Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic

The Ontology of Impossible Worlds

David A. Vander Laan


The best arguments for possible worlds as states of affairs furnish us with equally good arguments for impossible worlds of the same sort. I argue for a theory of impossible worlds on which the impossible worlds correspond to maximal inconsistent classes of propositions. Three objections are rejected. In the final part of the paper, I present a menu of impossible worlds and explore some of their interesting formal properties.

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Notre Dame J. Formal Logic, Volume 38, Number 4 (1997), 597-620.

First available in Project Euclid: 10 December 2002

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Zentralblatt MATH identifier

Primary: 03A05: Philosophical and critical {For philosophy of mathematics, see also 00A30}
Secondary: 03B45: Modal logic (including the logic of norms) {For knowledge and belief, see 03B42; for temporal logic, see 03B44; for provability logic, see also 03F45}


Vander Laan, David A. The Ontology of Impossible Worlds. Notre Dame J. Formal Logic 38 (1997), no. 4, 597--620. doi:10.1305/ndjfl/1039540772.

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