Fictionalism about Impossible Worlds

Yusuke Satake [PDF]

Article info.
RAP-0001 – Research article
Received May 15, 2020
Accepted April 12, 2021
Online published May 18, 2021


As philosophers have discovered theoretical limits of intensional frameworks
for analyzing philosophical phenomena, which have been partly but intimately
developed along with the theories about possible worlds, the attention directed
to impossible worlds as further theoretical resources has been increasing. This
fact naturally provokes the ontological question: what is the nature of impossible
worlds? Given the growing importance of the ontology of impossible worlds, I
aim to defend the fictionalism about impossible worlds in this paper. First, I
divide the positions in the ontology of impossible worlds into six kinds based on
whether possible and impossible worlds are concrete, abstract, or fictional.
Second, I examine each position and show that the most promising view is that
impossible worlds are fictional while possible worlds are either concrete or
abstract. Finally, I consider and try to accommodate possible concerns with the
fictionalism about impossible worlds.


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