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International Journal for Ontology and Metaphysics

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Against Logically Possible World-Relativized Existence

Dale Jacquette
  • Corresponding author
  • University of Bern, Switzerland, Institute for Philosophy, Division for Logic and Theoretical Philosophy
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Published Online: 2014-03-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mp-2014-0006


The thesis that entities exist in, at, or in relation to logically possible worlds is criticized. The suggestion that actually nonexistent fictional characters might nevertheless exist in nonactual merely logically possible worlds runs afoul of the most general transworld identity requirements. An influential philosophical argument for the concept of world-relativized existence is examined in Alvin Plantinga’s formal development and explanation of modal semantic relations. Despite proposing an attractive unified semantics of alethic modality, Plantinga’s argument is rejected on formal grounds as supporting materially false actual existence assertions in the case of actually nonexistent objects in the framework of Plantinga’s own underlying classical predicate-quantificational logic.

Keywords: Modal logic and semantics; Plantinga, Alvin; possible worlds semantics; transworld identity conditions; world-relativized existence


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About the article

Published Online: 2014-03-13

Published in Print: 2014-04-01

Citation Information: Metaphysica, Volume 15, Issue 1, Pages 85–98, ISSN (Online) 1874-6373, ISSN (Print) 1437-2053, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mp-2014-0006.

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