ALGOL 60 implementation;: The translation and use of ALGOL by Brian Randell

By Brian Randell

ALGOL 60 implementation: the interpretation and use of ALGOL 60 courses on a computer
Volume five of A.P.I.C. stories in information processing
Issue five of ALGOL 60 Implementation, Brian Randell

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If worlds are maximal states the cosmos might have been in, then according to any single possible world, it is the only world that the cosmos is in, and every other world is a maximal state the cosmos is not in, and so on. We may abbreviate this by saying that in any single world w, one and only one possible world is realized, and that is w itself. The exact meaning of ‘realized’ depends on which abstract-entity conception of possible worlds one 32 Ontology adopts. If worlds are maximal propositions, then ‘realized’ simply means ‘‘a true maximal proposition’’.

I find it impossible to agree with him, however, that a hundred existent dollars is not worth one penny more than a hundred merely possible dollars. ) How does this show anything illegitimate about the concept of an existent lion or about that of an existent dollar? At most, it only shows that such concepts are superfluous, that they lack a raison d’etre, not that they are somehow illegitimately formed. I doubt that it even shows this much: Consider any class that has me as an element—{Nathan Salmon}, for example (the unit class that has me as its only element).

See for example A. Plantinga, The Nature of Necessity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1974), at p. 221. The issue of the rationality of belief in God cannot be discussed adequately here, of course, but it should be noted that historically, the function and role of the Ontological Argument in philosophy is integrally related to the view that the hypothesis of God’s existence requires substantial justification, in the form of something like proof, if it is to be rationally adopted. The observation that many external existence beliefs usually regarded as knowledge are based on very little in the way of decisive evidence seems both correct and epistemologically significant.

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