David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophia 38 (4):811-833 (2010)
Modal epistemology has been dominated by a focus on establishing an account either of how we have modal knowledge or how we have justified beliefs about modality. One component of this focus has been that necessity and possibility are basic access points for modal reasoning. For example, knowing that P is necessary plays a role in deducing that P is essential, and knowing that both P and ¬P are possible plays a role in knowing that P is accidental. Chalmers (2002) and Williamson (2007) provide two good examples of contrasting views in modal epistemology that focus on providing an account of modal knowledge where necessity and possibility are basic access points for modal knowledge, and Yablo (1993) provides a good account of how we have justified beliefs about modality. In contrast to this tradition I argue for and outline a modal epistemology based on objectual understanding and essence, rather than knowledge or justification and necessity and possibility. The account employs a non-modal conception of essence and takes objectual understanding of essence, rather than knowledge of essence to be basic in modal reasoning. I begin by articulating Kvanvig’s (2003) account of objectual understanding, on which objectual understanding of Φ is not equivalent to propositional knowledge of Φ. I then argue that an epistemology of essence that uses property variation-in-imagination is better construed as a model that delivers objectual understanding of essence rather than knowledge of essence. I argue that this is so, since the latter and not the former runs into a version of the Meno paradox. I show how this account can be applied to two issues in modal epistemology: the Benacerraf problem for modality, and the architecture of modal knowledge
|Keywords||Modal epistemology Objectual understanding Epistemology of essence Benacerraf problem Meno paradox Variation-in-imagination Architecture of modal knowledge|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Timothy Williamson (2007). The Philosophy of Philosophy. Blackwell Pub..
Jonathan L. Kvanvig (2003). The Value of Knowledge and the Pursuit of Understanding. Cambridge University Press.
David J. Chalmers (2002). Does Conceivability Entail Possibility? In Tamar S. Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press 145--200.
Kit Fine (1994). Essence and Modality. Philosophical Perspectives 8:1-16.
Christopher Peacocke (1999). Being Known. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Joachim Horvath (2014). Lowe on Modal Knowledge. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (3):208-217.
Similar books and articles
Stephen Biggs (2011). Abduction and Modality. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (2):283-326.
Otavio Bueno & Scott A. Shalkowski (2000). A Plea for a Modal Realist Epistemology. Acta Analytica 24 (24):175--194.
Peter Hawke (2011). Van Inwagen's Modal Skepticism. Philosophical Studies 153 (3):351-364.
M. Oreste Fiocco (2007). Conceivability and Epistemic Possibility. Erkenntnis 67 (3):387 - 399.
Sonia Roca-Royes (2011). Modal Knowledge and Counterfactual Knowledge. Logique Et Analyse 54 (216):537-552.
Tuomas E. Tahko (2012). Counterfactuals and Modal Epistemology. Grazer Philosophische Studien 86 (1):93–115.
Simon Evnine (2008). Modal Epistemology: Our Knowledge of Necessity and Possibility. Philosophy Compass 3 (4):664-684.
C. Peacocke (1997). Metaphysical Necessity: Understanding, Truth and Epistemology. Mind 106 (423):521-574.
Added to index2010-03-31
Total downloads111 ( #26,565 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)13 ( #53,688 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?