more from David Lewis

Single Idea 16282

[catalogued under 10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 1. Possible Worlds / d. Possible worlds actualism]

Full Idea

The ersatzers say that instead of an incredible plurality of concrete worlds, we can have one world only, and countless abstract entities representing ways that this world might have been.


'ersatz' means a false substitute

Gist of Idea

Ersatzers say we have one world, and abstract representations of how it might have been


David Lewis (On the Plurality of Worlds [1986], 3.1)

Book Reference

Lewis,David: 'On the Plurality of Worlds' [Blackwell 2001], p.136

A Reaction

Put me down as an ersatzer. They seem to be the same as Actualists. Are worlds other possible worlds, or ways 'this world might have been'? Not the same. Does actuality constrain what is possible? (Barcan formula?)