Short Course Description
David Lewis was one of the most important, if not the most important, philosopher in the analytic tradition in the second half of the 20th century. Ironically, he is most well known for a theory that nearly everyone rejects today: the infamous thesis of modal realism, according to which there is a multitude of universes (?possible worlds?) that are spatiotemporally disconnected from us but are every bit as real, concrete and inhabited by flesh-and-blood denizens as our world. What is less widely appreciated is that Lewis was also one of the very few true system builders in contemporary philosophy, and that his seemingly extravagant modal realism played a central role in giving powerful, intuitive and original accounts of issues as diverse as persistence over time, mental content, the nature of properties, causation, and more. For this reason, understanding Plurality goes a long way to understanding a lot of Lewis's other works, and indeed a large chunk of contemporary metaphysics. This class will consist of a deep reading of this influential masterpiece, possibly along with short readings that relate to it.
Full syllabus will be available to registered students only
Requirements: final work, reading responses and mandatory attendance
Concluding work: final work
Grade components: 60% final work, 20% reading responses, 20% participation