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I began work on this project hoping to provide a satisfactory and correct account of both the nature and function of modality, and its relation to possible worlds ­ in short, to solve all of the outstanding problems in the philosophy of modality, including the questions about the existence and nature of possible worlds . Unsurprisingly, a project which has been pursued for decades by many of the important figures of twentieth century philosophy was not one which I was able to complete in a few dozen months . Instead, I have settled for chipp ing away at various of the challenges and exploring some of the options available, and I wil l be happy i f I have been able to make some progress in a vast field in which so much has been done and in which so much remains to be done. I wil l not purport to produce something that could be the final word on the topic of the nature of modality and possible worlds and their connections with other important i ssues - but progress in such areas is not an unworthy goal , and I have some hope that I have achieved i t .