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On the Plurality of Worlds

ISBN: 978-0-631-22426-6
286 pages
February 2001, Wiley-Blackwell
On the Plurality of Worlds (0631224262) cover image


This book is a defense of modal 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. Lewis argues that the philosophical utility of modal realism is a good reason for believing that it is true.
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Table of Contents


1. A Philosopher's Paradise.

The Thesis of Pluraliry of Worlds.

Modal Realism at Work: Modality.

Modal Realism at Work: Closeness.

Modal Realism at Work: Content.

Modal Realism at Work: Properties.





2. Paradox in Paradise?.

Everything is Actual?.

All Worlds in One?.

More Worlds Than There Are?.

How Can We Know?.

A Road to Scepticism?.

A Road to Indifference?.

Arbitrariness Lost?.

The Incredulous Stare.

3. Paradise on the Cheap?.

The Ersatzist Program.

Linguistic Ersatzism.

Pictorial Ersatzism.

Magical Ersatzism.

4. Counterparts or Double Lives?.

Good Questions and Bad.

Against Overlap.

Against Trans-World Individuals.

Against Haecceitism.

Against Constancy.

Works Cited.


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Author Information

David Lewis (1941- 2001) was Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University. His publications include Convention (reissued by Blackwell 2002), Counterfactuals (reissued by Blackwell 2000), Parts of Classes (1991), and of numerous articles in metaphysics and other areas. Many of his writings are available in his Collected Papers.
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The Wiley Advantage

  • Written by one of the most distinguished and influential philosophers alive today.
  • Cuts across core issues in logic, metaphysics, language, and epistemology.
  • A Contemporary classic.
  • Discusses central issues in modal logic, which is an area of keen interest in contemporary philosophical logic.
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