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A Companion to David Lewis

Barry Loewer (Editor), Jonathan Schaffer (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-118-60761-9
592 pages
February 2015, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to David Lewis (1118607619) cover image


In A Companion to David Lewis, Barry Loewer and Jonathan Schaffer bring together top philosophers to explain, discuss, and critically extend Lewis's seminal work in original ways. Students and scholars will discover the underlying themes and complex interconnections woven through the diverse range of his work in metaphysics, philosophy of language, logic, epistemology, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, ethics, and aesthetics.

  • The first and only comprehensive study of the work of David Lewis, one of the most systematic and influential philosophers of the latter half of the 20th century
  • Contributions shed light on the underlying themes and complex interconnections woven through Lewis's work across his enormous range of influence, including metaphysics, language, logic, epistemology, science, mind, ethics, and aesthetics
  • Outstanding Lewis scholars and leading philosophers working in the fields Lewis influenced explain, discuss, and critically extend Lewis's work in original ways
  • An essential resource for students and researchers across analytic philosophy that covers the major themes of Lewis's work
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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors ix

Part I Biography and New Work 1

1 Intellectual Biography of David Lewis (1941–2001): Early Influences 3
Stephanie R. Lewis

2 Counterparts of States of Affairs 15
David Lewis

3 Reply to Dana Scott, “Is There Life on Possible Worlds?” 18
David Lewis

Part II Methodology and Context 23

4 Lewis’s Philosophical Method 25
Daniel Nolan

5 On Metaphysical Analysis 40
David Braddon-Mitchell and Kristie Miller

6 A Lewisian History of Philosophy 60
Robert Pasnau

7 David Lewis’s Place in Analytic Philosophy 80
Scott Soames

Part III Metaphysics and Science 99

8 Humean Supervenience 101
Brian Weatherson

9 No Work for a Theory of Universals 116
M. Eddon and C.J.G. Meacham

10 Hume’s Dictum and Metaphysical Modality: Lewis’s Combinatorialism 138
Jessica Wilson

11 Truthmaking: With and Without Counterpart Theory 159
Phillip Bricker

12 How to Be Humean 188
Jenann Ismael

13 Where (in Logical Space) Is God? 206
Stephanie R. Lewis

14 De Re Modality, Essentialism, and Lewis’s Humeanism 220
Helen Beebee and Fraser MacBride

15 David Lewis on Persistence 237
Katherine Hawley

16 “Perfectly Understood, Unproblematic, and Certain”: Lewis on Mereology 250
Karen Bennett

17 Humean Reductionism about Laws of Nature 262
Ned Hall

18 Why Lewisians Should Love Deterministic Chance 278
Rachael Briggs

19 Lewis on Causation 295
Christopher Hitchcock

Part IV Language and Logic 313

20 David Lewis on Convention 315
Ernie Lepore and Matthew Stone

21 Asking What a Meaning Does: David Lewis’s Contributions to Semantics 328
Barbara H. Partee

22 Accommodation in a Language Game 345
Craige Roberts

23 Lewis on Reference and Eligibility 367
J.R.G. Williams

24 On the Nature of Certain Philosophical Entities: Set Theoretic Constructionalism in the Metaphysics of David Lewis 382
Gideon Rosen

25 Primitive Self-Ascription: Lewis on the De Se 399
Richard Holton

26 Counterfactuals and Humean Reduction 411
Robert Stalnaker

27 On the Plurality of Lewis’s Triviality Results 425
Alan Hájek

28 Decision Theory after Lewis 446
John Collins

29 Lewis on Mereology and Set Theory 459
John P. Burgess

Part V Epistemology and Mind 471

30 Lewis on Knowledge Ascriptions 473
Jonathan Schaffer

31 Humility and Coexistence in Kant and Lewis: Two Modal Themes, with Variations 491
Rae Langton

32 Analytic Functionalism 504
Wolfgang Schwarz

33 Lewis on Materialism and Experience 519
Daniel Stoljar

Part VI Ethics and Politics 533

34 Lewis on Value and Valuing 535
Peter Railton

35 David Lewis’s Social and Political Philosophy 549
Simon Keller

Bibliography of the Work of David Lewis 562

Index 572

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Author Information

Barry Loewer is a Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University and director of the Rutgers Center for Philosophy and the Sciences. He works mainly on philosophy of science, focusing on issues in philosophy of physics and metaphysics. His publications include “Counterfactuals and the Second Law,” “David Lewis’s Humean Theory of Objective Chance,” and “Why is There Anything Except Physics?”.

Jonathan Schaffer is Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University. His research centers on metaphysics, epistemology, and language, and his publications include “Monism: The Priority of the Whole,” “On What Grounds What,” and “Knowing the Answer.”

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