Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Semantics of possible worlds: is an expression for a theory that defines sentence meaning as the set of worlds in which this sentence is true. See also possible worlds, rigidity, semantics, propositions, meaning, modal logic, counterpart-theory, modal realism, necessity, possibility.

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.

Author Item Summary Meta data
I 43
Semantics of possible worlds/non-existent objects/non-existence/possibility/Hintikka: the semantics of possible worlds should assume possible individuals as inhabitants not only of possible worlds, but even of the actual world.
I 50
Semantics of possible worlds/HintikkaVsFrege: here there is no > systematic ambiguity, i.e. the expressions mean intensionally the same as extensionally.
E.g. to know what John knows is to know the worlds that are compatible with his belief, and to know which ones are not.
I 51
Extra premise: For this, one must be sure that an expression in different worlds picks out the same individual.
Context: what the relevant worlds are depends on the context.
E.g. Ramses: here the case is clear,
On the other hand:
E.g. Herzl knew that Loris was a great poet
Additional premise: Loris = Hofmannsthal.
I 53
Meaning function/semantics of possible worlds/Hintikka: the difference of my approach to that of Frege is that I consider the problems locally, while Frege regards them globally.
Fregean sense (= way of being given)/Hintikka: the Fregean sense must be regarded as defined for all possible worlds.
On the other hand:
Hintikka: when Fregean sense is constructed as a meaning function, it must be regarded in my approach only as defined for the relevant alternatives.
Frege: Frege uses the concept of the identity of the senses implicitly. And as a function of meaning the identity is only given if the mathematical function applies for all relevant arguments.
Totality/Hintikka: this concept of the totality of all logically possible worlds is now highly doubtful.
Solution/Hintikka: precisely the semantics of possible worlds helps to dispense with the totality of all possible worlds. ((s) and to only consider the relevant alternatives, defined by the context).
Fregean sense/Hintikka: the Fregean sense was constructed as a quasi-object (object of setting, propositional object, thought object, object of belief), because they were assumed as entities in the actual world, however abstract they were.
I 54
Meaning function/HintikkaVsFrege/Hintikka: unlike Fregean senses meaning functions are neither here nor elsewhere.
Problem/Hintikka: Frege was tempted to reify his "senses".
Object of knowledge/object of thought/Frege/Hintikka: Frege has the problem, unlike e.g. Quine never considered.
I 57
Meaning function/semantics of possible worlds/Hintikka: in order to be a solution, the meaning function must be a constant function, that is, it must pick out the same individuals in all the worlds.
I 205
Semantics of possible worlds/Hintikka: needs no conception of possible worlds as complete cosmological worlds, but only "small worlds", rather like event progress or situations, I also speak of "scenarios".
Possible world/Hintikka: the expression possible world is misleading, if one considers it as complete 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.

Hin I
Jaakko Hintikka
Merrill B. Hintikka
The Logic of Epistemology and the Epistemology of Logic Dordrecht 1989

J. Hintikka/M. B. Hintikka
Untersuchungen zu Wittgenstein Frankfurt 1996

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> Counter arguments in relation to Possible World Semantics

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2018-06-20