•  410
    If a possible-worlds semantic theory for modal logics is pure, then the assertion of the theory, taken at face-value, can bring no commitment to the existence of a plurality of possible worlds (genuine or ersatz). But if we consider an applied theory (an application of the pure theory) in which the elements of the models are required to be possible worlds, then assertion of such a theory, taken at face-value, does appear to bring commitment to the existence of a plurality of possible worlds. Or …Read more
  •  266
    The analytic limit of genuine modal realism
    with Joseph Melia
    Mind 111 (441): 15-36. 2002.
    According to the Genuine Modal Realist, there is a plurality of possible worlds, each world nothing more than a maximally inter-related spatiotemporal sum. One advantage claimed for this position is that it offers us the resources to analyse, in a noncircular manner, the modal operators. In this paper, we argue that the prospects for such an analysis are poor. For the analysis of necessity as truth in all worlds to succeed it is not enough that no modal concepts be used in the realist's account …Read more
  •  240
    Manifesting belief in absolute necessity
    Philosophical Studies 158 (1): 109-130. 2012.
    McFetridge (in Logical necessity and other essays . London: Blackwell, 1990 ) suggests that to treat a proposition as logically necessary—to believe a proposition logically necessary, and to manifest that belief—is a matter of preparedness to deploy that proposition as a premise in reasoning from any supposition. We consider whether a suggestion in that spirit can be generalized to cover all cases of absolute necessity, both logical and non-logical, and we conclude that it can. In Sect. 2, we ex…Read more
  •  213
    A genuine realist theory of advanced modalizing
    Mind 108 (430): 217-239. 1999.
    The principle of modal ubiquity - that every truth is necessary or contingent - and the validity of possibility introduction, are principles that any modal theory suffers for failing to accommodate. Advanced modal claims are modal claims about entities other than spatiotemporally unified individuals (perhaps, then, spatiotemporally disunified individuals, sets, numbers, properties, propositions and events). I show that genuine modal realism, as it has thus far been explicitly developed, and in s…Read more
  •  200
    W(h)ither Metaphysical Necessity?
    Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 92 (1): 1-25. 2018.
    I argue that a pragmatic scepticism about metaphysical modality is a perfectly reasonable position to maintain. I then illustrate the difficulties and limitations associated with some strategies for defeating such scepticism. These strategies appeal to associations between metaphysical modality and the following: objective probability, counterfactuals and distinctive explanatory value.
  •  180
    Agnosticism about other worlds: A new antirealist programme in modality
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (3). 2004.
    The modal antirealist, as presented here, aims to secure at least some of the benefits associated with talking in genuine modal realist terms while avoiding commitment to a plurality of Lewisian (or ersatz) worlds. The antirealist stance of agnosticism about other worlds combines acceptance of Lewis's account of what world-talk means with refusal to assert, or believe in, the existence of other worlds. Agnosticism about other worlds does not entail a comprehensive agnosticism about modality, but…Read more
  •  162
    Coincidence and form
    Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 82 (1): 119-137. 2008.
    I compare a Lewisian defence of monism with Kit Fine's defence of pluralism. I argue that the Lewisian defence is, at present, the clearer in its explanatory intent and ontological commitments. I challenge Fine to explain more fully the nature of the entities that he postulates and the relationship between continuous material objects and the parts of those rigid embodiments in terms of which he proposes to explain crucial, modal and sortal, features of those objects.
  •  157
    Kant's criteria of the a priori
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 80 (1). 1999.
    Kant states that necessity and strict universality are criteria of a priori knowledge. Interpreting this dictum standardly and straightforwardly in respect of necessity, it is inconsistent with there being necessary a posteriori truths or contingent a priori truths (cf Kripke). This straightforward interpretation may convict Kant of understandable error (at worst) in the case of necessity, but it is so uncharitable in the case of strict universality that we ought to seek an alternative. I offer …Read more
  •  154
    A modal fictionalist result
    Noûs 33 (3): 317-346. 1999.
  •  144
    Genuine modal realism limited
    with Joseph Melia
    Mind 112 (445): 83-86. 2003.
  •  141
    Possible Worlds
    Routledge. 2002.
    _Possible Worlds_ presents the first up-to-date and comprehensive examination of one of the most important topics in metaphysics. John Divers considers the prevalent philosophical positions, including realism, antirealism and the work of important writers on possible worlds such as David Lewis, evaluating them in detail
  •  139
    An inconvenient modal truth
    Analysis 74 (4): 575-577. 2014.
    There is a de re modal truth that proves inconvenient for the canonical Lewisian theory of modality. For this truth requires on that theory, the existence of things (counterparts) that exist in distinct worlds but are also spatiotemporally related
  •  138
    Engagement and Metaphysical Dissatisfaction
    Analysis 72 (4): 824-831. 2012.
  •  129
    Belief in Absolute Necessity
    with José Edgar González-Varela
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (2): 358-391. 2012.
    We outline a theory of the cognitive role of belief in absolute necessity that is normative and intended to be metaphysically neutral. We take this theory to be unique in scope since it addresses simultaneously the questions of how such belief is (properly) acquired and of how it is (properly) manifest. The acquisition and manifestation conditions for belief in absolute necessity are given univocally, in terms of complex higher-order attitudes involving two distinct kinds of supposition (A-suppo…Read more
  •  128
    Minimalism and the unbearable lightness of being
    with Alexander Miller
    Philosophical Papers 24 (2): 127-139. 1995.
    No abstract
  •  126
    The Analysis of Possibility and the Extent of Possibility
    Dialectica 67 (2): 183-200. 2013.
    In section 1 I motivate and execute the presentation of a well-defined Lewisian conception of analysis and of what it would be to analyse modality successfully. That conception is then put to two applications. In section 2 various inadequacies are exposed in a (recently popular) separatist approach to the understanding and/or evaluation of Lewis's analysis of modality. Section 3 provides a defence against a resilient argument for the claim that Lewis's analysis of modality cannot be fully reduct…Read more
  •  123
    (Once again) Lewis on the analysis of modality
    Synthese 197 (11): 4645-4668. 2020.
    We propose a novel interpretation of Lewis on the analysis of modality that is constructed from primary sources, comprehensive and unprecedented. Our guiding precepts are to distinguish semantics from metaphysics, while respecting the inter-relations between them, and to discern whatever may be special, semantically or metaphysically, about the modal case. Following detailed presentation, we amplify and advocate our interpretation by providing a conforming genealogy of Lewis’s theory of modality…Read more
  •  113
    Advanced modalizing de dicto and de re
    Analysis 78 (3): 415-425. 2018.
    Lewis’ analysis of modality faces a problem in that it appears to confer unintended truth values to certain modal claims about the pluriverse: e.g. ‘It is possible that there are many worlds’ is false when we expect truth. This is the problem of advanced modalizing. Divers presents a principled solution to this problem by treating modal modifiers as semantically redundant in some such cases. However, this semantic move does not deal adequately with advanced de re modal claims. Here, we motivate …Read more
  •  110
    Genuine modal realism: Still limited
    with Joseph Melia
    Mind 115 (459): 731-740. 2006.
    In this reply, we defend our argument for the incompleteness of Genuine Modal Realism against Paseau's criticisms. Paseau claims that isomorphic set of worlds represent the same possibilities, but not only is this implausible, it is inimical to the target of our paper: Lewis's theory of possible worlds. We argue that neither Paseau's model-theoretic results nor his comparison to arithmetic carry over to GMR. We end by distinguishing two notions of incompleteness and urge that, for all that Pasea…Read more
  •  100
    Critical notice: Rethinking realism
    with Alexander Miller
    Mind 103 (412): 519-534. 1994.