Friday, December 22, 2006

The nature of possibilia in Peacocke’s (2002) Principles for Possibilia

In the reading group on modality we discussed about Peacocke’s (2002) Principles for Possibilia, but we couldn’t finish the discussion about Peacocke’s ontological commitment to possibilia.

According to Sonia’s interpretation, Peacocke is committed with objects (possibilia) that are contingently non concrete (they are not concrete, but they could have been concrete.) So, a possibile exists in a possible world just in case that possible world involves certain non concrete object. That possible world would involve a singular Russellian proposition containing that object.

According to my interpretation (which corresponds to the theory that anyway I would like to favor), the principle-based account wasn’t committed with such mysterious entities. That a possibile exists in a possible world simply means that the existential quantification of its individuating condition holds in that world. So, a possibile exists in a possible world just in case that world involves the existential proposition that there’s something satisfying certain property (certain individuation-condition). But this world won’t involve the singular Russellian proposition that certain (non actual) object satisfies that property.

Now I’m not so confident about this interpretation, because in pp. 501-2 he seems to hold that he is not trying to resolve this issue. In any case, it would be interesting if someone could provide more textual evidence and/or an opinion about this issue.

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