Methodological Separatism, Modal Pluralism and Metaphysical Nihilism
时间：2012 年 10 月 25 日 (星期四） 4:00 — 5:30 pm
地点：清华大学 新斋 105 会议室
报告人: Tom Stoneham 教授 （英国约克大学 哲学系主任)
摘要：In this paper, we aim to clarify the debate over whether there might have been nothing, in particular, and modality, in general, by introducing the concept of a Modal Theory and investigating its form. We begin by arguing that the question of whether there might have been nothing can be pursued independently of the question of the
nature of possible worlds; that is, we can investigate what possibilities there are without having to investigate what possibilities are. The theory that governs what possibilities there are we call ‘a modal theory’. We then draw attention to the fact that modal theorists, to date, have typically assumed that modal theories are single-criterion, that is, that they have the form: <>q iff p, for non-disjunctive ‘p’. In response, we undermine the reasons we find for this assumption, and we then present an argument for modal theory being multiple-criteria, a view we dub ‘modal pluralism’. We then investigate the forms of the axioms of such a multiple-criteria modal theory, and we conclude by
drawing lessons for the debate over whether there might have been nothing.