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On the Plurality of Worlds

David Lewis

ISBN: 978-0-631-22496-9 February 2001 Wiley-Blackwell 288 Pages


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.

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.


  • 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.