The notion «possible world» in works of S. Kripke

  • A. L. Kovtun Oles Honchar Dnipropetrovsk national university
Keywords: counterfactual situation, the proper name, modal logic, the identity


The notion «possible world» has been existed in philosophy since ancient time. Nevertheless there were different approaches to it. Now this term has obtained new features in the contemporary philosophy and it evoking a lot of disputes.  The person who made the most influential impact to the development of the «possible world» is Soul Kripke, besides he was the first who represented this term in the context of analytical philosophy. Therefore it is necessary to understand what he means when he uses phrase «possible world». The article investigates Soul Kripke’s point of view on the essence of the possible world. This term was reintroduced to philosophy due to the difficulties which modal logic is facing.  There is not special work in his bibliography, which is devoted to the disclosure of the meaning of this notion; however we can find some pieces of information, in which we are interested, in the closer examination of his works. Notwithstanding that he leaves the possibility of construction of peculiar properties of the possible worlds to his readers, Kripke has a lot of concerns about misunderstanding and misuse of the term. In order to prevent such things, we can find out one interesting comparison, which is made by the philosopher, this is an analogy with dices as the construction of mini-worlds which are possibly can exist. Yet there was another necessity of presenting «possible world». The article shows issues related to this subject such as truth-value of sentence in counterfactual situations, the identity of objects in possible and actual world. He concerns with the question «how are contingent identity statements possible?», which emerges wide range of controversies. This issue closely related to the notion of «necessity», which can help us to answer the question about contingent identity statement. Using proper names, we can explore the essence of identity with the help of Russell’s notion of the scope of a description. Complexity of proper names is that they might be used only to refer to some object, nevertheless they are not just some kinds of labels, but they can carry some descriptive functions.


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How to Cite
Kovtun, A. (2016). The notion «possible world» in works of S. Kripke. Grani, 19(8), 45-51.