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Einheuser, Iris. Inner and Outer Truth
2012, The Philosophers' Imprint, Vol. 12, pp. 1-22
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Added by: Christopher James Masterman

Kit Fine and Robert Adams have independently introduced a distinction between two ways in which a proposition might be true with respect to a world. A proposition is true at a world if it correctly represents the world. A proposition is true in a world, if it exists in that world and correctly represents it. In this paper, I clarify this distinction between outer and inner truth, defend it against recent charges of unintelligibly and argue that outer truth tracks counterfactual possibility while inner truth tracks counter-actual possibility. This connection allows us to clarify the relationship between possibility, possible actuality and the thesis of serious actualism, which is the thesis that nothing could have had a property without existing. I show that this undermines serious actualists' scruples against reading sentences like `Even if Socrates had not existed, he might have' as expressing true and genuinely de re propositions about Socrates. More generally, the connection I draw provides the serious actualist with a justification for treating actually existing but contingent objects differently from how he treats merely possible objects

Comment: This text would be perfect for an advanced undergraduate or masters course on modal metaphysics and/or modal logic. It requires previous knowledge of actualism vs. possibilism debate, the literature on singular propositions, and possible worlds, as well as a familiarity with quantified modal logic. It works as a good replacement for Adams's Actualism and Thisness (1981), covering many of issues Adams covers often more accessibly.

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