Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):364-380 (2007)
|Abstract||The notion of conceivability has traditionally been regarded as crucial to an account of modal knowledge. Despite its importance to modal epistemology, there is no received explication of conceivability. One purpose of this paper is to argue that the notion is not fruitfully explicated in terms of the imagination. The most natural way of presenting a notion of conceivability qua imaginability is open to cogent criticism. In order to avoid such criticism, an advocate of the modal insightfulness of the imagination must broaden the idea of what it is to be imaginable. I argue that this required broadening renders the imagination idle (in this context). Consequently, I distinguish two different accounts of the evidential basis of modal knowledge and present a more general argument that concludes that the very notion of conceivability should be eschewed in modal epistemology|
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