Возможные миры. Семантика, онтология, метафизика
In this paper we consider the possible worlds ontology as an instrument of analysis and clarification of some traditional notions of philosophy, logic and semantics. How many facets does the concept of possible world have? What do these facets represent? Our aim is to divide two ways in which possible worlds can enter into the complex network of assertion, denotation and interpretation. The first way we call the “point of reference”; the second is to be the “context of use”. To let possible worlds play both roles is to get a more adequate and flexible analytical tool which can bring us closer to the solution of many perplexed problems of modern logic.
There were two tendencies in ancient philosophy: according to the first one, our universe is unique (the Eleatics, Plato, Aristoteles), while according to the other, there are several universes, similar or totally dissimilar to ours (the Pythagoreans, the Atomists). Proponents of the first theory diverged in their opinion on the universe’s eternity though. Supporters of the second one argued over the similarity of another universes as well as the question if those universes co-exist or replace each other over time. These questions didn’t stop being actual in medieval Christian philosophy. But if there were no doubts about the question of an actual existence of our universe as being the only and unique, the question if God created only our universe was yet to be answered. St. Thomas Aquinas provides several evidences of the uniqueness of the universe – two from the ‘authority’ and three from himself.
The present paper deals with the problem of omnipotence in the context of an original version of possible worlds ontology developed by Alvin Plantinga. His conception of “de re” and “de dicto” is analyzed in connection with the problems of essentialism and transworld identification. Using the notion of TWD (“transworld depravity”) Plantinga claim to solve the logical problem of evil, this solution being the part of his famous FWD (“free will defense”) program. Plantinga’s strategy is to confine the notion of omnipotence step by step with rational arguments. But some of his technical concepts are not clear-cut enough and some of his philosophical speculations are rather scholastic.
The article is devoted to considering the problem of possible worlds in Leibniz. The author shows that the idea of possible worlds is basic in Leibniz’s theory of «the best of all possible worlds» where it is postulated in the metaphysical justification of the divine creation as a free act and in the solution of the theological problem concerning the existence of evil. Also, Leibniz connects this idea with logic which he interprets as a science about all possible worlds. Leibniz's dichotomy between «truths of reason» and «truths of fact» is investigated in the context of necessity and contingency. Logical and moral reasons for God's choice of the best of possible worlds are examined in detail in both early and mature works by Leibniz.
Why could Ancient Philosophers not conceive possibility of others worlds? According Plato (Timaeus, 31a2) and Aristotle (De Caelo, I, 8, 276a18), there is only one world, — our world who is eternal and indestructible. Philo of Alexandria is the first to mention “kosmos noètos" (De opificio mundi, §35) and, after him, all Neoplatonists do the same. Nevertheless, two worlds in Plotinus’s thought are necessary: one being a model and the other his mirror image. It is the same, mutatis mutandis, with Epicurians who have no doubt about the existence of others worlds, infinite in number: these possible worlds are necessary. Only a philosopher who accepts God’s omnipotence, Leibniz for example, can consider “possible worlds” “purement possibles” (Lettre à Arnauld, Gerhardt, 2, p. 54).
We have to elaborate an ontology of possible worlds only if the possible-worlds semantics, which is an indispensable tool for the formal calculus of the logicians of modalities, is apt to express the truth conditions of natural modal thoughts. We show that because a vast range of natural modal thoughts are sensible to the passage of time, i.e. because they make an essential use of tenses, their truth conditions cannot be reflected in a framework that includes a plurality of worlds. For nothing cannot be a world that is in the time of another.
Troubles with possible objects force some modal theorists resort to the help of the quantification over such entities. Unfortunately, introducing the special quantifier for such objects (the usual remedy in such a case) we are faced with the situation where the definition of impossible objects splits: we obtain the definition of impossible objects and the definition of virtual ones respectively. Striving to bypass the question of the status of such entities K. Lambert and B. van Fraassen suggest to exploit the substitutional quantification elaborated by Beth, Marcus, Dunn and others. In this case we quantify not objects but terms and the $-quantifier means “under the substitution of some term”. An exploitation of substitutional quantification suggests us to make good use of St. Leśniewski’s system of Ontology while analyzing the notion of virtual object since in his system the mechanism of quantification encompasses substituional aspects from the very beginning. Another advantage of such using is that the notions of “existence” and “object” are introduced by means of definitions. But in order to deal with the virtual objects in the framework of Leśniewski’ system we need to use its modal extension, e.g. S. Lebiediewa’s system, which would be obtained by enriching Leśniewski’s Ontology with the axioms of Łukasiewicz’s four-valued modal logics. Unfortunately there is no possible world semantics suitable for these aims. Another alternatives give us author’s version of so called non-fregean logics (introduced firstly by polish logician R. Suszko whose “situational” semantics is essentially based on ideas of L. Wittgenstein). Here we have the connectives of situational implication (situational involvement for propositions) and situational involvement of objects (one object situational involve another one) when objects are determined by the set of situations in which they participate. In semantics of such version of non-fregean logics the possible worlds are represented by the maximally large situations. But either in case of Lesniewski’s Ontology or in case of non-fregean logics we have an opportunity of direct work with objects and have an opportunity to produce both possible and virtual objects by means of intentional (object modal) operators. Here we also obtain a kind of worlds but they are not possible worlds but “intentional” worlds constituted by the intentional analogues of possible and virtual objects.
It is argued that the main argument for the ontology of possible worlds is that we are committed to the existence of those entities which figure in the account of truth in our semantic theory. At first sight, this inference “from semantics to ontology” accords with the criteria of existence proposed by the leading analytic philosophers of the second half of the 20th century – W.V.O.Quine and D.Davidson. However, a closer examination of those criteria shows that their application should be subjected to some important restrictions which are not observed in the inference from possible worlds semantics to the ontology of possible worlds. We should not be guided by purely formal criteria of existence; we should take into account the context of scientific practice and/or human communication. Otherwise we are doomed to untenable metaphysical speculation.
The ideas of Russian philosophers (V. Solov'ev, S. Frank) concerning the problem of modern cultural crisis are examined. It is shown that the utopianism of these ideas is not the ground for a negative attitude to them. The main task these thinkers managed to solve consists in substantiating the necessity of preserving the internal integrity of culture including moral, cognitive, religious and artistic values as universal cultural principles. It is this solution that, in the author’s view, constitutes the unceasing significance that the ideas of Russian Philosophers have for the present.
In this paper I explore the relationship between the concrete and the possible as it takes shape in both epistemological and ontological approaches to reality. I consider C.I. Lewis’ philosophy as an example of epistemological point of view and compare it with A.N. Whitehead’s ontological approach to a reality and I do it through the reading of the concrete. I argue that ontology of the concrete generates new possibilities of understanding of the possible when the possible is interpreted as more than consistently thinkable and becomes an ontological category. It means that the possible thus considered includes time and its own evolution that in turn adds a strong voice to the choir of those who revise the notion of ‘thing’ and try to build a ‘postcritical metaphysics’ today.
As Leibniz himself confessed, identifying the root of contingency raised a difficulty which concealed the distinction between necessary and contingent truths. The definition of truth based on the inherence of predicates seemed indeed to be a paradoxical and embarrassing solution to the question of the root of contingency since it began, by virtue of the sufficiency of the complete notion, by making all the predicates necessary. It is our contention that the Generales Inquisitiones provide us both with the clearest formulation of the difficulty and with its resolution. The distinguishing criterion which arises from the analogy with the mathematical infinite but includes from the start a risk of confusion has required of Leibniz a painstaking elaboration. The actual stake appears all the more clearly : liberating the principle of sufficient reason which, from being an axiom--inferred from the principle of contradiction--gains the status of architectonic principle --which is irreducible to the principle of contradiction. We will ask ourselves finally if the contingency of the best possible worlds which can then be construed from the "claim of existence" has truly been "saved" by the principle of sufficient reason.
This work is devoted to the development of philosophical comprehension concerning a one specific problem, which was aroused as an aporia within Eleatic philosophy. This aporia covers the following problem. Being cannot occur from Nothingness, but it is also cannot occur from Being itself (according to Parmenides’s formula: "what is, is" and "what is not, cannot be"). Philosophy reduced this paradox by saying that ontology is divided into two levels – Being in actum and Being in potentio. As a result Being in potentio was considered as primary order level of Being than Being in potentio. This attitude was noticeably changed in Christianity because of reality of Nothingness, which idea comes from Old Statement. After that in 17-th century Descartes held that Nothingness is a pure possibility, which means that it is not precede to Being in actum. In order to reach this intellectual goal he had to consider Nothingness as a part of Epistemology, but not Ontology. In other words he asserted that the only cause of False in our World is the Cogito itself, but not real Nothingness. It meant also that God is not omnipotent as well as he is not omniscient. It caused diminishing of influence of Creationism as an idea. Moreover method of Descartes caused spreading of subjectivism or, in other terms, spreading the Nothingness in all fields of experience. As a result a two levels ontology model was annulled and the Being in actum turned the only object of intentionality. On the other hand the intentionality (or intentional consciousness) started to be regarded as the same as the Nothingness itself. In Sartre’s and Wittgenstein’s theories the possibility (potentio) is restricted as sphere of the Nothingness. It doesn’t have any causal relations with the Being, but it has source within cogito. The possibility, therefore, is not incarnated in the Being, but remains as a part of Nothingness, so the Being could be.