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By Alexander R. Pruss

Reality, chance and Worlds is an exploration of the Aristotelian account that sees chances as grounded in causal powers. On his technique to that account, Pruss surveys a couple of ancient techniques and argues that logicist ways to risk are implausible.

The concept of attainable worlds seems to be helpful for lots of reasons, akin to the research of counterfactuals or elucidating the character of propositions and homes. This usefulness of attainable worlds makes for a moment basic query: Are there any attainable worlds and, if this is the case, what are they? Are they concrete universes as David Lewis thinks, Platonic abstracta as in line with Robert M. Adams and Alvin Plantinga, or even linguistic or mathematical constructs corresponding to Heller thinks? Or may be Leibniz correct in considering that possibilia usually are not on par with actualities and that abstracta can simply exist in a brain, in order that attainable worlds are rules within the brain of God?

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This theory is elegant, solves m any problem s, including the extended Parmenidean problem o f ontological grounding, and appears coherent. But why should we think it true? W h y should we think that reality is so much richer in material objects than we had thought? Lewis’s answer follows in the footsteps of Leibniz’s answer to Lady M a sh a m ’s worry about Leibniz’s system. “ Leibniz replied inter a lia w ith the follow ing methodological observation: (1 ) it seems that it is quite a considerable thing when a hypothesis manifests itself {paroisse) as possible, when none of the others manifests itself so at all, and (2) .

By “sentences” we m ean types o f sentences. Now , there is no great ontological extravagance in positing such types. Languages like those o f hum ans can, to a good approxim ation, be reduced to sequences o f discrete symbols, and types of sequences o f symbols can easily be modeled set-theoretically. So this account in fact needs nothing more in the ontology beyond set theory. Since we may well w ant set theory for independent reasons, this is cheap. But, Lewis has argued, you get w hat you pay for, and we shall see in Section 2 of Part IV that we d o not get enough by this m ethod.

If so, w hat sorts o f substances are they? Someone who 30 Actuality, Possibility, and Worlds is not enamored o f Platonism w ill shrink from propositions. But on the posi­ tive side, propositional and linguistic approaches both avoid the paradoxes that plague Lewis’s theory, and the propositional approach is not tied ad hoc to a particular language. 5 Aristotle again and branching W hile one of Aristotle’s notions o f m odality was seen to be unsatisfactory, there is also another im plicit in his work to choose from.

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