, Volume 82, Issue 5, pp 1015–1030 | Cite as

The Moral Objection to Modal Realism

Original Research


If David Lewis’s modal realism (MR) is true, then there are many, many people. According to Mark Heller, this is bad news. He takes MR to imply that “there are at least some cases in which it is permissible to let drowning children drown when it would be easy to save them.” But since he holds the reasonable view that this is never permissible, he thinks that MR is false. Here, I argue that Lewis needn’t be troubled by this objection: it provides no reason to reject MR for those who share Lewis’s moral outlook. Moreover, I argue that disagreement with common sense needn’t be severe if we can show both (a) that there’s a sense in which common sense is correct and (b) we have little reason to care about the sense in which common sense is mistaken.


Common Sense Moral Judgment Modal Realism Moral Argument Moral Standing 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyTexas State UniversitySan MarcosUSA

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