Existence, Noneism, and the varieties of worlds




Garland, Carolyn

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Intentionality is a feature of mental states that are directed towards objects. One puzzle of intentionality is that mental states can be directed towards nonexistent objects. We may relate to fictional characters, or worry about events that never take place. However, if these objects do not exist, then it is difficult to make sense of how it is that we bear these relations towards them. In this thesis I outline Graham Priest’s world-based semantic and metaphysical theory of intentionality intended to accommodate these intentional relations born towards nonexistent objects. Priest supposes that this theory is compatible with any conception of worlds. I argue that this is not the case. Within Priest’s framework merely possible worlds should be understood as existent genuine worlds, and impossible worlds can be neither existent genuine worlds, nor should they be conceived of as nonexistent objects. Instead impossible worlds must be something quite revolutionary.



Philosophy, metaphysics, Graham Priest