World Consistency

Authored by: Rodrigo Lessa , João Araújo

The Routledge Companion to Imaginary Worlds

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  September  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138638914
eBook ISBN: 9781315637525
Adobe ISBN:


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One of the main topics one has to take into account in the analysis or building of imaginary worlds is that of consistency, which is generally understood as “the degree to which world details are plausible, feasible, and without contradictions” (Wolf, 2012: 43). Not by chance, ever since Leibniz’s pioneer considerations on the notion of possible worlds, the issue of consistency has been central to the understanding of both the ontological make-up and the internal organization of such worlds. This is illustrated by the fact that one of the main concepts of Leibnizian philosophy is that of compossibility, which concerns the logical premise that for a set of entities to be able to coexist in the same world, they must not be mutually contradictory (Leibniz, 1989: 661–662); that is, they must be possible in conjunction (compossible). Conversely, for any world to be possible, the universe of objects populating it must be internally free of contradictions, which also means each of these objects must follow a given set of implicit rules governing the overall macrostructure of the world to which it belongs.

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