Modal Facts and Moral Value
August 15, 2010 — 11:03

Author: Michael Almeida  Category: Uncategorized  Comments: 26

The *modal facts* obtaining in a world can determine the moral value of a world in interesting and unexpected ways. Two morally perfect worlds that are intrinsically indiscernible might vary widely in moral value. A crucial implication is that the moral value of a world does not depend exclusively on the intrinsic facts obtaining in those worlds. *The moral value of a world depends on what relations it stands in to other possible worlds*. I will present the cases in order of obviousness.
Begin with an obvious case (1). Let morally perfect worlds W and W’ differ with respect to significantly free moral agent S. W includes S, S faces a morally significant action A and S goes right with respect to A. The modal facts in W include the fact that *possibly*, S goes wrong with respect to A. Since W and W’ are otherwise morally indiscernible, W is more valuable than W’.
(2): Let W and W’ be indiscernible except for the following *modal facts*: In W, S can go wrong with respect to A and in W’, S cannot go wrong with respect to A. Each of these morally perfect worlds is such that every moral agent always goes right in them. They include the same moral agents performing the same actions in the same situations. But W is more valuable than W’, since W contains the additional moral value of S freely performing A.


(3): Let W and W’ be indiscernible except for the following *modal facts*: In W, S can terribly torture S’, and in W’, S cannot terribly torture S’. Each of these morally perfect worlds is such that every moral agent always goes right in them. They include the same moral agents performing the same actions in the same situations. But W is more valuable than W’, since W contains the additional moral value of S freely refraining from torturing S’. W’ does not include that additional moral value.
(4): Let W and W’ be indiscernible except for the following *modal facts*: In W, *every* moral agent can terribly torture another, and in W’, no moral agent can torture another. Each of these morally perfect worlds is such that every moral agent always goes right in them. They include the same moral agents performing the same actions in the same situations. But W is *much more* valuable than W’, since W contains the additional moral value of everyone freely refraining from torturting another. W’ does not include that additional moral value.
It is strange to think that the very same world W can vary so much in value simply by the addition of some, perhaps distant, possible world in metaphysical space. It is strange to think that the moral value of a world is not fully determined by the intrinsic facts in that world.
The good world W in (2) entails the existence of an *imperfect world*. The better world W in (3) entails the existence of a *bad world*. The still better world in (4) entails the existence of a *terrible world*. In the absence of imperfect worlds, bad worlds and terrible worlds, we would not have good morally perfect worlds, better morally perfect worlds, and best morally perfect worlds.

Comments:
  • hiero5ant

    I’m having trouble making any sense of your examples, because of phraseology like “modal facts ‘in’ a world” and “the agent ‘can’ do such and such ‘in’ a world”.
    Why aren’t these contradictions in terms? Aren’t modal properties supposed to belong to world ensembles, with individual worlds’ descriptions exhausted by the events they contain?

    August 15, 2010 — 13:00
  • Mike Almeida

    I’m having trouble making any sense of your examples, because of phraseology like “modal facts ‘in’ a world” and “the agent ‘can’ do such and such ‘in’ a world”.
    I’m not sure what the problem is supposed to be. The modal facts that obtain depend on what metaphysical space is like. If there is no possible world in which I dunk as baskeball, then it is not a modal fact (in @) that I can dunk a baskeball. If there is such a possible world, then it is a modal fact (in @) that I can dunk a basketball. If it is true that every essence is transworld depraved, then it is not a modal fact that God can actualize a morally perfect world. If some essences are not so, then it is a modal fact that God can actualize a morally perfect world.

    August 15, 2010 — 13:33
  • hiero5ant

    Thanks for your prompt reply. I’m still unclear what “in” is supposed to designate. I understand what it means to say that a canned peanut has the property of being either in a can of mixed or unmixed nuts, but I don’t know what it means to say that that something is mixed or unmixed “in” a nut. Either all the nuts in the can are mixed, or none of them are. Either S has LFW in all worlds, or he has it in none of them.
    So if from (2) “In W, S can go wrong with respect to A,” then it seems W’ is not a possible world at all, since to say S can ~A just is to say there is a world where he ~As, which is to say, every nut in the can is mixed. W and W’ cannot both be possible worlds, so I can’t make the necessary moral comparisons to follow the argument.
    I should add that my familiarity with PW semantics is all informal and second-hand, so I’m sorry if I’m making one of those obvious schoolboy confusions. I have some other issues with what e.g. “actualization” is supposed to amount to, but I’m going to have to keep mum on those since it’s likely they stem from my initial confusion. At present it seems like there could never be a “choice” between the “actualization” of Ws and W’s in any of your examples — when I hear “free in” the only sense I can make of it is as a global property of the metaverse, not as a property that one nut in the can can have while another lacks it. So the moral comparison is not between worlds, but between “possible” metaworlds. But then where does this comparison take place? In a metametaworld?

    August 15, 2010 — 16:47
  • Joshua Rasmussen

    Cool thoughts. I wonder if the property of containing someone x who is loved by someone y, such that y freely loves x is an intrinsic property of the situation that has it. Clearly its instantiation depends upon a modal fact…

    August 15, 2010 — 17:05
  • Mike Almeida

    I wonder if the property of containing someone x who is loved by someone y, such that y freely loves x is an intrinsic property of the situation that has it. Clearly its instantiation depends upon a modal fact…
    It is easier for me to think in terms of facts intrinsic to a world. I don’t think that fact can be intrinsic, since it is not be true were we to discover that this is the only possible world. That’s more or less a Moorean isolation test. Similarly, it isn’t an intrinsic property of a room that it contains a person who is standing exactly 60 miles south of Austin. Of course, the Moorean test not entirely reliable, but neither is any other test for intrinsicality.

    August 16, 2010 — 8:17
  • Mike Almeida

    So if from (2) “In W, S can go wrong with respect to A,” then it seems W’ is not a possible world at all, since to say S can ~A just is to say there is a world where he ~As, which is to say, every nut in the can is mixed. W and W’ cannot both be possible worlds, so I can’t make the necessary moral comparisons to follow the argument.
    The comparison between W and W’ is under different epsitemic possibilities concerning the shape of metaphysical space. It might turn out that metaphysical space includes worlds in which everyone can torture another. In that case the relevant world would be W. It might turn out that metaphysical space includes no such world. In that case, the relevant world would be W’. The point is that the intrinsic features of W and W’ are indiscernible, but the value of worlds is wildly different. The difference is accounted for by the worlds relational (i.e. modal) features.

    August 16, 2010 — 8:26
  • “It is strange to think that the very same world W can vary so much in value simply by the addition of some, perhaps distant, possible world in metaphysical space.”
    I wonder if the strangeness of this depends on what view of possible worlds one has.
    If one has Lewis’s view, it is strange.
    But suppose we have an actualist modal realism (e.g., a Platonic one like Plantinga’s), and for simplicity assume S5. Then at each possible world, all the possible worlds exist. Thus, W3, W17, W90 all exist at W. They are just much denizens of W–individuals in the domain of W–as Socrates is a denizen of the actual world. Now it is not surprising if the value of our world depends on which human denizens it has. Likewise, then, it should not be all that surprising if the value of W should depend on which world denizens it has.
    Moreover, just as it is an intrinsic fact about a world that it contains such-and-such concrete denizens, it should be an intrinsic fact about a world that it contains such-and-such abstract denizens, and these abstract denizens could be properties, propositions, Plantingan states of affairs, numbers, sets or… worlds.

    August 16, 2010 — 8:44
  • hiero5ant

    The comparison between W and W’ is under different epsitemic possibilities concerning the shape of metaphysical space.
    So the comparison is one between *epistemic* possibility, not *metaphysical* possibility, and the comparison is not between worlds, but between ensembles of worlds?
    Can someone stop me when I say something either false, internally inconsistent, or ambiguous so I can see where my reasoning goes wrong:
    1) The entire function of PWS is to analytically reduce “can” or “could have” or “freely (in the LFW sense)” operators to quantifications over possible worlds.
    2) A “world” is *constituted* by its nonmodal description — a single very large string listing every transition from one system state to the next.
    3) To say that an agent in a world “could have” done otherwise analytically reduces to “there is a PW whose nonmodal description up until the time of the decision is identical, but which contains the contrary decision”.
    .:) By definition, if an agent “could have” done otherwise “in” a world, then the agent “could have” done otherwise in all metaphysically possible worlds. Just as, by definition, if a can contains just a single alternate nut, then every nut in the can is mixed.
    .:) W and W’ by definition cannot *both* be metaphysically possible worlds (although they may be epistemically possible); No possible topology of metaphysical space will contain *both* of them, since the existence of just a single PW where ~A analytically entails the LFW of every other PW, both As and ~As alike.
    .:) Since no possible topology of metaphysical space will contain *both* of them, there cannot be a “choice” of which one of them to “make” actual, and, ought-implying-can + modus tollens, neither of them could be better.
    It might turn out that metaphysical space includes worlds in which everyone can torture another.
    It *epistemically* might turn out that metaphysical space includes both worlds (nonmodally identical up until the action) where torturing another does occur and worlds where it does not. It *epistemically* might turn out that m-space only contains one kind of world. But it *metaphysically* cannot turn out that m-space includes both worlds where such agents *metaphysically* can and cannot torture each other. LFW (which incidentally I find a useless concept but have been accepting arguendo) is supposed to be about what I *metaphysically-can* do, not what I epistemically-can do.
    In that case the relevant world would be W. It might turn out that metaphysical space includes no such world. In that case, the relevant world would be W’. The point is that the intrinsic features of W and W’ are indiscernible, but the value of worlds is wildly different. The difference is accounted for by the worlds relational (i.e. modal) features.
    It still seems to me that you are not comparing distinct worlds, but distinct world-ensembles, i.e. distinct m-space topologies, and comparison of m-spaces takes place in a higher order epistemic-space in which the various m-spaces are embedded like raisins in pudding. I can sort of make sense of morally comparing different m-spaces, if that’s what you’re really doing in the original post. But I’m more convinced than before that the phraseology of being free “in” a world (as opposed to being free in a world *ensemble*, which is what LFW means) is highly misleading at best. An individual world is supposed to be given by its non-modal description, and hence in a very rigorous sense all the events in it are determined by that description.
    Whenever something seems to me to 1) absolutely, obviously fall out of the basic definitions of terms 2) on a subject I haven’t formally studied and 3) people who study this stuff find my objections impenetrably confusion, that usually sets off huge humility-gongs in my brain, so once again thanks for your patience on this.

    August 16, 2010 — 20:26
  • Mike Almeida

    (1) and (2) are not true, not everyone is a reductionist about modality and almost no one thinks worlds are descriptions (maybe Carnap did). I’m skipping down to these.
    .:) By definition, if an agent “could have” done otherwise “in” a world, then the agent “could have” done otherwise in all metaphysically possible worlds. Just as, by definition, if a can contains just a single alternate nut, then every nut in the can is mixed.
    Definitely not. There will be lots of worlds in which the agent does not exist. And there will be lots of worlds where the agent does exist but cannot do otherwise. The agent is restrained or otherwise prevented from doing otherwise.
    .:) W and W’ by definition cannot *both* be metaphysically possible worlds (although they may be epistemically possible); No possible topology of metaphysical space will contain *both* of them, since the existence of just a single PW where ~A analytically entails the LFW of every other PW, both As and ~As alike.
    It is true that w and w’ are not both possible worlds, but certainly not for that reason. It’s rather because w entails that metaphysical space is one way and w’ entails that its another.
    Since no possible topology of metaphysical space will contain *both* of them, there cannot be a “choice” of which one of them to “make” actual, and, ought-implying-can + modus tollens, neither of them could be better.
    What I do in the post is compare two worlds under two epistemically possible views about metaphysical space. And yes one of the is clearly better than the other.
    But it *metaphysically* cannot turn out that m-space includes both worlds where such agents *metaphysically* can and cannot torture each other.
    Definitely not. There might be two possible worlds in the same metaphysical space including the same agents in the same circumstances. In one of those worlds God allows them to torture each other, in the other world he does not. These worlds would not be w and w’ however.

    August 17, 2010 — 7:53
  • Two morally perfect worlds that are intrinsically indiscernible might vary widely in moral value.
    Is this scenario possible? An analogy to cast doubt on it:
    Imagine two worlds full of drinking glasses that are intrinsically indiscernable, and in which none of the glasses break. However, in one world, the glasses could have broken (but luckily happened not to) whereas in the other the glasses weren’t incapable of breaking.
    My mind boggles at this. The fragility (or lack thereof) of the glass depends on the chemical makeup of the glass, it’s crystalline structure, blah, blah, blah. These dispositional qualities aren’t brute facts, they’re grounded in other qualities of the glass. I think there would have to be intrinsic differences between the two worlds in order for there to be the modal difference.
    Likewise with agents. Imagine two worlds of agents, in both of which nobody sins (and everybody does what he ought to do), and in which both superficially look alike. but in w, the agents could have sinned ((but luckily happened not to choose to sin) whereas the others weren’t capable of sinning. The relationship of the agent’s reason, desire, choice, etc., with his actions would have to be quite different in the two cases in order to ground the modal difference.
    Am I missing something here?

    August 17, 2010 — 9:27
  • Mike Almeida

    My mind boggles at this. The fragility (or lack thereof) of the glass depends on the chemical makeup of the glass, it’s crystalline structure, blah, blah, blah. These dispositional qualities aren’t brute facts, they’re grounded in other qualities of the glass. I think there would have to be intrinsic differences between the two worlds in order for there to be the modal difference.
    I think this is an interesting point, Tim. Whether dispositional properties supervene on categorical properties is a matter of debate, but let’s say it’s true. And let the relevant set of categorical properties be C. Your central point depends on it being apriori true that anything with the set C of categorical properties has the same dispositions D. But, even if it is necessary, it’s not apriori true. It’s epistemically possible that something has C and not D.

    August 17, 2010 — 9:47
  • Mike:
    1. Even if dispositional properties do not reduce to categorical ones, they could still be intrinsic to the entities they are dispositional properties of.
    2. And even if not, it could be an intrinsic property of a world that such-and-such dispositional property is exemplified in it. And there need be no possible-worlds analysis of dispositional properties.
    3. Suppose worlds are maximal consistent propositions. Plausibly, it is an intrinsic property of the proposition <Sam is charged&rt; that it predicates charge of something. Now let P be a dispositional property. Plausibly, it is an intrinsic property of the proposition <Sam has P&rt; that the proposition predicates P of something. Let w be a world in which Sam has P. Then <Sam has P&rt; will be a conjunct of w, and it will be an intrinsic property of w that it predicates P of something. Thus, it will be an intrinsic property of w that P is exemplified at w.
    A similar argument works if worlds are maximal consistent sets of propositions (assuming it is an intrinsic property of a set that it has such-and-such members).

    August 17, 2010 — 10:23
  • Mike Almeida

    Alex,
    I don’t deny (1) or (2). Maybe dispositional properties are intrinsic. So long as they are not given a possible worlds analysis, there’s no worry.
    I am puzzled by (3). If worlds are conjunctions of propositions, then the actual world is a conjunction of propositions, too, the true ones. So what actually exists is a conjunction of true propositions, rather than states of affairs or objects or events, etc. I don’t think that can be right.
    Plausibly, it is an intrinsic property of the proposition Sam has P&rt; that the proposition predicates P of something. Let w be a world in which Sam has P
    Consider the property P* of having ten counterparts in other worlds. Is it an intrinsic property of a proposition that it predicates P* of something? Not if worlds are conjunctions of propositions. It would then follow that it is an intrinsic property of a world w that it predicates P* of something. But no world could attribute P* to anything unless there were other possible worlds in which the relevant counterparts existed.

    August 17, 2010 — 11:37
  • David

    >>I am puzzled by (3). If worlds are conjunctions of propositions, then the actual world is a conjunction of propositions, too, the true ones. So what actually exists is a conjunction of true propositions, rather than states of affairs or objects or events, etc. I don’t think that can be right.
    I’m not sure this objection works. On the maximal propositions view of possible worlds, “the actual world” doesn’t refer to what actually exists but rather to the maximal set of propositions that correctly represents what actually exists.

    August 18, 2010 — 16:51
  • Mike Almeida

    I’m not sure this objection works. On the maximal propositions view of possible worlds, “the actual world” doesn’t refer to what actually exists but rather to the maximal set of propositions that correctly represents what actually exists.
    This is the point of the objection. What is actual is not merely a set of true propositions. What is actual is at least a maximal state of affairs; it is the maximal state of affairs that obtains. In sum, I’m not prepared to say that the actual world is not the set of spatiotemporally related objects OR a maximal state of affairs OR a set of events, etc. The actual world is not a proposition, contrary to what the view says.

    August 18, 2010 — 17:36
  • David

    >>What is actual is not merely a set of true propositions.
    But the supporter of the maximal propositions view can accept this. He doesn’t have an odd view of what exists; he uses the expression “the actual world” in a non-standard way, in which it is not synonymous with “what actually exists” or ‘what is actual.”

    August 19, 2010 — 8:04
  • Mike Almeida

    ,i>But the supporter of the maximal propositions view can accept this. He doesn’t have an odd view of what exists; he uses the expression “the actual world” in a non-standard way, in which it is not synonymous with “what actually exists” or ‘what is actual.”
    What you call ‘non-standard’ I call false.

    August 19, 2010 — 8:28
  • Hello,
    Your blog is very interesting and makes a lot of us re-evaluate our opinions of common topics. I was wondering if you would like to visit my blog (even though it is just starting out) at http://thevaluesofliving.blogspot.com/ and see what input you can give.
    Thank you,
    L. Locke

    August 19, 2010 — 16:27
  • Mike:
    “If worlds are conjunctions of propositions, then the actual world is a conjunction of propositions, too, the true ones. So what actually exists is a conjunction of true propositions, rather than states of affairs or objects or events, etc.”
    Remember that this is an ersatzist view. On ersatzist views, we are not a part of any world, though we do exist at. The “exists at” is “exists according to”: x exists at w iff w contains the proposition that x exists. Since the actual world contains the proposition as that Mike exists, and since the actual world is true (that is what makes it actual, that unlike all the other worlds which are false propositions, the actual one is true), it follows by the T-schema that Mike exists.
    “Consider the property P* of having ten counterparts in other worlds. Is it an intrinsic property of a proposition that it predicates P* of something? Not if worlds are conjunctions of propositions. It would then follow that it is an intrinsic property of a world w that it predicates P* of something. But no world could attribute P* to anything unless there were other possible worlds in which the relevant counterparts existed.”
    I am afraid I just don’t follow the reasoning here. I am with you up to “it is an intrinsic property of a world w that it predicates P* of something”.
    Suppose w is a world that attributes P* to x. In other words, that x has P* is one of the conjuncts in w. This fact seems to be an intrinsic property of the proposition w. Now your hypothesis “unless there were other possible worlds in which the relevant counterparts existed” is ambiguous between two hypotheses: “unless according to w there were other possible worlds in which…” and “unless according to @ (the actual world) there were other possible worlds in which…”. Given S5, these two hypotheses are logically equivalent. However, once we’re into counterpossibles, we need to distinguish logically equivalent hypotheses.
    Reading 1: “Unless according to @ there were other possible worlds…” But what worlds exist according to @ is not directly relevant to the question of what is true at w. What is relevant is the question of what is true at w.
    Reading 2: “Unless according to w there were other possible worlds…” This is better. But now note that it is an intrinsic property of w that according to it there exist such-and-such possible worlds. For it is an intrinsic property of w that it contains the proposition that w1, w2, … are worlds, and that’s all it means to say that according to w there exist such-and-such worlds. So the Platonist can embrace the conclusion of your little argument.

    August 20, 2010 — 9:26
  • Mike Almeida

    Suppose w is a world that attributes P* to x. In other words, that x has P* is one of the conjuncts in w. This fact seems to be an intrinsic property of the proposition w.
    If that were an intrinsic property of W, then W would have that property independently of the existence of any other world. But it cannot have that property independently of any other possible world. W has that property ONLY IF there are other possible worlds in which x has counterparts. That is, W has that property ONLY IF it stands in a certain relation to other possible worlds. That is, W does not have that property non-relationally. That is, W does not have that property intrinsically.

    August 20, 2010 — 10:51
  • Mike Almeida

    [I tried to post this once before]
    Remember that this is an ersatzist view. On ersatzist views, we are not a part of any world, though we do exist at. The “exists at” is “exists according to”: x exists at w iff w contains the proposition that x exists.
    Yes, I know. This is the problem. What the ersatzists are telling is the actual world, as far as I can tell, isn’t the actual world. I don’t believe that modal skepticism begins at home. I don’t believe we’re already mistaken about what the actual world is.

    August 20, 2010 — 11:06
  • Mike:
    First, about ersatzism. Take “possible world” as a term of art. It is an abstract object. “The world”, in ordinary language, is something different–it isn’t a possible world in the technical sense. It is simply the sum total of all there is.
    Second: “If that were an intrinsic property of W, then W would have that property independently of the existence of any other world. But it cannot have that property independently of any other possible world. W has that property ONLY IF there are other possible worlds in which x has counterparts. That is, W has that property ONLY IF it stands in a certain relation to other possible worlds. That is, W does not have that property non-relationally. That is, W does not have that property intrinsically.”
    There seem to me to be two problems with the argument. The first is this. W is a proposition. If were were no other possible worlds, then W would still have that property (of attributing P* to x), but W wouldn’t be a possible world anymore–it would simply be an impossible proposition. The second is that normally a property is said to be intrinsic even if it depends on the parts of an entity. But what worlds there are at W is determined by the parts of W, namely by what propositions of the form <The world w* exists> are conjuncts of W.

    August 21, 2010 — 12:39
  • Mike Almeida

    There seem to me to be two problems with the argument. The first is this. W is a proposition. If were were no other possible worlds, then W would still have that property (of attributing P* to x),
    Alex, I’m not sure what you mean about taking ‘possible world’ as a term of art. If there are possible worlds, they aren’t such in merely technical terms. Rather they are genuine items in our ontology. The actual world, as a genuine item in our ontology, is not a proposition.
    About the quote from you above, that has to be wrong. On the view we are considering, worlds are sets of propositions that are all TRUE at the world they compose. The proposition in question cannot be true at any world W unless there are other possible worlds containing the counterparts in question. So the proposition cannot compose any world independently of the existence of other (counterpart) worlds.

    August 21, 2010 — 19:18
  • “The proposition in question cannot be true at any world W unless there are other possible worlds containing the counterparts in question.”
    I would revise that to: “The proposition in question cannot be true at any world W unless it is the case at W that there are other possible worlds containing the counterparts in question.”
    Compare: The proposition <There are unicorns> cannot be true at a world W unless it is the case at W that there are unicorns. Whether there actually are unicorns is beside the point. And whether it is the case at W that there are unicorns is a matter of what is going on at W, just as whether it is the case at W that there are possible worlds is a matter of what is going on at W (given actualism).

    August 22, 2010 — 14:39
  • Mike Almeida

    I would revise that to: “The proposition in question cannot be true at any world W unless it is the case at W that there are other possible worlds containing the counterparts in question.”
    I guess I don’t see the importance of the distinction. Whatever else you believe about truth, I take it that we’ll agree on T, p is true iff. p. It is true that S has ten counterparts in other worlds iff. S has ten counterparts in other worlds. I’ve been affirming the right side, which entails that there are other worlds. You seem to be affirming the left side which, if T is true, also entails that there are other worlds. What am I missing?

    August 23, 2010 — 7:48
  • Mike:
    I didn’t realize you were affirming the right hand side. I thought you were talking of an S existing in some possible world W such that it is true at W that S has ten counterparts in other worlds.
    So, let’s suppose we’re talking of an actual S. Then we need a different distinction, that between the World and a world*. A world* is a “possible world” in the technical sense. It is, maybe, a proposition (I prefer: a divine idea, but I don’t think this affects much of what I say). The World is the sum total of all that actually exists.
    With this distinction in place, your claim is either:
    1. It is an extrinsic property of the World that S has ten counterparts.
    2. It is an extrinsic property of the actual world* @ that at @, S has ten counterparts.
    I think both are plausibly false, or at least do not follow from your argument.
    I grant (for the sake of argument) that that S has ten counterparts depends on what is going on in non-actual worlds*.
    However, the non-actual worlds* are parts of the World. For the non-actual worlds* actually exist on the ersatzist view. (We need to distinguish between a world* being actual, i.e., being true, and a world* actually existing; all worlds* actually exist, since they are just actually existing propositions; one only world* is actual.) And the World is the sum total of all that actually exists. Hence, the World contains the worlds* as its parts. But a property of x is not made extrinsic (on the usual understanding of “extrinsic”) just because it holds in virtue of the parts of x. And that S has ten counterparts is true in virtue of the parts of the World, namely S and ten worlds*.
    So, if we read you as claiming 1, it doesn’t seem to work.
    Ditto on reading 2. For it is an intrinsic property of a proposition that it has the parts it does. <S has ten counterparts> is a part of @, and that this is so is an intrinsic property of @.
    To make the argument work, you need a non-actualist metaphysics of possible worlds on which the merely possible worlds don’t actually exist, though they exist. I.e., Lewis.

    August 23, 2010 — 13:13