Against Logically Possible World-Relativized Existence

Dale Jacquette 1
  • 1 University of Bern, Switzerland, Institute for Philosophy, Division for Logic and Theoretical Philosophy
Dale Jacquette


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.

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