus perdurance tend to be endarkened by people who say such things as this: "Of course you are wholly present at every moment of your life, except in case of amputation. For at every moment all your parts are there: your legs, your lips, your liver...." These endarkeners may think themselves partisans of endurance, but they are not. They are perforce neutral, because they lack the conceptual resources to understand what is at issue. Their speech betrays  and they may acknowledge it willingly  that they have no concept of a temporal part. (Or at any rate none that applies to a person, say, as opposed to a process or a stretch of time.) Therefore they are on neither side of a dispute about whether or not persisting things are divisible into temporal parts. They understand neither the affirmation nor the denial. They are <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P12899_6">like</A></U><SUB>6</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P12899_6"></A> the people  fictional, I hope  who say that the whole of the long road is in their little village, for not one single lane of it is missing. Meaning less than others do by 'part', since they omit parts cut crosswise, they also mean less than others do by 'whole'. They say the 'whole' road is in the village; by which they mean that every 'part' is; but by that, they only mean that every part cut lengthwise is. Divide the road into its least lengthwise parts; they cannot even raise the question whether those are in the village wholly or only partly. For that is a question about crosswise parts, and the concept of a crosswise part is what they lack. Perhaps 'crosswise part' really does sound to them like a blatant contradiction. Or perhaps it seems to them that they understand it, but the village philosophers have persuaded them that really they couldn't, so their impression to the contrary must be an illusion. At any rate, I have the concept of a temporal part; and for some while I shall be addressing only those of you who share it.</li><li>Endurance through time is analogous to the alleged trans-world identity of common parts of overlapping worlds; perdurance through time is analogous to the "trans-world identity," if we may call it that, of a trans-world individual composed of distinct parts in non-overlapping worlds. Perdurance, which I favour for the temporal case, is closer to the counterpart theory which I favour for the <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>7</SUP> case; the difference is that counterpart theory concentrates on the parts and ignores the trans-world individual composed of them.</li><li>The principal and decisive objection against endurance, as an account of the persistence of ordinary things such as people or puddles, is the problem of temporary intrinsics. Persisting things change their intrinsic properties. For instance shape: when I sit, I have a bent shape; when I stand, I have a straightened shape. Both shapes are temporary intrinsic properties; I have them only some of the time. How is such change possible? I know of only three solutions. </li><li>(It is <em>not</em> a solution just to say how very commonplace and indubitable it that we have different shapes at different times. To say that is only to insist  rightly  that it must be possible somehow. Still less is it a solution to say it in jargon  as it might be, that bent-on-Monday and straight-on-Tuesday are compatible because they are 'time-indexed properties'  if that just means that, somehow, you can be bent on Monday and straight on Tuesday.)</li><li><b>First Solution</b>: Contrary to what we might think, shapes are not genuine intrinsic properties. They are disguised relations, which an enduring thing may bear to times. One and the same enduring thing may bear the bent-shape relation to some times, and the straight-shape relation to others. In itself, considered apart from its relations to other things, it has no shape at all. And likewise for all other seeming temporary intrinsics; all of them must be reinterpreted as relations that something with an absolutely unchanging intrinsic nature bears to different times. The solution to the problem of temporary intrinsics is that there aren't any temporary intrinsics. This is simply incredible, if we are speaking of the persistence of ordinary things. (It might do for the endurance of entelechies or <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1008.htm">universals</A><SUP>8</SUP>.) If we know what shape is, we know that it is a property, not a relation.</li><li><b>Second Solution</b>: The only intrinsic properties of a thing are those it has at the present moment. Other times are like false stories; they are abstract representations, composed out of the materials of the present, which represent or misrepresent the way things are. When something has different intrinsic properties according to one of these ersatz other times, that does not mean that it, or any part of it, or anything else, just has them  no more so than when a man is crooked according to the Times, or honest according to the News. This is a solution that rejects endurance; because it rejects persistence altogether. And it is even less credible than the first solution. In saying that there are no other times, as opposed to false representations thereof, it goes against what we all believe. No man, unless it be at the moment of his execution, believes that he has no future; still less does anyone believe that he has no past.</li><li><b>Third Solution</b>: The different shapes, and the different temporary intrinsics generally, belong to different things. Endurance is to be rejected in favour of perdurance. We perdure; we are made up of temporal parts, and our temporary intrinsics are properties of these parts, wherein they differ one from another. There is no problem at all about how different things can differ in their intrinsic properties. </li></ol><FONT COLOR = "800080"><BR><BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>COMMENT: </B><ul type="disc"><li>An extract from "<A HREF = "../../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_00/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_637.htm">Lewis (David) - On the Plurality of Worlds</A>", though I don t know which passage!</li><li>Included in "<A HREF = "../../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_06/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_6213.htm">Look (Brandon C.) - The Metaphysics of Material Beings: Constitution, Persistence, and Identity</A>".</li></ul></P><BR><HR><BR><U><B>In-Page Footnotes</U> ("<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_12/Abstract_12899.htm">Lewis (David) - On the Plurality of Worlds (Selections)</A>")</B><a name="On-Page_Link_P12899_1"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P12899_1"><B>Footnote 1</B></A></U>: Lewis says that he s indebted to "<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_00/Abstract_445.htm">Armstrong (David) - Identity Through Time</A>" in this regard,  and to Johnston , whose terminology he follows. The only reference to a  Johnston in the bibliography of "<A HREF = "../../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_00/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_637.htm">Lewis (David) - On the Plurality of Worlds</A>" is to the PhD dissertation  Particulars and Persistence by Mark Johnston  presumably <A HREF = "../../../Authors/J/Author_Johnston (Mark).htm">Mark Johnston</A>. <a name="On-Page_Link_P12899_2"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P12899_2"><B>Footnote 2</B></A></U>: I take issue with this in a footnote to "<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_19/Abstract_19956.htm">Hawley (Katherine) - David Lewis on Persistence</A>". <a name="On-Page_Link_P12899_3"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P12899_3"><B>Footnote 3</B></A></U>: It does, I think, but in different ways. Part of the perdurantist explanation of Fission (<A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_33.htm">Click here for Note</A>) involves shared stages, so two spacetime worms overlap for a period of their existence. <a name="On-Page_Link_P12899_6"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P12899_6"><B>Footnote 6</B></A></U>: I don t think this analogy is helpful, or even very clear. The  darkeners seem to have a concept of spatial parts (the bodily organs) but not temporal parts. The analogy seems to be of those who have a concept of lengthways parts (the lanes) but not of crossways parts (sections of road, most of which are outside the small village). It all seems rather forced. <BR><BR> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_08/PaperSummary_8009.htm">Lewis (David) - On the Plurality of Worlds: Preface</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Lewis - On the Plurality of Worlds, 1986, Preface<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><BR><BR><u>Full Text</u><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>This book defends <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>1</SUP> realism: the thesis that the world we are part of is but one of a plurality of worlds, and that we who inhabit this world are only a few out of all the inhabitants of all the worlds.</li><li>I begin the first chapter ("<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_08/Abstract_8010.htm">Lewis (David) - A Philosopher's Paradise</A>") by reviewing the many ways in which systematic philosophy goes more easily if we may presuppose <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>2</SUP> realism in our analyses. I take this to be a good reason to think that <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>3</SUP> realism is true, just as the utility of set theory in mathematics is a good reason to believe that there are sets. Then I state some tenets of the kind of <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>4</SUP> realism I favour.</li><li>In the second chapter ("<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_08/Abstract_8011.htm">Lewis (David) - Paradox or Paradise?</A>"), I reply to numerous objections. First I consider arguments that <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>5</SUP> realism leads to contradiction; and I reply by rejecting some premises that are needed to produce the paradoxes. Then I turn to arguments that <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>6</SUP> realism leads to consistent but unwelcome views: inductive scepticism, a disregard for prudence and morality, or a loss of the brute arbitrariness of our world; and again I reply by finding premises to reject. Finally I consider the sheer implausibility of a theory so much at variance with commonsensical ideas about what there is; I take this to be a fair and serious objection, but outweighed by the systematic benefits that acceptance of <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>7</SUP> realism brings.</li><li>In the third chapter ("<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_08/Abstract_8012.htm">Lewis (David) - Paradise on the Cheap?</A>"), I consider the prospect that a more credible ontology might yield the same benefits: the programme of ersatz <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>8</SUP> realism, in which other worlds are to be replaced by 'abstract' representations thereof. I advance objections against several versions of this programme. I urge that we must distinguish the different versions, since they are subject to different objections; it will not do to dodge trouble by favouring abstract ersatz worlds in the abstract, without giving any definite account of them.</li><li>In the fourth and final chapter ("<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_08/Abstract_8013.htm">Lewis (David) - Counterparts or Double Lives</A>"), I consider the so-called 'problem of trans-world identity'. I divide it into several questions, some of them good and some of them confused, and I compare my counterpart-theoretic approach with some alternatives.</li><li>Nowhere in this book will you find an argument that you must accept the position I favour because there is no alternative. I believe that philosophers who offer such arguments are almost never successful, and philosophers who demand them are misguided. I give some reasons that favour my position over some of its close alternatives. But I do not think that these reasons are conclusive; I may well have overlooked some close alternatives; and I do not discuss more distant alternatives at all. For instance, I do not make any case against a hard-line actualism that rejects any sort of quantification over possibilities. You will find it easy enough to guess why I would not favour that view; I have nothing new, and nothing conclusive, to say against it; so it would serve no purpose to discuss it.</li><li>It may come as a surprise that this book on possible worlds also contains no discussion of the views of Leibniz. Is it that I consider him unworthy of serious attention? - Not at all. But when I read what serious historians of philosophy have to say, I am persuaded that it is no easy matter to know what his views were. It would be nice to have the right sort of talent and training to join in the work of exegesis, but it is very clear to me that I do not. Anything I might say about Leibniz would be amateurish, undeserving of others' attention, and better left unsaid.</li><li>About twelve years ago, I gave my thesis a bad name. I called it '<A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>9</SUP> realism'. Had I foreseen present-day discussions of what 'realism' really is, I would certainly have called it something else. As it is, I think it best to stick with the old name. But I must insist that my <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>10</SUP> realism is simply the thesis that there are other worlds, and individuals inhabiting these worlds; and that these are of a certain nature, and suited to play certain theoretical roles. It is an existential claim, not unlike the claim I would be making if I said that there were Loch Ness monsters, or Red moles in the CIA, or counterexamples to Fermat's conjecture, or seraphim. It is <em>not</em> a thesis about our semantic competence, or about the nature of truth, or about bivalence, or about the limits of our knowledge. For me, the question is of the existence of objects - not the objectivity of a subject matter.</li><li>At many points, I am greatly indebted to friends who have helped me by discussion or correspondence about topics covered in this book: especially Robert M. Adams, D. M. Armstrong, John G. Bennett, John Bigelow, Phillip Bricker, M. J. Cresswell, Peter Forrest, Allen Hazen, Mark Johnston, David Kaplan, Saul Kripke, Robert Stalnaker, Pavel Tichy and Peter van Inwagen.</li><li>Part of this book was delivered as the John Locke Lectures at the University of Oxford in Trinity Term, 1984. I am most honoured by Oxford's invitation; and I am most grateful to Oxford for providing me with the occasion to write on <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>11</SUP> realism more fully than I had done before, and also with a much-needed deadline. I am grateful to Princeton University for sabbatical leave, and to the National Endowment for the Humanities for financial assistance, during the year in which most of the book was written. </li></ol></FONT></P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_01/PaperSummary_1781.htm">Lewis (David) - The Problem of Temporary Intrinsics</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Van Inwagen & Zimmerman - Metaphysics: The Big Questions<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><BR><BR><u>Full Text</u><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>Let us say that something persists iff, somehow or other, it exists at various times; this is the neutral <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P1781_1">word</A></U><SUB>1</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P1781_1"></A>. Something perdures iff it persists by having different temporal parts, or stages, at different times, though no one part of it is wholly present at more than one time; whereas it endures iff it persists by being wholly present at more than one time. Perdurance corresponds to the way a road persists through space; part of it is here and part of it is there, and no part is wholly present at two different places. Endurance corresponds to the way a universal, if there are such things, would be wholly present wherever and whenever it is instantiated. Endurance involves overlap: the content of two different times has the enduring thing as a common part. Perdurance does not. </li><li>(There might be mixed cases: entities that persist by having an enduring part and a perduring part. An example might be a person who consisted of an enduring entelechy ruling a perduring body; or an electron that had a universal of unit negative charge as a permanent part, but did not consist entirely of <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1008.htm">universals</A><SUP>2</SUP>. But here I ignore the mixed cases. And when I speak of ordinary things as perduring, I shall ignore their enduring <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1008.htm">universals</A><SUP>3</SUP>, if such there be.) </li><li>Discussions of endurance versus perdurance tend to be endarkened by people who say such things as this: 'Of course you are wholly present at every moment of your life, except in case of amputation. For at every moment all your parts are there: your legs, your lips, your liver. . . .' These endarkeners may think themselves partisans of endurance, but they are not. They are perforce neutral because they lack the conceptual resources to understand what is at issue. Their speech betrays - and they may acknowledge it willingly - that they have no concept of a temporal part. (Or at any rate none that applies to a person, say, as opposed to a process or a stretch of time.) Therefore they are on neither side of a dispute about whether or not persisting things are divisible into temporal parts. They understand neither the affirmation nor the denial. They are like the people - fictional, I hope - who say that the whole of the long road is in their little village, for not one single lane of it is missing. Meaning less than others do by 'part', since they omit parts cut crosswise, they also mean less than others do by 'whole'. They say the 'whole' road is in the village; by which they mean that every 'part' is; but by that, they only mean that every part cut lengthwise is. Divide the road into its least lengthwise parts; they cannot even raise the question whether those are in the village wholly or only partly. For that is a question about crosswise parts, and the concept of a crosswise part is what they lack. Perhaps 'crosswise part' really does sound to them like a blatant contradiction. Or perhaps it seems to them that they understand it, but the village philosophers have persuaded them that really they couldn't, so their impression to the contrary must be an illusion. At any rate, I have the concept of a temporal part; and for some while I shall be addressing only those of you who share <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P1781_4">it</A></U><SUB>4</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P1781_4"></A>. </li><li>. . . The principal and decisive objection against endurance, as an account of the persistence of ordinary things such as people or puddles, is the problem of temporary intrinsics. Persisting things change their intrinsic properties. For instance shape: when I sit, I have a bent shape; when I stand, I have a straightened shape. Both shapes are temporary intrinsic properties; I have them only some of the time. How is such change possible? I know of only three solutions. </li><li>(It is not a solution just to say how very commonplace and indubitable it is that we have different shapes at different times. To say that is only to insist - rightly - that it must be possible somehow. Still less is it a solution to say it in jargon - as it might be, that bent-on-Monday and straight-on-Tuesday are compatible because they are 'time-indexed properties' - if that just means that, somehow, you can be bent on Monday and straight on Tuesday.) </li><li><b>First solution</b>: contrary to what we might think, shapes are not genuine intrinsic properties. They are disguised relations, which an enduring thing may bear to times. One and the same enduring thing may bear the bent-shape relation to some times, and the straight-shape relation to others. In itself, considered apart from its relations to other things, it has no shape at all. And likewise for all other seeming temporary intrinsics; all of them must be reinterpreted as relations that something with an absolutely unchanging intrinsic nature bears to different times. The solution to the problem of temporary intrinsics is that there aren't any temporary intrinsics. This is simply incredible, if we are speaking of the persistence of ordinary things. (It might do for the endurance of entelechies or <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1008.htm">universals</A><SUP>5</SUP>.) If we know what shape is, we know that it is a property, not a relation. </li><li><b>Second solution</b>: the only intrinsic properties of a thing are those it has at the present moment. Other times are like false stories; they are abstract representations, composed out of the materials of the present, which represent or misrepresent the way things are. When something has different intrinsic properties according to one of these ersatz other times, that does not mean that it, or any part of it, or anything else, just has them - no more so than when a man is crooked according to the Times, or honest according to the News. This is a solution that rejects endurance; because it rejects persistence altogether. And it is even less credible than the first solution. In saying that there are no other times, as opposed to false representations thereof, it goes against what we all believe. No man, unless it be at the moment of his execution, believes that he has no future; still less does anyone believe that he has no past. </li><li><b>Third solution</b>: the different shapes, and the different temporary intrinsics generally, belong to different things. Endurance is to be rejected in favour of perdurance. We perdure; we are made up of temporal parts, and our temporary intrinsics are properties of these parts, wherein they differ one from another. There is no problem at all about how different things can differ in their intrinsic properties. </li></ol></FONT><BR><BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>COMMENT: </B>From "<A HREF = "../../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_00/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_637.htm">Lewis (David) - On the Plurality of Worlds</A>".</P><BR><HR><BR><U><B>In-Page Footnotes</U> ("<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_01/Abstract_1781.htm">Lewis (David) - The Problem of Temporary Intrinsics</A>")</B><a name="On-Page_Link_P1781_1"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P1781_1"><B>Footnote 1</B></A></U>: <FONT COLOR = "800080">My discussion of this problem is much indebted to "<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_00/Abstract_445.htm">Armstrong (David) - Identity Through Time</A>" (1980); and to Mark Johnston. I follow Johnston in terminology. </FONT> <a name="On-Page_Link_P1781_4"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P1781_4"><B>Footnote 4</B></A></U>: <FONT COLOR = "800080"><ul type="disc"><li>I attempt to explain it to others in "<A HREF = "../../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_00/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_7.htm">Lewis (David) - Philosophical Papers Volume I</A>" (1983), pp. 76-7; reprinted in this volume as  In Defense of Stages: Postscript B to "<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_00/Abstract_113.htm">Lewis (David) - Survival and Identity</A>" . </li><li>But I have no great hopes, since any competent philosopher who does not understand something will take care not to understand anything else whereby it might be explained. </li></ul></FONT> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_08/PaperSummary_8955.htm">Salmon (Nathan) - An Empire of Thin Air: Review of David Lewis's 'On the Plurality of Worlds'</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Salmon (Nathan) - Metaphysics, Mathematics, and Meaning, 2005<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><BR><BR><U>Oxford Scholarship Online</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1">The <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>1</SUP> theory that David Lewis defended in On the Plurality of Worlds (Blackwell, 1986) is criticized. According to Lewis, to say that John Kerry might have won the 2004 presidential election is to say that someone very similar to Kerry does win his presidential election in a parallel universe (in an alternative  possible world ). This theory is indicative of a serious misunderstanding of such <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>2</SUP> expressions as  possibly and  necessarily , which are concerned not with any goings on in parallel universes but with what might have been. One need not disbelieve in possible worlds to recognize that they are not parallel universes.</ol></FONT><BR><BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>COMMENT: </B>Review of "<A HREF = "../../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_00/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_637.htm">Lewis (David) - On the Plurality of Worlds</A>"; Philosophical Review, Vol. 97, No. 2, Apr., 1988, pp. 237-244</P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_08/PaperSummary_8010.htm">Lewis (David) - A Philosopher's Paradise</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Lewis - On the Plurality of Worlds, 1986, Chapter 1<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><BR><BR><u>Contents</u><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>The Thesis of Plurality of Worlds  1</li><li><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">Modal</A><SUP>1</SUP> Realism at Work: <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">Modality</A><SUP>2</SUP>  5</li><li><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">Modal</A><SUP>3</SUP> Realism at Work: Closeness  20</li><li><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">Modal</A><SUP>4</SUP> Realism at Work: Content  27</li><li><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">Modal</A><SUP>5</SUP> Realism at Work: Properties  50</li><li>Isolation  69</li><li>Concreteness  81</li><li>Plenitude  86</li><li>Actuality  92</li></ol></FONT><BR><BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>COMMENT: </B>See "<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_20/Abstract_20395.htm">Funkhouser (Eric) - Notes on Lewis,  A Philosopher's Paradise </A>" for Notes.</P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_08/PaperSummary_8011.htm">Lewis (David) - Paradox or Paradise?</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Lewis - On the Plurality of Worlds, 1986, Chapter 2<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><BR><BR><u>Contents</u><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>Everything is Actual?  97</li><li>All Worlds in One?  101</li><li>More Worlds Than There Are?  104</li><li>How Can We Know?  108</li><li>A Road to Scepticism?  115</li><li>A Road to Indifference?  123</li><li>Arbitrariness Lost?  128</li><li>The Incredulous Stare  133</li></ol></FONT></P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_08/PaperSummary_8012.htm">Lewis (David) - Paradise on the Cheap?</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Lewis - On the Plurality of Worlds, 1986, Chapter 3<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><BR><BR><u>Contents</u><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>The Ersatzist Programme  136</li><li>Linguistic Ersatzism  142</li><li>Pictorial Ersatzism  165</li><li>Magical Ersatzism  174</li></ol></FONT></P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_08/PaperSummary_8013.htm">Lewis (David) - Counterparts or Double Lives</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Lewis - On the Plurality of Worlds, 1986, Chapter 4<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><BR><BR><u>Contents</u><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>Good Questions and Bad  192</li><li>Against Overlap  198</li><li>Against Trans-World Individuals  210</li><li>Against Haecceitism  220</li><li>Against Constancy  248 </li></ol></FONT></P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_02/PaperSummary_2008.htm">Lewis (David) - Counterparts or Double Lives (Selections)</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Lewis - On the Plurality of Worlds, 1986, Chapter 4<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><BR><BR><u>Comment</u><ol type="1"><li>The Selections are the <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P2008_1">whole</A></U><SUB>1</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P2008_1"></A> of:-<ul type="disc"><li>1. Good Questions and Bad, and </li><li>5. Against Constancy </li></ul></li><li>There is also a useful footnote on the distinction between <em>Genuine <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">Modal</A><SUP>2</SUP> Realism</em> and <em>Ersatz <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">Modal</A><SUP>3</SUP> Realism</em>, presumably indebted to Chapter 3 ("<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_08/Abstract_8012.htm">Lewis (David) - Paradise on the Cheap?</A>"). </li></ol></FONT><BR><BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>COMMENT: </B><ul type="disc"><li>Extracts from "<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_08/Abstract_8013.htm">Lewis (David) - Counterparts or Double Lives</A>", Chapter 4 of "<A HREF = "../../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_00/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_637.htm">Lewis (David) - On the Plurality of Worlds</A>". </li><li>Included in "<A HREF = "../../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_06/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_6213.htm">Look (Brandon C.) - The Metaphysics of Material Beings: Constitution, Persistence, and Identity</A>".</li></ul></P><BR><HR><BR><U><B>In-Page Footnotes</U> ("<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_02/Abstract_2008.htm">Lewis (David) - Counterparts or Double Lives (Selections)</A>")</B><a name="On-Page_Link_P2008_1"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P2008_1"><B>Footnote 1</B></A></U>: So, the intervening sections:- <ul type="disc"><li>2. Against Overlap</li><li>3. Against Trans-World Individuals, and</li><li>4. Against Haecceitism </li></ul>are omitted. <a name="ColourConventions"></a><hr><br><B><U>Text Colour Conventions</U> (see <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</B><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</li></OL> </center> <BR><HR><BR><center> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-03T00:00" pubdate>03/08/2018 00:00:47</time> <br><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A> </TD></TR><TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>