Conceivability and defeasible modal justification

Philosophical Studies 122 (3):279-304 (2005)
This paper advances the thesis that we can justifiably believe philosophically interesting possibility statements. The first part of the paper critically discusses van Inwagens skeptical arguments while at the same time laying some of the foundation for a positive view. The second part of the paper advances a view of conceivability in terms of imaginability, where imaginging can be propositional, pictorial, or a combination of the two, and argues that conceivability can, and often does, provide us with justified beliefs of what is metaphysically possible. The notion of scenarios is developed, as is an account of how filling out scenarios can uncover a defeater or, in many cases, strengthen the justification for the relevant possibility statement.
Keywords Belief  Conceivability  Epistemology  Imaginability  Justification  Modality
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Christopher Gregory Weaver (forthcoming). Yet Another New Cosmological Argument. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion:1-21.
Peter Kung (2010). Imagining as a Guide to Possibility. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (3):620-663.
Peter Hawke (2011). Van Inwagen's Modal Skepticism. Philosophical Studies 153 (3):351-364.

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