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|Impossible World||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.
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.
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.
Impossible frontier worlds: here, impossible, but consistent endless combinations of possible true propositions become true.
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.
Die Identität von Körper und Geist Frankfurt 1989
Konventionen Berlin 1975
Philosophical Papers Bd I New York Oxford 1983
Philosophical Papers Bd II New York Oxford 1986
Cl. I. Lewis
Mind and the World Order: Outline of a Theory of Knowledge (Dover Books on Western Philosophy) 1991