On the Impossibility of Nonactual Epistemic Possibilities

Journal of Philosophy 101 (10):527-554 (2004)
Abstract
A problem inherited from Kripke is the reconciliation of commitments to various necessities with conflicting intuitions of contingency, intuitions that things "might have turned out otherwise." Kripke's reconciliation strategy is to say that while it is necessary that X is Y, and so impossible for X not to be Y, it is nevertheless epistemically possible for X not to be Y. But what are nonactual epistemic possibilities? Several answers are considered and it is concluded that scenarios adduced to explain away the target intuitions are either themselves impossible, or not fully coherent, or not epistemic in the relevant sense.
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