[FOM] Possible Worlds

praatika@mappi.helsinki.fi praatika at mappi.helsinki.fi
Sat Dec 23 03:59:35 EST 2006

Lainaus Allen Patterson Hazen <allenph at unimelb.edu.au>:

>    (2) Other suggestions about the use of partial or inconsistent
> structures instead of full, classical, models as possible worlds have
> been
> made.  One of Hintikka's compatriots (sorry, I've forgotten the exact
> reference and will try to give it in a supplementary post if no one else
> beats me to it) published a paper in an early (1970s) volume of the
> "Journal of Philosophical Logic" proposing that "surface" models be
> used.

This is Veikko Rantala, and the paper is: "Urn models: A new kind of non-
standard model for first-order logic", JPL 4 (1975), 455-474.

>     (3) David Lewis, in conversation, in probably the late 1970s or
> 1980s,
> said he was attracted by an idea he attributed to Robert Stalnaker: that
> what is really being claimed as possible when someone says "P might be
> false" (P a mathematical statement) is the falsity of the SENTENCE: that
> there is a possible world in which we so use language that the words
> which
> actually express the (for sake of example, assume true) conjecture
> express
> some falsehood.

My problem with suggestions like this is that with such a notion of 
modality, any sentence might be false, and it is unclear to me just how 
useful such a notion of possibility (and necessity) is. 
(Or perhaps I misunderstood the issue.)

Best, Panu     

Panu Raatikainen
Ph.D., Academy Research Fellow,
Docent in Theoretical Philosophy
Department of Philosophy
University of Helsinki
E-mail: panu.raatikainen at helsinki.fi

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