22 Pages

Towards Explaining the Connection Between Modality and Possible Worlds

Then I wi l l go on to discuss another important issue relevant to explaining the connection between modali ty and possible worlds , and indeed to explaining connections between theories and/or their domains in general . People sometimes c laim that either modali ty or possible worlds should be taken as primitive , and the one not taken to be primi tive should be explained in terms of the one which is (plus perhaps some other theoretical resources) . Furthermore , it is often

accepted that the way to evaluate rival theories in terms of their theoretical commi tments is to examine which theoretical resources are taken to be primi tive by each rival . B ut what i s a theoretical primit ive? What distinguishes a theory which takes modali ty to be primi tive from one in which possible worlds are primit ive? Furthermore, some accounts of modality or possible worlds seek to explain them without appeal to '"modal primit ives" . But what might modal primit ives be? The second half of thi s chapter w i l l consist of an exploration of i ssues connected with the notion of theoretical primit ives , and propose some suggestions as to how we should go about assessing theories of modality for the costs incurred by those theories in virtue of the primit ives they employ.