By Clarence Irving Lewis
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Additional resources for An Analysis Of Knowledge And Valuation
These diﬃculties – the want of explicit advocates of a truthmaker-specifying role for PW, and general questions about the detail of the truthmaker-specifying programme – are jointly formidable. But I believe that one can cut a path through them in order to make some substantial points about the capacity of the diﬀerent interpreters of PW to speak to the issue of truthmakers. The most eﬀective way of cutting such a path is, I believe, by focusing on one major question. Is the proponent of a given interpretation of PW in a position to endorse the existence of a kind of entity, the existence of which is plausibly necessary and suﬃcient for some claim of non-actualized possibility to be true?
The canonical articulation of the applied semantic theory proceeds as follows. W is the set of all possible worlds, w* is the actual world, R is a relation of accessibility on the set of all possible worlds, D is the set of all possible individuals and Q is a function that assigns to each possible world a domain of individuals that exist at that world. V is a valuation function that assigns each predicate an extension at each possible world and assigns each closed sentence one of the truth-values T, F at each world (relative to each assignment of possible individuals to each name and variable).
But I venture that the underlying ontological issue is that of safe and sane ontology and, in particular, where that issue is conceived at least partly as a matter of whether a putative kind of entity has been supplied with appropriate criteria of identity. One major challenge presented by the formidable critique of modality due to Quine (1947, 1951, 1953a, 1953b and 1961) is that of purging modal language (and logic) of semantically generated commitment to ‘dark’ intensional entities such as essences that are held dubious (unsafe or insane) on such grounds.
An Analysis Of Knowledge And Valuation by Clarence Irving Lewis