Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Impossible World: possible worlds are determined by counterfactual descriptions, specifying conditions for the existence of objects or laws, or a listing of instanced properties. The existence of an impossible world is already excluded by the concept. However, an impossible world can e.g. be characterized by the fact that in it all propositions are true. Then, for an arbitrary sentence A applies A is true and non-A is true. Thus, existence is excluded for every object and property. See also possible worlds, modal logic, necessity, possibility, possible world semantics.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

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IV 21
Impossible world/Impo.wo./LewisVs: does not exist. - Problem: describe the impossible things in it. - 1) consistent truths about them. - 2) false contradictions about them. - a) truth about pigs that can fly and cannot. - b) contradictory falsehood that they can fly there, although it is not so that they can fly there. - Lewis: such a distinction cannot be made. - VsLewis: at best one could argue with something like "truth in fiction". - LewisVs: but that does not help.
V 15
Impossible world/Impo.wo./Lewis: If we cannot find a most similar possible world among the similar possible worlds - (e.g. 7 foot + e for shrinking e finds no limit) - then we can still assume impossible worlds - S be any maximum number of sentences, so that for every finite conjunction of C sentences in S wA>>wC is applicable in i - S is then a complete description of a - possible or impossible - way of how the facts could be if A was the case (seen from the position of i) - then we must postulate an impossible world where all sentences from S apply - it should be accessible from i alone (!) - it should be closer to i than every possible world - Important argument: but not closer to i than any possible world which in turn is closer than all possible A-worlds - impossible worlds here accessibility and comparable similarity are undefined. - The limiting assumption is obviously fulfilled. - The sentences in an impossible world may be incompatible. - But you cannot derive any contradiction from them - because there may be consistency subsets. - E.g. I am more than 7 feet tall - our borderline worlds will be impossible worlds where A is true, but where ..7.1 foot .. ..7.01, .. 7.001, etc. is wrong. - Important argument: this is not the same as the possible world where I am infinitesimally more than 7 feet tall: because there are such worlds, where physical quantities can take non-standard values, which ​​in turn differ infinitesimally from their natural numbers - Numbers/Measuring/Physics: e.g. physical quantities are never non-standard values.
V 16
That is false in any possible world where I am infinitessimally larger than 7 feet, but true in the impossible closest A worlds. - LewisVs: it is bad to assume such a thing, but it can be reduced to less problematic sets of propositions or sentences.
V 18
Impossible frontier worlds: here, impossible, but consistent endless combinations of possible true propositions become true.
V 15
Impossible world/Lewis: is assumed if infinitesimal approach does not deliver a definitely last most similar possible worlds - Vs: we should assume sets of propositions or sentences instead of impossible worlds.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.

Clarence Irving Lewis
Collected Papers of Clarence Irving Lewis Stanford 1970

David K. Lewis
Die Identität von Körper und Geist Frankfurt 1989

David K. Lewis
Konventionen Berlin 1975

David K. Lewis
Philosophical Papers Bd I New York Oxford 1983

David K. Lewis
Philosophical Papers Bd II New York Oxford 1986

LwCl I
Clarence Irving Lewis
Mind and the World Order: Outline of a Theory of Knowledge (Dover Books on Western Philosophy) 1991

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2018-04-22