chapter  4
18 Pages

PROBLEMS FOR 'STRONG' MODAL FICTIONALISM

In this chapter and the next, I wi l l shift my attention to issues concerning specific accounts of possible worlds: in this chapter I out l ine some problems which face modal fictional i sm, a variety of theory of possible worlds which i s gaining i n popularity (or at least notoriety) , and i n the next chapter I deal with a problem for modal fictional ism and an abstractionist account of possible worlds known as l inguistic ersatzism (after Lewis 's dubbing of it in Lewis 1 986c) ,

There are a c luster of problems for modal fictional ism which centre around whether or not it is self-defeating, or nearly so. The 'Brock/Rosen' objection (Brock 1 993 , Rosen 1 993) is the best known of these objections , and another which has recently been proposed i s an objection of B ob Hale's (Hale 1 995) . I wi l l not deal with th is sort of problem in th is chapter (or e lsewhere in th is book) , s ince I wish to concentrate on another set of problems. These problems arise specifical ly for a particular variety of modal fictional i sm, and I wi l l argue that each of these problems constitute a reason for abandoning at least th is version of

2 modal fictionalism as unworkable . The exploration of these problems, and what they show about modal fictional i sm , is the topic of th is chapter.