The Philosophy of David Lewis

Course organizer: Brian Rabern

Course description: David Lewis (1941–2001) was one of the most important philosophers of the 20th Century. He made significant contributions to philosophy of language, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of science, decision theory, epistemology, meta-ethics and aesthetics, and most significantly to philosophy of mind and metaphysics. Despite the wide range of issues addressed in Lewis’ work there is a unifying method and systematicity. This course is intended to provide an introduction to some of Lewis’ key contributions by focusing on a selection of his writings. The course is oriented around a single philosopher and his work, but attention will also be given to the connections between Lewis’ philosophy and the enduring problems of traditional philosophy. (drps)

Course trailer

Core reading:


Weekly reading
1 Stephanie Lewis, "Intellectual Biography of David Lewis"
2 (1970) "Anselm and Actuality"
3 (1970) "Holes" (with Stephanie Lewis)
4 (1976) "Survival and Identity"
5 (1978) "Truth in Fiction"
6 (1979) "Attitudes De Dicto and De Se"
7 (1979) "Scorekeeping in a Language Game"
8 (1988) "What Experience Teaches"
9 (1996) "Elusive Knowledge"
10 (1993) "Many, But Almost One"
11 Daniel Nolan, "Lewis’s Philosophical Method"




PHIL10184, University of Edinburgh, Philosophy
Course secretary: Ann-Marie Cowe (
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