David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy Compass 3 (4):664-684 (2008)
I survey a number of views about how we can obtain knowledge of modal propositions, propositions about necessity and possibility. One major approach is that whether a proposition or state of affairs is conceivable tells us something about whether it is possible. I examine two quite different positions that fall under this rubric, those of Yablo and Chalmers. One problem for this approach is the existence of necessary a posteriori truths and I deal with some of the ways in which these authors respond to the problem, including the use of two-dimensional modal semantics. Conventionalism about modality offers a complementary approach to modal epistemology, prompting us to identify our knowledge of modal truths with our mastery of linguistic or conceptual conventions. Finally, I discuss an approach to modal epistemology deriving from David Lewis's work that seeks to identify structural features of the modal space over which necessity and possibility are defined.
|Keywords||Necessity Possiblity Yablo Chalmers Lewis Conventionalism|
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Saul Kripke (2010). Naming and Necessity. In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge 431-433.
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Citations of this work BETA
Sonia Roca-Royes (2011). Essential Properties and Individual Essences. Philosophy Compass 6 (1):65-77.
Luca Moretti (2014). Global Scepticism, Underdetermination and Metaphysical Possibility. Erkenntnis 79 (2):381-403.
Bradley Armour-Garb (2015). New Problems for Modal Fictionalism. Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1201-1219.
Thomas W. Polger (2009). Identity Theories. Philosophy Compass 4 (5):822-834.
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