A Combinatorial Theory of PossibilityPaperback Cambridge Studies in Philosophy
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- Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Format: Paperback | 172 pages
- Dimensions: 140mm x 210mm x 18mm | 259g
- Publication date: 1 October 1989
- Publication City/Country: Cambridge
- ISBN 10: 0521377803
- ISBN 13: 9780521377805
- Edition statement: New.
- Illustrations note: 1 b/w illus.
- Sales rank: 917,912
David Armstrong's book is a contribution to the philosophical discussion about possible worlds. Taking Wittgenstein's Tractatus as his point of departure, Professor Armstrong argues that nonactual possibilities and possible worlds are recombinations of actually existing elements, and as such are useful fictions. There is an extended criticism of the alternative-possible-worlds approach championed by the American philosopher David Lewis. This major work will be read with interest by a wide range of philosophers.
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Table of contents
Preface; Part I. Non-Naturalist Theories of Possibility: 1. The causal argument 2. Non-Naturalist theories of possibility; Part II. A Combinatorial and Naturalist Account of Possibility: 3. Possibility in a simple world 4. Expanding and contracting the world; 5. Relative atoms; 6. Are there de re incompatibilities and necessities?; 7. Higher-order entities, negation and causation; 8. Supervenience; 9. Mathematics; 10. Final questions: logic; Works cited; Appendix: Tractarian Nominalism Brian Skyrms; Index.