Jeff Russell – Actuality for Counterpart Theorists

Abstract: Allen Hazen (1976) has pointed out that someone who hopes to understand de re possibility in terms of counterparts has a hard time interpreting modal sentences about what is actually the case. More recently, Michael Fara and Timothy Williamson (2005) have pressed this objection hard against the counterpart theorist, and have argued that no solution can be found. In this essay I take up the gauntlet on the counterpart theorist’s behalf, presenting a way of interpreting modal sentences that is innocent of Fara and Williamson’s charges. I go on to show how this resolves another puzzle by Delia Graff Fara (2009). In appendices, I characterize the resulting logic of actuality and its connections to other modal systems.



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