Dictionary of Arguments

Philosophical and Scientific Issues in Dispute

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The author or concept searched is found in the following controversies.
Disputed term/author/ism Author Vs Author
Actuality Relativism Meixner Vs Actuality Relativism I 133
Def Actuality Relativism/AR/Meixner: attributes every absolute actuality to intrinsically essential relative actuality, i.e. actuality in w*. For them, "x is actual*" means nothing other than "x is actual in w*".
One could ask: "Why is the actual world of all things "this world"?
"Why is the sum of all existing facts (state of affairs) w*?"
More radical: "why is the world as a state of affairs a maximum-consistent state of affairs at all?"
MeixnerVsActuality Relativism: the fact that there is a need for explanation here speaks against the Actuality Relativism: because according to it, it should not exist at all. If actuality* (existence*) for state of affairs means nothing else than being part of state of affairs of w*, then this would simply be an intrinsic necessity.
I 134
But if we take the puzzle seriously, then we have already left the view that the partly state of affairs of w* are already actual* by themselves, while all other state of affairs are not actual* by themselves. Meixner: For us, the totality of facts* is simply given (factum brutum, naked fact), or it has a reason, which must then lie deeper than the ground of that totality of facts.
Principle of actuality: is not conceptually true for state of affairs if we consider it necessary to explain that the real world is identical with w*. Then it is contingent and in its place could also stand:
"x is actual* exactly when x is part of state of affairs of w#."
w#: one of w* different possible worlds. For example a world in which no shipwrecks take place.
N.B.: "could have been true instead of the principle of actuality": does not mean that the actuality principle in another possible world than w* is false.
For example the sinking of the Titanic is not updated in w# but still part of state of affairs of w*.
I 135
Actuality Relativism/AR/Meixner: this is considered absurd by actuality relativists. Question: is the truth of the sentence not "No possible world is actual" possible in principle?
"At least one possible world is actual" is true in every possible world w, no matter how one understands "is actual" in it..,
Because w itself provides the example that makes the sentence in w true.
And this is true in every possible world "w" and thus in every possible world. ((s) because each possible world can be called w, or w stands only for any possible world.)
On the other hand:
absolute: if you take "is actual" as absolute, for example in the sense of "is part state of affairs of w*" then "at least one possible world is actual" is true in every possible world because w* without any relativization is a possible world and therefore absolutely actual.
MeixnerVsActuality Relativism: you can only represent this if you reject the actuality relativism. Because if you accept "is actual" absolutely in the sense of the actuality relativism, then there is no basis for considering the truth of the sentences "w# is actual" and "no possible world is actual" as possible.
I 136
If one understands "is actual" as indefinitely related to a possible world, then the truth of "w# is actual" can be understood as possible in a certain way (see below, in this paragraph), but still the sentence is "No possible world is actual".
conceptually wrong: in no context k "No possible world Wk is actual" can be true.
Actuality Relativism: its modal ontological relationships are undoubtedly simpler.
Relative/Absolute/Reduction: Problem: the traceability of the absolute concept of actuality to the relative one: arbitrariness of the fixed point.
For example, the predicate "x is large" can be defined by the predicate "x is larger than y". Then you can best say: x is greater than b*. Problem: what is the fixed point b*? There are infinitely many to consider. Should they remain constant in time or not?
The predicate is then meaningless in itself (without determination), if not senseless. (sense/meaning).
I 137
Fixed point/Actuality/Meixner: in the definition of the absolute actuality predicate "x is an actual* state of affairs" by the
relative A predicate "x is a state of affairs actual in w", w* has the role of a fixed point.
Question: but why w* and not another fixed point?
"Because w* is the sum of the actual* state of affairs" does not apply! This already uses the predicate, whose actuality-relativistic definition can only be justified. (circular).
Also not: "because w* is the sum of the actual (without star) state of affairs", if "actual" itself is understood, indefinitely, without exact context.
w#: for this applies the same as for w*: "w# is the sum of the state of affairs actual in w#".
Def Actuality Relativism/Meixner: from their point of view each possible world must seem as suitable as any other to define by reference to it what it means that a state of affairs is actual*.
I 138
Lewis/Meixner: is an actuality relativism, he does not regard possible worlds as state of affairs, but as individual-like entities.
I 139
MeixnerVsActuality Relativism: not durable, because it does not allow any real contingency. Because it denies the need for explanation,
because it makes the difference between actual* and non-actual* an arbitrary difference that essentially depends on us.
I 139/140
Act/Action/State of affairs/Meixner: does the state of affairs exist because the person acts in this way* or does* the person act in a metaphysical fundamental perspective in this way because the state of affairs exists? VsActuality Relativism: for it, people cannot be the first source of actuality* of state of affairs! for the actual relativism, fundamental action as the creation of facts is out of question.

Mei I
U. Meixner
Einführung in die Ontologie Darmstadt 2004