Van Inwagen's modal skepticism

Philosophical Studies 153 (3):351-364 (2011)
Abstract
In this paper, the author defends Peter van Inwagen’s modal skepticism. Van Inwagen accepts that we have much basic, everyday modal knowledge, but denies that we have the capacity to justify philosophically interesting modal claims that are far removed from this basic knowledge. The author also defends the argument by means of which van Inwagen supports his modal skepticism, offering a rebuttal to an objection along the lines of that proposed by Geirrson. Van Inwagen argues that Stephen Yablo’s recent and influential account of the relationship between conceivability and possibility supports his skeptical claims. The author’s defence involves a creative interpretation and development of Yablo’s account, which results in a recursive account of modal epistemology, what the author calls the “safe explanation” theory of modal epistemology.
Keywords Skepticism  Modality  Modal epistemology  Yablo  van Inwagen
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References found in this work BETA
Robert Stalnaker (2002). What is It Like to Be a Zombie? In Tamar S. Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. 385--400.
Peter Van Inwagen (1998). Modal Epistemology. Philosophical Studies 92:67--84.
Stephen Yablo (1993). Is Conceivability a Guide to Possibility? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (1):1-42.
Citations of this work BETA
Michael Levine (2012). The Positive Function of Evil? Philosophical Papers 41 (1):149-165.
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