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Erkenntnis

, Volume 84, Issue 5, pp 975–994 | Cite as

Observations on the Trivial World

  • Zach WeberEmail author
  • Hitoshi Omori
Article
  • 247 Downloads

Abstract

A world is trivial if it makes every proposition true all at once. Such a world is impossible, an absurdity. Our world, we hope, is not an absurdity. It is important, nevertheless, for semantic and metaphysical theories that we be able to reason cogently about absurdities—if only to see that they are absurd. In this note we describe methods for ‘observing’ absurd objects like the trivial world without falling in to incoherence, using some basic techniques from modal logic. The goal is to begin to locate the trivial world’s relative position in modal space; the outcome is that the less we assume about relative possibility, the more detail we can discern at the edge of reason.

Notes

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Patrick Girard and several anonymous referees for very helpful comments. Thanks to audiences at: the University of Otago, Kyoto University, the Buenos Aires Logic Group, and the University of Otago. This was in part written while both authors were visiting the Institute for Computer Science, Czech Academy of Science, with our gratitude (especially to Petr Cintula). This work was supported by the Marsden Fund, Royal Society of New Zealand, and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP16K16684.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of Philosophy, Graduate School of LettersKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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