Friday, April 16, 2010

Yagisawa Book

I've written a critical study of Takashi Yagisawa's Worlds and Individuals, Possible and Otherwise for Analysis Reviews. Mostly, I try to get clear on the differences between Yagisawa and Lewis, and argue that Lewis has the upper hand: if anyone's interested, it's here. Comments welcome.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, Jonathan Speke Laudly here,
Possible just means it is true in some world? Why not just say it might turn out to be true in this world? Positing other worlds doesn't seem to me to make possibility any less ambiguous or arbitrary. Between saying it is possibly the case in this world or saying there is possibly a world where it is the case-or that the world where it is the case is possibly this world--I see little difference.
Possible remains ambiguous. Possible as determined by what? By What happens? or by what has happened in the past in similar circumstances? Or is there no possibility despite appearances? Or is it possible despite appearances? Take your pick. Seems just a matter of personal preference--nothing necessary about it.
I mean really, how do you settle such a question?:
Is it possible that Joe
will rob the liquor store when he says he is just going to buy some beer? No. Joe has no criminal record and is honest and trustworthy.
Is it possible that Joe is a very good actor/lier and is actually a clever criminal though he seems honest?
No. I have never known someone like Joe to be a closet criminal.
OR-- Yes, it is possible. There have been such deceptively honest criminals, Joe might be one and we would never know it until he is convicted of a crime.
Is possible determined by what actually happens? Joe remains seemingly honest all his life, no trouble with the law. So, it was not possible in Joe's case because he was never shown to be a criminal(never arrested etc).
OR, No matter what actually happens Joe could still have been a criminal--just very good at hiding his true motives and his actions and erasing his tracks.
Because some ostensibly honest people in fact aren't and only years after they die is their nefarious character revealed.
OR, No matter that Joe is considered a criminal by some---I know he was framed and is an honest man---that he is a criminal is not possible.
OR, In Joe's case the circumstances are similar to some who are found to be criminal in the past---but these circumstances do not apply to Joe.
OR, statistically of people who appear honest 30% are criminal and so on this basis Joe is possibly criminal.
OR, People who appear honest always have some dishonesty in them
but if the honesty predominates ,say 51%, then they are honest practically speaking, though you could say that they are possibly dishonest in the eyes of a few.
Is it possible that I am a duck and am dictating this to the ghost of Marilyn Monroe? Yes. No.
Take your pick.
Imagination, it seems, is what is possible.
And "conceptually possible"? Don't get me started.