Fitch’s argument purports to show that for any unknown truth, p , there is an unknowable truth, namely, that p is true and unknown; for a contradiction follows from the assumption that it is possible to know that p is true and unknown. In earlier work I argued that there is a sense in which it is possible to know that p is true and unknown, from a counterfactual perspective; that is, there can be possible, non-actual knowledge, of the actual (...) situation, that in that situation, p is true and unknown. Here I further elaborate that claim and respond to objections by Williamson, who argued that there cannot be non-trivial knowledge of this kind. I give conditions which suffice for such non-trivial counterfactual knowledge. (shrink)
I defend a version of Kripke's claim that the metaphysically necessary and the knowable a priori are independent. On my version, there are two independent families of modal notions, metaphysical and epistemic, neither stronger than the other. Metaphysical possibility is constrained by the laws of nature. Logical validity, I suggest, is best understood in terms of epistemic necessity.
Section 1 briefly examines three theories of indicative conditionals. The Suppositional Theory is defended, and shown to be incompatible with understanding conditionals in terms of truth conditions. Section 2 discusses the psychological evidence about conditionals reported by Over and Evans (this volume). Section 3 discusses the syntactic grounds offered by Haegeman (this volume) for distinguishing two sorts of conditional.
Mellor's subject is singular causation between facts, expressed ‘E because C’. His central requirement for causation is that the chance that E if C be greater than the chance that E if C: chc(E)>chc(E). The book is as much about chance as it is about causation. I show that his way of distinguishing chc (E) from the traditional notion of conditional chance leaves than him with a problem about the existence of chQ(P) when Q is false (Section 3); and also (...) that any notion of chance which conforms to the standard calculus has wider application than the causal instances to which Mellor's notion is restricted (Section 8). Other topics discussed may be gleaned from the headings below. 1 Review of D.H. Mellor : The Facss of Causation, London, Routledge, International Library of Philosophy. (shrink)