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Title: On the singularity of the world : an actual-counterpart theory of modality
Author: Craven, Richard Murray
ISNI:       0000 0004 2735 7755
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2012
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This dissertation consists in the motivation, formal development, and partial defence of a novel theory of alethic modality, Actual Counterpart Theory (act). act is counterpart- theoretical, analysing an individual a's possible/necessary F-ness in terms of some/all of a's counterparts being F. However, unlike the familiar Classical Counterpart Theory (cct) of David Lewis, act locates a's counterparts, not in other possible worlds (pw's), but rather in spatiotemporal regions of the actual world a. The formal theory of act is provisionally based on the formalization of cct in [Lewis 1968], but with the following differences. a functions as the space of possibility in act, replacing the set W of pw' s, which occupies this role in cct. The quantifiers in act range over a-regions r instead of worlds w. Lastly, a privileged a-region, intuitively the spatiotemporal vicinity of utterance, which I call @, usurps a's cct role as the locus of evaluation of claims. The motivations for act accrue from its being:- i. model-theoretical; ii. counterpart-theoretical; iii. not pw-theoretical; iv. permissive towards actual counterparts. These facts imply that act is e.g. extensional, compositional, immune to problems of identity across worlds, in possession of both a plausible epistemology and the safest and sanest ontology, and able to assert very many de re contingencies. act is defended against two objections:- a. act does not deliver a complete account of modal truth, because there are insufficient a- individuals to serve as counterparts. b. The Actuality Objection [Hazen, M.Fara & Williamson]:- There is no correct translation into counterpart theory of formalized modal actuality claims. Objection a is addressed by appealing to theoretical apparatuses and a plausible error-theory; Meyer's [2012] solution to Objection b calls for an SQML logic with fixed quantifiers. This explains the provisional nature of the formalization of act.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available