Modal fictionalism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Modal fictionalism is a term used in philosophy, and more specifically in the metaphysics of modality, to describe the position that holds that modality can be analysed in terms of a fiction about possible worlds. The theory comes in two versions: Strong and Timid. Both positions were first exposed by Gideon Rosen starting from 1990.[1]

Strong Fictionalism about Possible Worlds[edit]

According to Strong fictionalism about possible worlds (another name for Strong modal fictionalism), the following bi-conditionals are necessary and specify the truth-conditions for certain cases of modal claims:

  1. It is possible that P iff the translation of P into the language of a fiction F (containing possible worlds) holds according to F.
  2. It is necessary that P iff the translation of P into the language of a fiction F (containing possible worlds) always holds.

Recent supporters of this view added further specifications of these bi-conditionals to counter certain objections. In the case of claims of possibility, the revised bi-conditional is thus spelled out: (1.1) it is possible that P iff At this universe, presently, the translation of P into the language of a fiction F holds according to F.[2]

Timid Fictionalism about Possible Worlds[edit]

According to a timid version of fictionalism about possible worlds, our possible worlds can be properly understood as involving reference to a fiction, but the aforementioned bi-conditionals should not be taken as an analysis of certain cases of modality.

Objections and Criticisms[edit]

- The Brock/Rosen Objection

- Artificiality

This objection can be spelled out in at least two ways: artificiality as contingency or artificiality as lack of accessibility.[3]

- Hale Dilemma

- Incompleteness

- Fictional Fetishism

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gideon Rosen, Modal Fictionalism, Mind, 99, 395 (1990), pp. 327-54.
  2. ^ Seahwa Kim, 'Modal Fictionalism and Analysis', in Mark Kalderon (ed.) Fictionalism in Metaphysics (Oxford: Clarendon Press), pp. 116-33.
  3. ^ Andrea Sauchelli, 'Modal Fictionalism, Possible Worlds, and Artificiality', Acta Analytica (forthcoming)