Journal of Philosophy

Kripkean Counterpart Theory



Murali Ramachandran

University of Sussex



Abstract. David Lewis’s counterpart-theoretic semantics for quantified modal logic is motivated originally by worries about identifying objects across possible worlds; the counterpart relation is grounded more cautiously on comparative similarity. The possibility of contingent identity is an unsought—and in some eyes, unwelcome—consequence of this approach. In this paper I motivate a Kripkean counterpart theory by way of defending the prior, pre-theoretical, coherence of contingent distinctness. Contingent identity follows for free. The theory is Kripkean in that the counterpart relation is in a sense stipulated rather than grounded on similarity, and is such that no object has more than one counterpart at a world. This avoids a number of objections Fara and Williamson have recently levelled against counterpart theory generally; their other objections are addressed by enriching the theory with special quantifiers and actuality operators. Back












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