The Age of Metaphysical Revolution

David Lewis and his place in the history of Analytic Philosophy

Letter of the month

Letter of the month, November 2018

Letter of the month, November 2018

Lewis and Vagueness (guest post, by Daniel Nolan, University of Notre Dame) This month's letter is an eleven-page letter David Lewis sent to Timothy Williamson in May 1999. The letter divides into three main sections. In the first, Lewis sets out his own views about...

Letter of the month, October 2018

Letter of the month, October 2018

‘Truth in Fiction’ is a celebrated paper in the analytic tradition on the nature and function of fiction. Lewis published the paper in the American Philosophical Quarterly in 1978 (vol. 15). But, as his correspondence reveals, the gist of his theory of fiction...

Letter of the month, September 2018

In ‘New Work for a Theory of Universals’ and ‘Putnam’s Paradox’ Lewis famously argued that Putnam’s model-theoretic argument against realism fails. His response to Putnam is that there is a real division between natural and non-natural properties out there in the...

Letter of the month, August 2018

Soon after the publication of Gareth Evans’s classic one-page Analysis paper on vagueness in 1978, Lewis was struck by how many misunderstood what Evans was up to. He wrote several letters about this issue. His letter to Allen Hazen, 15 November 1978, led to Lewis’s...

Letter of the month, July 2018

Lewis’s recipient - John Coker - was a student of Alvin Plantinga at Notre Dame in the 1980s. Coker wrote a paper arguing that modal realism, with Lewis’s added trappings of concrete worlds, no overlap, qualified principle of recombination, etc, is atheististic in the...

Letter of the month, June 2018

In this letter, Lewis provides comments on a draft of Colin McGinn’s 1980 Functionalism and Phenomenalism: A Critical Note. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 58 (March):35-46. This letter is important for understanding Lewis’s theory of mind but also for...