Modal Epistemology

Edited by Anand Vaidya (San Jose State University)
About this topic
Summary Modal epistemology investigates the question: how do we know what is possible and what is necessary?  Metaphysical modality is the main kind of modality that is investigated here. There are five main subquestions in the area: (i) The metaphysical question: what is metaphysical modality? What is it for something to be metaphysically necessary or possible? How is metaphysical modality related to logical and physical modality? (ii) The intentional question: how is that we can have beliefs about what is metaphysically necessary and metaphysically possible?  (iii) The methodological question: what ways, if any, are there for forming reasonable beliefs and / or arriving at knowledge of metaphysical modality? (iv) The psychological question: what methods do we typically use in forming beliefs about metaphysical modality.  (iv) The normative question: how should we go about forming and justifying beliefs about metaphysical modality? Some the leading theories are the following: (a) metaphysical modality is identical to logical modality, it is a priori accessible, and we can use conceivability as guide for forming beliefs about metaphysical modality.  (b) metaphysical modality is identical to physical modality, it is neither a priori nor a posteriori, and we can use counterfactual reasoning in imagination to form beliefs about metaphysical modality. (c) metaphysical modality is neither reducible to logical nor physical modality, it is a priori accessible, but neither conceivability nor counterfactual reasoning is our basic guide. Rather, we come to know about metaphysical modality by reasoning from the essences of entities.  
Key works Historically Descartes defended a rationalist approach to our knowledge of possibility and necessity, while Hume defended an empiricist approach. In recent literature the dominant tradition of exploring the epistemology of modality has been rationalist. The key works in this tradition can be divided base on what kind of account is being offered. For general discussion of the epistemology of modality see Hale 2003. For conceivability-based accounts see Yablo 1993Tidman 1994Chalmers 2002. For skepticism about the epistemology of modality see Van Inwagen 1998. For understanding-based accounts see Bealer 2002 and Peacocke 1998. For counterfactual accounts see Williamson 2009. For essence-based accounts see Lowe 2012.
Introductions For an overview of contemporary research on the epistemology of modality, see Vaidya 2007.
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  1. Agentive Modality and the Structure of Modal Knowledge.Felipe Morales Carbonell - 2021 - Dissertation,
    This thesis develops a theory about the structure of modal judgment and knowledge. Arguing in favour of pluralism about the source of modal knowledge, it focuses on the questions of the varieties of modal judgment and their relations, the function of modal judgment and the scope of modal knowledge. It offers a hypothesis about the development of the framework of modal knowledge, grounding it on the capacity to evaluate temporal judgments, from which the capacity to evaluate alternatives comes from, and (...)
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  2. Epistemic Projects, Indispensability, and the Structure of Modal Thought.Felipe Morales Carbonell - 2020 - Res Philosophica 97 (4):611-638.
    I argue that modal epistemology should pay more attention to questions about the structure and function of modal thought. We can treat these questions from synchronic and diachronic angles. From a synchronic perspective, I consider whether a general argument for the epistemic support of modal though can be made on the basis of modal thoughs’s indispensability for what Enoch and Schechter (2008) call rationally required epistemic projects. After formulating the argument, I defend it from various objections. I also examine the (...)
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  3. A Case Study in Formalizing Contingent a Priori Claims.Landon D. C. Elkind - 2020 - Res Philosophica 97 (4):571-591.
    Some philosophers, like Kripke, Williamson, Hawthorne, and Turri, have offered examples of claims that are allegedly contingent and a priori justifiable. If any of these examples is genuine, this would upend the traditional epistemological classification on which (a) all and only a priori justifiable claims are necessary and (b) all and only a posteriori ones are contingent. I argue here that these examples are not genuine. This conclusion is not new, but the strategy pursued here is to formalize these muchdiscussed (...)
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  4. The Nature of Impossibility.Martin Vacek - 2019 - Bratislava, Slovakia: VEDA.
    Possible-worlds semantics proved itself as a strong tool in analysing the statements of actuality, possibility, contingency and necessity. But impossible phenomena go beyond the expressive power of the apparatus. The proponents of possible-worlds apparatus thus owe us at least three stories. The first one is the story about ontological nature of possible worlds, the second one is the story about the theoretical role such entities play and the third one is the story about the impossible. Modal Realism (MR) provides us (...)
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  5. Modal Truth : Integrating the Metaphysics, Epistemology, and Semantics of the Necessary and the Possible.Lars Enden - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Washington
    The integration challenge for modality states that metaphysical theories of modality tend to fail in one of two ways: either they render the meanings of modal sentences mysterious, or they render modal knowledge mysterious. I argue that there are specific semantic and epistemic constraints on metaphysics implied by the integration challenge and that a plausible metaphysical theory of modality will satisfy both of them. I further argue that no popular metaphysical theory of modality simultaneously satisfies both of the constraints. Therefore, (...)
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  6. The Modal Status of Contextually A Priori Arithmetical Truths.Markus Pantsar - 2016 - In Francesca Boccuni & Andrea Sereni (eds.), Objectivity, Realism, and Proof. Filmat Studies in the Philosophy of Mathematics. Springer Verlag.
    In Pantsar, an outline for an empirically feasible epistemological theory of arithmetic is presented. According to that theory, arithmetical knowledge is based on biological primitives but in the resulting empirical context develops an essentially a priori character. Such contextual a priori theory of arithmetical knowledge can explain two of the three characteristics that are usually associated with mathematical knowledge: that it appears to be a priori and objective. In this paper it is argued that it can also explain the third (...)
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  7. Conceivability and Modal Knowledge.Albert Casullo - 2012 - In Essays on A priori Knowledge and Justification. New York, NY, USA: pp. 271-288.
    Christopher Hill contends that the metaphysical modalities can be reductively explained in terms of the subjunctive conditional and that this reductive explanation yields two tests for determining the metaphysical modality of a proposition. He goes on to argue that his reductive account of the metaphysical modalities in conjunction with his account of modal knowledge underwrites the further conclusion that conceivability does not provide a reliable test for metaphysical possibility. I argue (1) that Hill’s reductive explanation of the metaphysical modalities in (...)
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  8. Knowledge and Modality.Albert Casullo - 2006 - In D. M. Borchert (ed.), Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd ed. Detroit, MI, USA: pp. 100-102.
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  9. Modal Epistemology.E. Weber & T. DeMey (eds.) - 2004 - Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van Belgie vor Wetenschappen en Kunsten.
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  10. The Essential but Implicit Role of Modal Concepts in Science.Patrick Suppes - 1972 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1972:305 - 314.
Conceivability, Imagination, and Possibility
  1. An Imaginative Person’s Guide to Objective Modality.Derek Lam - forthcoming - In Amy Kind & Christopher Badura (eds.), Epistemic Uses of Imagination. Routledge.
    Imagination is a source of evidence for objective modality. It is through this epistemic connection that the idea of modality first gains traction in our intellectual life. A proper theory of modality should be able to explain our imagination’s modal epistemic behaviors. This chapter highlights a peculiar asymmetry regarding epistemic defeat for imagination-based modal justification. Whereas imagination-based evidence for possibility cannot be undermined by information about the causal origin of our imaginings, unimaginability-based evidence for impossibility can be undermined by information (...)
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  2. The Epistemic Idleness of Conceivability.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2021 - In Otávio Bueno & Scott Shalkowski (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Modality. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 167-179.
    One’s involvement with the world seems limited merely to things as they are; hence, modal knowledge—knowledge of what could be or must be simpliciter—should be perplexing. Traditionally, the notion of conceivability has been regarded as crucial to an account of modal knowledge. I believe one has a good deal of such knowledge (though perhaps less than others presume one has). I maintain, however, that conceiving is utterly idle in acquiring modal knowledge: the conceivability of a proposition can provide no evidence (...)
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  3. The Blurred Line Between Epistemic and Metaphysical Modalities in the Modal Epistemology of Imagination.Iñaki Xavier Larrauri Pertierra - manuscript
    Modal epistemologies that rely on a fallibilism about modal claims have been gaining traction over the years. This paper critically discusses the accounts of Kung (2009; 2010; 2016) and Dohrn (2018; 2019; 2020) and argues that they are invariably susceptible to being read as entailing claims of epistemic possibility. Both Kung and Dohrn seek to ground modal intuitions on non-modal ones, and primarily appeal to the modalizing capacity of imagination to aid in the discovery of modal truths. However, insofar as (...)
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  4. Eidos, fatto, possibilità. Aspetti del rapporto tra scienza e fatticità in Husserl.Francesco Pisano - 2017 - In Antonio Branca (ed.), Possibilità. Dell'uomo e delle cose. Roma RM, Italia: pp. 37-61.
  5. Una fenomenologia (del) possibile. Crisi del significato e senso della contingenza tra Heidegger e Richir.Francesco Pisano - 2019 - In Anna Pia Ruoppo (ed.), Essere eEssere e Tempo novanta anni dopo: attualità e inattualità dell'analitica esistenziale. Napoli NA, Italia: pp. 185-197.
    I present some aspects of Sein und Zeit’s phenomenology of possibility as a key feature of Heidegger’s theoretical confrontation with the crisis of European culture. I draw from paragraphs 73-74 for an inquiry into the relation between possibility and historicity within the structure of the Dasein. Specifically, I consider the concept of repetition in light of Heidegger’s idea that authentic historicity is to be grounded in temporality. Many interpreters found the concept of repetition to be the mark of a conservative (...)
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  6. Husserlian Intentionality and Contingent Universals.Nicola Spinelli - 2017 - Argumenta 2 (2):309-325.
    Can one hold both that universals exist in the strongest sense (i.e., neither in language nor in thought, nor in their instances) and that they exist contingently—and still make sense? Edmund Husserl thought so. In this paper I present a version of his view regimented in terms of modal logic cum possible-world semantics. Crucial to the picture is the distinction between two accessibility relations with different structural properties. These relations are cashed out in terms of two Husserlian notions of imagination: (...)
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  7. Impossible Fiction Part II: Lessons for Mind, Language and Epistemology.Daniel Nolan - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (2):1-12.
    Abstract Impossible fictions have lessons to teach us about linguistic representation, about mental content and concepts, and about uses of conceivability in epistemology. An adequate theory of impossible fictions may require theories of meaning that can distinguish between different impossibilities; a theory of conceptual truth that allows us to make useful sense of a variety of conceptual falsehoods; and a theory of our understanding of necessity and possibility that permits impossibilities to be conceived. After discussing these questions, strategies for resisting (...)
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  8. Imagery and Possibility.Dominic Gregory - 2020 - Noûs 54 (4):755-773.
    We often ascribe possibility to the scenes that are displayed by mental or nonmental sensory images. The paper presents a novel argument for thinking that we are prima facie justified in ascribing metaphysical possibility to what is displayed by suitable visual images, and it argues that many of our imagery‐based ascriptions of metaphysical possibility are therefore prima facie justified. Some potential objections to the arguments are discussed, and some potential extensions of them, to cover nonvisual forms of imagery and nonmetaphysical (...)
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  9. Imagining Fictional Contradictions.Michel-Antoine Xhignesse - forthcoming - Synthese:1-20.
    It is widely believed, among philosophers of literature, that imagining contradictions is as easy as telling or reading a story with contradictory content. Italo Calvino’s The Nonexistent Knight, for instance, concerns a knight who performs many brave deeds, but who does not exist. Anything at all, they argue, can be true in a story, including contradictions and other impossibilia. While most will readily concede that we cannot objectually imagine contradictions, they nevertheless insist that we can propositionally imagine them, and regularly (...)
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  10. The Actually Possible: An Essay in Modal Psychology.Michael Omoge - 2020 - Dissertation, University of KwaZulu-Natal
    The problem of justification for our modal beliefs is an old modal epistemological problem that has hitherto been addressed rationalistically, i.e., without listening to the sciences that study our experiences of modality. Here, I argue that taking a closer look at the architectures of perception and imagination, affords one way of addressing the problem for practical and metaphysical modal beliefs, respectively. The end result is a naturalistic accounts of imaginative and perceptual modal justification.
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  11. Invasive Weeds in Parmenides' Garden.Olga Ramirez Calle - 2020 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 20 (60):391-412.
    The paper attempts to conciliate the important distinction between what-is, or exists, and what-is-not _thereby supporting Russell’s existential analysis_ with some Meinongian insights. For this purpose, it surveys the varied inhabitants of the realm of ‘non-being’ and tries to clarify their diverse statuses. The position that results makes it possible to rescue them back in surprising but non-threatening form, leaving our ontology safe from contradiction.
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  12. Consciousness, Conceivability, and Intrinsic Reduction.Jonathon VandenHombergh - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (5):1129-1151.
    Conceivability arguments constitute a serious threat against reductive physicalism. Recently, a number of authors have proven and characterized a devastating logical truth, centered on these arguments: namely, that their soundness entails the inconceivability of reductive physicalism. In this paper, I demonstrate that is only a logical truth when reductive physicalism is interpreted in its stronger, intrinsic sense, as opposed to its weaker—yet considerably more popular—extrinsic sense. The basic idea generalizes: perhaps surprisingly, stronger forms of reduction are uniquely resistant to the (...)
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  13. Making Sorrow Sweet: Emotion and Empathy in the Experience of Fiction. In A. Houen (Ed.), Affect and Literature (Cambridge Critical Concepts, Pp. 190-210). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Doi:10.1017/9781108339339.011.A. E. Denham, A. E. Denham & A. Denham - 2020 - In Denham, A. (2020). Making Sorrow Sweet: Emotion and Empathy in the Experience of Fiction. In A. Houen (Ed.), Affect and Literature (Cambridge Critical Concepts, pp. 190-210). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108339339.011. Cambridge, UK: pp. 190-210.
    The nature and consequences of readers’ affective engagement with literature has, in recent years, captured the attention of experimental psychologists and philosophers alike. Psychological studies have focused principally on the causal mechanisms explaining our affective interactions with fictions, prescinding from questions concerning their rational justifiability. Transportation Theory, for instance, has sought to map out the mechanisms the reader tracks the narrative experientially, mirroring its descriptions through first-personal perceptual imaginings, affective and motor responses and even evaluative beliefs. Analytical philosophers, by contrast, (...)
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  14. The Idea of Immortality as an Imaginative Projection of an Indefinite Moral Future.Stephen R. Palmquist - 2010 - Akten des XI. Kant-Kongresses 2:925-936.
    In his Critique of Pure Reason, Kant famously includes immortality as one of the three “ideas” that give rise to “unavoidable problems of reason” (KrV, B7)1 and thereby constitute the basic subject-matter of metaphysics. Interpreters have paid a great deal of attention to the other two ideas, God and freedom; yet very few studies of Kantian immortality have ever been undertaken. This should come as no surprise, once we realize that Kant himself used the word “immortality” and its cognates only (...)
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  15. Imaginative Resistance and Modal Knowledge.Daniel Nolan - 2020 - Res Philosophica 97 (4):661-685.
    Readers of fictions sometimes resist taking certain kinds of claims to be true according to those fictions, even when they appear explicitly or follow from applying ordinary principles of interpretation. This "imaginative resistance" is often taken to be significant for a range of philosophical projects outside aesthetics, including giving us evidence about what is possible and what is impossible, as well as the limits of conceivability, or readers' normative commitments. I will argue that this phenomenon cannot do the theoretical work (...)
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  16. On the Difference Between Realistic and Fantastic Imagining.Christopher Gauker - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    When we imaginatively picture what might happen, we may take what we imagine to be either realistic or fantastic. A wine glass falling to the floor and shattering is realistic. A wine glass falling and morphing into a bird and flying away is fantastic. What does the distinction consist in? Two important necessary conditions are here defined. The first is a condition on the realistic representation of spatial configuration, grounded in an account of the imagistic representation of spatial configuration. The (...)
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  17. Correct Conceivability and its Role in the Epistemology of Modality.Robert Michels - 2020 - Les Principes Métaphysiques.
    The starting point of this paper is an argument to the conclusion that the definition of metaphysical possibility in terms of correct conceivability, conceivability informed by knowledge of relevant essences, found in Rosen (2006) is equivalent to a version of the essentialist definition of metaphysical necessity. This argument appears to show that correct conceivability is a notion of conceivability by name only and is therefore of no interest to epistemologists of modality. In this paper, I present the equivalence argument, explain (...)
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  18. Learning Through Simulation.Sara Aronowitz & Tania Lombrozo - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20.
    Mental simulation — such as imagining tilting a glass to figure out the angle at which water would spill — can be a way of coming to know the answer to an internally or externally posed query. Is this form of learning a species of inference or a form of observation? We argue that it is neither: learning through simulation is a genuinely distinct form of learning. On our account, simulation can provide knowledge of the answer to a query even (...)
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  19. Martha Kneale on Why Metaphysical Necessities Are Not A Priori.Jessica Leech - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (4):389-409.
    In her 1938 paper ‘Logical and Metaphysical Necessity’, Martha Kneale introduces the necessary a posteriori. I present a critical summary of Kneale's argument that so-called ‘metaphysical propositions’ are necessary but not a priori. I argue that Kneale is well placed to offer a template for reconciling conceivability approaches to modal epistemology with the post-Kripkean trend for taking metaphysical necessities to have their source in mind-independent reality.
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  20. Imaginability and Possibility.Yingying Tang - 2019 - Studies in Logic 12 (3):102-114.
    Recently there is heated discussion on the puzzle of imaginative resistance, i.e. the puzzle of why it is difficult to imagine certain counterfactual scenarios. After examining Brian Weatherson’s “In-Virtue-Of Hypothesis”, I put forward an alternative hypothesis that all and only conceptual impossibilities are unimaginable. I argue that my account has some theoretical advantages over the In-Virtue-Of hypothesis. I consider some challenges to my hypothesis and then attempt to show that those objections are unsuccessful.
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  21. Everyday Scientific Imagination: A Qualitative Study of the Uses, Norms, and Pedagogy of Imagination in Science.Michael T. Stuart - 2019 - Science & Education 28 (6-7):711-730.
    Imagination is necessary for scientific practice, yet there are no in vivo sociological studies on the ways that imagination is taught, thought of, or evaluated by scientists. This article begins to remedy this by presenting the results of a qualitative study performed on two systems biology laboratories. I found that the more advanced a participant was in their scientific career, the more they valued imagination. Further, positive attitudes toward imagination were primarily due to the perceived role of imagination in problem-solving. (...)
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  22. New Directions in the Epistemology of Modality, Special Issue of Synthese.Antonella Mallozzi (ed.) - forthcoming - Springer.
    The fourteen papers in this collection offer a variety of original contributions to the epistemology of modality. In seeking to explain our knowledge of possibility and necessity, they raise some novel questions, develop some unfamiliar theoretical perspectives, and make some intriguing proposals. In the Introduction (penultimate draft available for download), I give some general background about the contemporary literature in the area, by sketching a timeline of the main tendencies of the past twenty-five years or so, up to the present (...)
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  23. The Life of Imagination: Revealing and Making the World.Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei - 2018 - New York, NY, USA: Columbia University Press.
    Imagination allows us to step out of the ordinary but also to transform it through our sense of wonder and play, artistic inspiration and innovation, or the eureka moment of a scientific breakthrough. In this book, Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei offers a groundbreaking new understanding of its place in everyday experience as well as the heights of creative achievement. -/- The Life of Imagination delivers a new conception of imagination that places it at the heart of our engagement with the world—thinking, (...)
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  24. Modal Epistemology Made Concrete.Daniel Dohrn - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2455-2475.
    Many philosophers since Hume have accepted that imagining/conceiving a scenario is our prime guide to knowing its possibility. Stephen Yablo provided a more systematic criterion: one is justified in judging that p is possible if one can imagine a world which one takes to verify p. I defend a version of Yablo’s criterion against van Inwagen’s moderate modal scepticism. Van Inwagen’s key argument is that we cannot satisfy Yablo’s criterion because we are not in a position to spell out far-fetched (...)
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  25. On Husserl’s Exhibition Principle.Andrea Marchesi - 2019 - Husserl Studies 35 (2):97-116.
    According to Husserl’s so-called Exhibition Principle, the propositions “x exists” and “The exhibition of x’s existence is possible” are equivalent. The overall aim of this paper is to debate EP. First, I raise the question whether EP can properly be said to be a principle. Second, I give a general formulation of EP. Third, I examine specific formulations of EP, namely those regarding eidetic and individual objects. Fourth, I identify the readings of EP I hold to be exegetically plausible, that (...)
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  26. On the Epistemic Value of Imagining, Supposing, and Conceiving.Magdalena Balcerak Jackson - 2016 - In Amy Kind & Peter Kun (eds.), Knowledge Through Imagination. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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  27. Philosophical Perspectives on Imagination in the Western Tradition.Amy Kind - forthcoming - In Anna Abraham (ed.), Cambridge Handbook of Imagination.
    Philosophers in the Western tradition have both theorized about imagination and used imagination in their theorizing about other matters. In this chapter, I first provide a brief overview of philosophical theorizing about imagination with a special focus on its relation to other mental states such as belief and perception. I then turn to a discussion of the methodological role that imagination has played in philosophy. I here focus on the imaginability principle, i.e., the claim that the imaginability of a given (...)
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  28. From Conceivability to Possibility: An Essay in Modal Epistemology.Anders Berglund - 2005 - Dissertation, Umeå University
    This study deals with the thesis that conceivability implies possibility. Confronted with alleged counterexamples to this thesis, some philosophers have turned to what may be called “idealized” or “more demanding” notions of conceivability. I argue that in turning to such notions, they have made the thesis useless to limited beings like us for attaining modal knowledge. However, in refusing to identify conceivability with demanding or idealized notions, we cannot maintain that conceivability always implies possibility. Essentially, there are two ways to (...)
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  29. Knowledge of Objective Modality.Margot Strohminger & Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (5):1155-1175.
    The epistemology of modality has focused on metaphysical modality and, more recently, counterfactual conditionals. Knowledge of kinds of modality that are not metaphysical has so far gone largely unexplored. Yet other theoretically interesting kinds of modality, such as nomic, practical, and ‘easy’ possibility, are no less puzzling epistemologically. Could Clinton easily have won the 2016 presidential election—was it an easy possibility? Given that she didn’t in fact win the election, how, if at all, can we know whether she easily could (...)
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  30. Conceivability and Possibility.Joshua Spencer - 2018 - In Graham Oppy (ed.), Ontological Arguments. pp. 214-237.
    Some people might be tempted by modal ontological arguments from the possibility that God exists to the conclusion that God in fact exists. They might also be tempted to support the claim that possibly God exists by appealing to the conceivability of God’s existence. In this chapter, I introduce three constraints on an adequate theory of philosophical conceivability. I then consider and develop both imagination-based accounts of conceivability and conceptual coherence-based accounts of conceivability. Finally, I return to the modal ontological (...)
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  31. Abduction Versus Conceiving in Modal Epistemology.Stephen Biggs & Jessica Wilson - forthcoming - Synthese:1-32.
    How should modal reasoning proceed? Here we compare abduction-based and conceiving-based modal epistemologies, and argue that an abduction-based approach is preferable, and by a wide margin.
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  32. Conceivability and the Epistemology of Modality.Asger Bo Skjerning Steffensen - 2015 - Dissertation, Aarhus University
    The dissertation is in the format of a collection of several academic texts, composed of a two-part presentation and three papers on the topic of conceivability and the epistemology of modality. The presentation is composed of, first, a general introduction to conceivability theses and objections and, second, a discussion of two cases. Following the presentation, Asger provides three papers. The first paper, Pretense and Conceivability: A reply to Roca-Royes, presents a problem and a dilemma for Roca-Royes’ Non-Standard Dilemma for conceivability-based (...)
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  33. Counterfactuals and Non-exceptionalism About Modal Knowledge.Daniel Dohrn - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (6):1461-1483.
    Since our capacities and methods of cognizing reality merely seem to tell us how things are but only within close limits how they could or must be, our claims to knowledge of mere possibilities and necessities raise the suspicion of exceptionalism: the capacities and methods used in developing these claims seem special compared to those involved in cognizing reality. One may be sceptical especially with regard to them, and there are doubts that they can be naturalistically explained. To avoid exceptionalism, (...)
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  34. Is Mathematical Knowledge a Precedent for Modal Knowledge?: A Novel Objection to Lewis’s Modal Epistemology.Joungbin Lim - 2018 - SATS 19 (2):183-199.
    Journal Name: SATS Issue: Ahead of print.
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  35. Нет ничего невозможного. (Контекстуальный реализм и модальности.).Francois-Igor Pris - 2018 - Конференция ИФ НАНБ. Минск 1:133-135.
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  36. Essentialist Modal Rationalism.Philip Goff - forthcoming - Synthese:1-9.
    In my recent book Consciousness and Fundamental Reality, I proposed a principle linking rational coherence and metaphysical possibility, as part of an argument against physicalism. Although it was not the focus of concern in this book, I had hoped that that principle might undergird a generalised account of our knowledge of modality. I have subsequently realised, however, that that principle has limited application, in a way that conflicts with these broader ambitions. In this paper I will outline these limitations and (...)
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  37. Is Imagination Too Liberal for Modal Epistemology?Derek Lam - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):2155-2174.
    Appealing to imagination for modal justification is very common. But not everyone thinks that all imaginings provide modal justification. Recently, Gregory and Kung :620–663, 2010) have independently argued that, whereas imaginings with sensory imageries can justify modal beliefs, those without sensory imageries don’t because of such imaginings’ extreme liberty. In this essay, I defend the general modal epistemological relevance of imagining. I argue, first, that when the objections that target the liberal nature of non-sensory imaginings are adequately developed, those objections (...)
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  38. Justification by Imagination.Magdalena Balcerak Jackson - 2018 - In Fiona Macpherson & Fabian Dorsch (eds.), Perceptual Imagination and Perceptual Memory. Oxford University Press. pp. 209-226.
  39. Armchair Knowledge and Modal Skepticism: A Rapprochement.Felipe Leon - 2009 - Dissertation, University of California, Riverside
    The thought experiment is a seemingly indispensable tool in the armchair philosopher’s toolbox. One wonders, for example, how philosophers could come to think that justified true belief isn’t knowledge, that reference isn’t determined by an expression’s associated description, or that moral responsibility doesn’t require the ability to do otherwise, without the use of thought experiments. But even if thought experiments play an integral role in philosophical methodology, their legitimacy is at least initially puzzling: one would think that significant knowledge of (...)
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  40. Kant and Frege on Existence.Toni Kannisto - 2018 - Synthese (8):01-26.
    According to what Jonathan Bennett calls the Kant–Frege view of existence, Frege gave solid logical foundations to Kant’s claim that existence is not a real predicate. In this article I will challenge Bennett’s claim by arguing that although Kant and Frege agree on what existence is not, they agree neither on what it is nor on the importance and justification of existential propositions. I identify three main differences: first, whereas for Frege existence is a property of a concept, for Kant (...)
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