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Models and reality*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2020

Robert Stalnaker
Affiliation:
Linguistics and Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
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Abstract

Kripke models, interpreted realistically, have difficulty making sense of the thesis that there might have existed things that do not in fact exist, since a Kripke model in which this thesis is true requires a model structure in which there are possible worlds with domains that contain things that do not exist. This paper argues that we can use Kripke models as representational devices that allow us to give a realistic interpretation of a modal language. The method of doing this is sketched, with the help of an analogy with a Galilean relativist theory of spatial properties and relations.

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Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Journal of Philosophy 2016

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Footnotes

*

Apologies to Hilary Putnam for appropriating the title of one of his famous papers (Putnam 1980). My topic is not unrelated to his, but I am not going to talk about his paper. I chose the title because it says what my paper is about.

References

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Kripke, S. 1980. Naming and Necessity. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
Lewis, D. 1986. On the Plurality of Worlds. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
Putnam, H. 1980. “Models and Reality.” The Journal of Symbolic Logic 45: 464482. 10.2307/2273415CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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