About this topic
Summary Modal Rationalism in general refers to any attempt to explain modal knowledge through a rationalist program. However, 'modal rationalism' specifically refers to the a thesis advocated by David Chalmers. The thesis maintains that primary positive ideal conceivability entails primary possibility. Rationalist approaches are opposed to empiricist approaches, and to approaches that maintain that modal knowledge is a species of armchair knowledge, knowledge that is not clearly a priori or a posteriori. The key questions concerning modal rationalism are: how best should we specify the mechanism by which we acquire modal knowledge? What is the appropriate range of modal beliefs that are correctly captured by the rationalist approach?
Key works The key modal rationalist approaches are given by Peacocke 1998,Bealer 2002, and Chalmers 2002. Peacocke argues for an approach on which we come to have modal knowledge because we have implicit knowledge of Principles of Possibility that determine whether a given state of affairs is possible just as we rely on principles of grammaticality that determine whether a given set of sentences are grammatical. Bealer argues for an approach on which our intuitions about modality are reliable because of the nature of what it means to possesses a concept with competence. And Chalmers argues for an approach on which we have knowledge of modality based on conceivability. The key move on his approach is to explain the link between conceivability and possibility via two-dimensional semantics. 
Introductions For an introduction seeVaidya 2007
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  1. Modal Rationalism and Constructive Realism: Models and Their Modality.William Kallfelz - 2010
    I present a case for a rapprochement between aspects of rationalism and scientific realism, by way of a general framework employing modal epistemology and elements of 2-dimensional semantics (2DS). My overall argument strategy is meta-inductive: The bulk of this paper establishes a “base case,” i.e., a concretely constructive example by which I demonstrate this linkage. The base case or constructive example acts as the exemplar for generating, in a constructively ‘bottom-up’ fashion, a more generally rigorous case for rationalism-realism qua modal (...)
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  2. What Might Be and What Might Have Been. Schnieder, Schulz & Steinberg - manuscript
    In describing and classifying things we often rely on their modal characteristics. We will in general not have a satisfactory account of the nature and character of an object, unless we specify at least partly how the thing might be or cannot be, and also how it might have been or could not have been. In his contribution to the Second Jerusalem Philosophical Encounter,1 Strawson addressed the issue of how to understand such ascriptions of modal characteristics. Although his paper is (...)
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  3. 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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  4. A Priori or A Posteriori?Tuomas Tahko - 2020 - In Ricki Bliss & James Miller (eds.). Abingdon, New York: Routledge. pp. 353-363.
    This article discusses the role of a priori and a posteriori knowledge and methods in metaphysics and metametaphysics. Issues discussed include the viability of the distinction, the continuity of a priori and a posteriori methods, connections to modal epistemology, and the role of the distinction for science and naturalistic metaphysics.
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  5. Non‐Uniformism About the Epistemology of Modality: Strong and Weak.Ylwa Sjölin Wirling - 2020 - Analytic Philosophy 61 (2):152-173.
    Uniformism about the epistemology of modality is the view that there is only one basic route to modal knowledge; non-uniformism is the view that there are several. Non-uniformism is becoming an increasingly popular stance, but how can it be defended? I prise apart two ways of understanding the uniformism/non-uniformism conflict that are mixed up in the literature. I argue that once separated, it is evident that they lead up to two different non-uniformist theses that need to be argued for in (...)
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  6. Essentialist Modal Rationalism.Philip Goff - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 8):2019-2027.
    It used to be thought that rational coherence and metaphysical possibility went hand in hand. Kripke and Putnam put a spanner in the works by proposing examples of propositions which seem to violate this principle. I will propose a nuanced form of modal rationalism consistent with the Kripke/putnam cases. The rough idea is that rational coherence entails possibility when you grasp the essential nature of what you’re conceiving of.
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  7. Linking Necessity to Apriority.Tristan Haze - 2019 - Acta Analytica 34 (1):1-7.
    There is an important and fairly straightforward link between necessity and apriority which can shed light on our knowledge of the former, but initially plausible attempts to spell out what it is fall victim to counterexamples. Casullo discusses one such proposal, argues—following Anderson :1–20, )—that it fails, and suggests an alternative. In this paper, I argue that Casullo’s alternative also fails, before making a suggestion for which I can find no counterexamples and which, notably, handles some recent examples due to (...)
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  8. New Directions in the Epistemology of Modality: Introduction.Antonella Mallozzi - 2019 - Synthese:1-19.
    The fourteen papers in this collection offer a variety of original contributions to the epistemology of modality. In seeking to explain how we might account for our knowledge of possibility and necessity, they raise some novel questions, develop some unfamiliar theoretical perspectives, and make some intriguing proposals. Collectively, they advance our understanding of the field. In Part I of this Introduction, I give some general background about the contemporary literature in the area, by sketching a timeline of the main tendencies (...)
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  9. Conceivability and Possibility: Some Dilemmas for Humeans.Francesco Berto & Tom Schoonen - 2018 - Synthese 195 (6):2697-2715.
    The Humean view that conceivability entails possibility can be criticized via input from cognitive psychology. A mainstream view here has it that there are two candidate codings for mental representations (one of them being, according to some, reducible to the other): the linguistic and the pictorial, the difference between the two consisting in the degree of arbitrariness of the representation relation. If the conceivability of P at issue for Humeans involves the having of a linguistic mental representation, then it is (...)
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  10. Judgements About Thought Experiments.Alexander Geddes - 2018 - Mind 127 (505):35-67.
    Thought experiments invite us to evaluate philosophical theses by making judgements about hypothetical cases. When the judgements and the theses conflict, it is often the latter that are rejected. But what is the nature of the judgements such that they are able to play this role? I answer this question by arguing that typical judgements about thought experiments are in fact judgements of normal counterfactual sufficiency. I begin by focusing on Anna-Sara Malmgren’s defence of the claim that typical judgements about (...)
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  11. 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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  12. Two Notions of Metaphysical Modality.Antonella Mallozzi - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 6):1-22.
    The paper explores the project of an ambitious modal epistemology that attempts to combine the a priori methods of Chalmers’ 2D semantics with Kripke’s modal metaphysics. I argue that such a project is not viable. The ambitious modal epistemology involves an inconsistent triad composed of (1) Modal Monism, (2) Two-Dimensionalism, and what I call (3) “Metaphysical Kripkeanism”. I present the three theses and show how only two of those can be true at a time. There is a fundamental incompatibility between (...)
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  13. 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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  14. The Epistemology of Essence.Tuomas Tahko - 2018 - In Alexander Carruth, S. C. Gibb & John Heil (eds.), Ontology, Modality, Mind: Themes from the Metaphysics of E. J. Lowe. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 93-110.
    The epistemology of essence is a topic that has received relatively little attention, although there are signs that this is changing. The lack of literature engaging directly with the topic is probably partly due to the mystery surrounding the notion of essence itself, and partly due to the sheer difficulty of developing a plausible epistemology. The need for such an account is clear especially for those, like E.J. Lowe, who are committed to a broadly Aristotelian conception of essence, whereby essence (...)
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  15. Nobody Bodily Knows Possibility.Daniel Dohrn - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy 114 (12):678-686.
    Against modal rationalism, Manolo Martínez argues that elementary bodily mechanisms allow cognizers to know possibility. He presents an exemplary behavioral mechanism adapted to maximizing expected outcome in a random game. The bodily mechanism purportedly tracks probabilities and related possibilities. However, it is doubtful that cognizers like us can know metaphysical modalities purely by virtue of bodily mechanisms without using rational capacities. Firstly, Martínez’s mechanism is limited. But knowledge of probabilities arguably has to cover a variety of probabilistic outcomes. One may (...)
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  16. Modal Epistemology After Rationalism.Bob Fischer & Felipe Leon (eds.) - 2017 - Cham: Springer.
    This collection highlights the new trend away from rationalism and toward empiricism in the epistemology of modality. Accordingly, the book represents a wide range of positions on the empirical sources of modal knowledge. Readers will find an introduction that surveys the field and provides a brief overview of the work, which progresses from empirically-sensitive rationalist accounts to fully empiricist accounts of modal knowledge. Early chapters focus on challenges to rationalist theories, essence-based approaches to modal knowledge, and the prospects for naturalizing (...)
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  17. The Discovery That Phosphorus is Hesperus: A Follow-Up to Kripke on the Necessity of Identity.M. J. García-Encinas - 2017 - Analysis and Metaphysics 16:52-69.
    It was an empirical discovery that Phosphorus is Hesperus. According to Kripke, this was also the discovery of a necessary fact. Now, given Kripke’s theory of direct reference one could wonder what kind of discovery this is. For we already knew Phosphorus/Hesperus, and we also knew that any entity is, necessarily, identical to itself. So what is it that was discovered? I want to show that there is more to this widely known case than what usual readings, and critics, reveal; (...)
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  18. On Probability and Cosmology: Inference Beyond Data?Martin Sahlen - 2017 - In K. Chamcham, J. Silk, J. D. Barrow & S. Saunders (eds.), The Philosophy of Cosmology. Cambridge, UK:
    Modern scientific cosmology pushes the boundaries of knowledge and the knowable. This is prompting questions on the nature of scientific knowledge. A central issue is what defines a 'good' model. When addressing global properties of the Universe or its initial state this becomes a particularly pressing issue. How to assess the probability of the Universe as a whole is empirically ambiguous, since we can examine only part of a single realisation of the system under investigation: at some point, data will (...)
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  19. The Epistemology of Modality.Margot Strohminger & Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2017 - Analysis 77 (4):825-838.
    This article surveys recent developments in the epistemology of modality.
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  20. Empirically-Informed Modal Rationalism.Tuomas Tahko - 2017 - In Robert William Fischer & Felipe Leon (eds.), Modal Epistemology After Rationalism. Synthese Library. pp. 29-45.
    In this chapter, it is suggested that our epistemic access to metaphysical modality generally involves rationalist, a priori elements. However, these a priori elements are much more subtle than ‘traditional’ modal rationalism assumes. In fact, some might even question the ‘apriority’ of these elements, but I should stress that I consider a priori and a posteriori elements especially in our modal inquiry to be so deeply intertwined that it is not easy to tell them apart. Supposed metaphysically necessary identity statements (...)
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  21. Empiiriset elementit modaaliepistemologiassa.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2016 - In Ilkka Niiniluoto, Tuomas Tahko & Teemu Toppinen (eds.), Mahdollisuus. Helsinki: Philosophical Society of Finland. pp. 154-159.
    Title in English: "Empirical elements in modal epistemology". This article examines Peter van Inwagen's modal scepticism and argues that although van Inwagen is correct to criticise modal rationalism, there are tools in modal empiricism that are promising sources of modal knowledge.
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  22. Philosophical Insights and Modal Cognition.Mikkel Gerken - 2015 - In Eugen Fischer John Collins (ed.), Experimental Philosophy, Rationalism, and Naturalism. pp. 110-131.
    Modal rationalists uphold a strong constitutive relationship between a priori cognition and modal cognition. Since both a priori cognition and modal cognition have been taken to be characteristic of philosophical insights, I will critically assess an ambitious modal rationalism and an associated ambitious methodological rationalism. I begin by examining Kripkean cases of the necessary a posteriori in order to characterize the ambitious modal rationalism that will be the focus of my criticism. I then argue that there is a principled association (...)
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  23. Modalizing Mechanisms.Manolo Martínez - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy 112 (12):658-670.
    It is widely held that it is unhelpful to model our epistemic access to modal facts on the basis of perception, and postulate the existence of a bodily mechanism attuned to modal features of the world. In this paper I defend modalizing mechanisms. I present and discuss a decision-theoretic model in which agents with severely limited cognitive abilities, at the end of an evolutionary process, have states which encode substantial information about the probabilities with which the outcomes of a certain (...)
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  24. Does Conceivability Entail Metaphysical Possibility?Moti Mizrahi & David R. Morrow - 2015 - Ratio 28 (1):1-13.
    In this paper, we argue that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’, which is the view that ideal primary positive conceivability entails primary metaphysical possibility, is self-defeating. To this end, we outline two reductio arguments against ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’. The first reductio shows that, from supposing that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’ is true, it follows that conceivability both is and is not conclusive evidence for possibility. The second reductio shows that, from supposing that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’ is true, it follows that it is possible (...)
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  25. The Modus Cogitandi of Heraclitus.Michael M. Nikoletseas - 2015
    This is a new reading of Heraclitus by a natural scientist who challenges the traditional view of Heraclitus as the philosopher of flux. A parallel analysis of Heraclitus and Parmenides removes the alleged enigmas and obscurity of their thought, and reveals groundbreaking epistemological thinking. Heraclitus' work is simply an epistemological essay, an essay on method in natural science.
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  26. Modal Empiricism and Knowledge of De Re Possibilities: A Critique of Roca-Royes' Account.Duško Prelević - 2015 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 22 (4):488–498.
    Accounting for our knowledge of de re modalities is probably the main reason why the proponents of modal empiricism think that their view should be preferred to modal rationalism. In this paper, I address Sonia Roca-Royes' account, which is taken to be a representative modal empiricist view, in order to show that modal empiricism faces serious problems even in explaining our knowledge of possibility de re, something which seems to be the easiest thing to explain on this view. I argue (...)
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  27. On the Epistemology of Modal Rationalism: The Main Problems and Their Significance.Mihai Rusu - 2015 - Logos and Episteme 6 (1):75-94.
    In this paper, I discuss the main characteristics of the epistemology of modal rationalism by proceeding from the critical investigation of Peacocke’s theory of modality. I build on arguments by Crispin Wright and Sonia Roca-Royes, which are generalised and supplemented by further analysis, in order to show that principle-based accounts have little prospects of succeeding in their task of providing an integrated account of the metaphysics and the epistemology of modality. I argue that it is unlikely that we will able (...)
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  28. Konstituirovanie pliuralizma obrazov nauki kak istoricheskaia zadacha fenomenologii (Constituting of Plural Images of Science as Historical Task of Philosophy).Sergey Kulikov - 2014 - HORIZON. Studies in Phenomenology 3 (2):9-20.
    The main purpose of article is representation of conceptual introduction to a cycle of the future researches devoted to reconstruction of phenomenological views on processes of creation of images of science. That purpose is achieved as a result of detection of key features (the conceptual bases) of pre-phenomenological and phenomenological ways of a reflection of science. Research leans on a method of the comparative analysis. Classical and non-classical variant of creation of images of science were compared. Members of classical philosophy (...)
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  29. Chalmers' “Unholy Stew”: Review of 'Constructing the World' by David Chalmers. [REVIEW]Richard Brown - 2013 - The Philosophers' Magazine 61 (61):115-118.
    This highly technical book is densely packed with arguments and is an important addition to the literature. Even if one ultimately disagrees with Chalmers there is much to be gained in his exhaustive study, and he goes out of his way to show how one can accept limited or modified versions of scrutability. It is impossible for me to do justice to his argumentative rigor and comprehensive coverage of possible views in the space I have here. In the end I (...)
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  30. Rational Imagination and Modal Knowledge.Jonathan Ichikawa & Benjamin Jarvis - 2012 - Noûs 46 (1):127 - 158.
    How do we know what's (metaphysically) possible and impossible? Arguments from Kripke and Putnam suggest that possibility is not merely a matter of (coherent) conceivability/imaginability. For example, we can coherently imagine that Hesperus and Phosphorus are distinct objects even though they are not possibly distinct. Despite this apparent problem, we suggest, nevertheless, that imagination plays an important role in an adequate modal epistemology. When we discover what is possible or what is impossible, we generally exploit important connections between what is (...)
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  31. The Hardness of the Iconic Must: Can Peirce’s Existential Graphs Assist Modal Epistemology.C. Legg - 2012 - Philosophia Mathematica 20 (1):1-24.
    Charles Peirce's diagrammatic logic — the Existential Graphs — is presented as a tool for illuminating how we know necessity, in answer to Benacerraf's famous challenge that most ‘semantics for mathematics’ do not ‘fit an acceptable epistemology’. It is suggested that necessary reasoning is in essence a recognition that a certain structure has the particular structure that it has. This means that, contra Hume and his contemporary heirs, necessity is observable. One just needs to pay attention, not merely to individual (...)
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  32. Modal Rationalism.Jessica Leech - 2011 - Dialectica 65 (1):103-115.
    Hossack (2007) defends what he calls the rationalist thesis: the thesis that necessity reduces to (or at least always coincides with) a priori knowledge. In this paper I discuss some features of Hossack’s rationalist account of necessity. In the first half, I attempt to fill in a missing link in the rationalist thesis, connecting the notions of primitiveness of facts and a priori modes of presentation. In the second half, I complain that the strategy of dissolving counterexamples is not enough, (...)
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  33. Rationalism and the Content of Intuitive Judgements.Anna-Sara Malmgren - 2011 - Mind 120 (478):263-327.
    It is commonly held that our intuitive judgements about imaginary problem cases are justified a priori, if and when they are justified at all. In this paper I defend this view — ‘rationalism’ — against a recent objection by Timothy Williamson. I argue that his objection fails on multiple grounds, but the reasons why it fails are instructive. Williamson argues from a claim about the semantics of intuitive judgements, to a claim about their psychological underpinnings, to the denial of rationalism. (...)
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  34. Čalmersova odbrana argumenta na osnovu zamislivosti.Duško Prelević - 2011 - Theoria: Beograd 54 (2):25–55.
    Modalni racionalizam je stanovište po kome se iz zamislivosti a priori može izvesti metafizička mogućnost. Jedan od najuticajnijih prigovora protiv ovog stanovišta je da postoje nužni aposteriorni iskazi, jer se čini da je zamislivo da su ovi iskazi lažni, ali da je to metafizički nemoguće. Dejvid Čalmers je, koristeći epistemičku verziju dvodimenzionalne semantike, pokazao da modalni racionalizam može da bude kompatibilan sa postojanjem nužnih aposteriornih iskaza. Takođe je ponudio relevantan smisao zamislivosti, koji se a priori može povezati sa relevantnim smislom (...)
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  35. The Q Factor: Modal Rationalism Versus Modal Autonomism.Joseph Levine - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (3):365-380.
    Type-B materialists (to use David Chalmers's jargon) claim that though zombies are conceivable, they are not metaphysically possible. This article calls this position regarding the relation between metaphysical and epistemic modality “modal autonomism,” as opposed to the “modal rationalism” endorsed by David Chalmers and Frank Jackson, who insist on a deep link between the two forms of modality. This article argues that the defense of modal rationalism presented in Chalmers and Jackson (2001) begs the question against the type-B materialist/modal autonomist. (...)
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  36. Modal Epistemology, Modal Concepts and the Integration Challenge.Sonia Roca-Royes - 2010 - Dialectica 64 (3):335-361.
    The paper argues against Peacocke's moderate rationalism in modality. In the first part, I show, by identifying an argumentative gap in its epistemology, that Peacocke's account has not met the Integration Challenge. I then argue that we should modify the account's metaphysics of modal concepts in order to avoid implausible consequences with regards to their possession conditions. This modification generates no extra explanatory gap. Yet, once the minimal modification that avoids those implausible consequences is made, the resulting account cannot support (...)
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  37. A Review of Timothy Williamson's the Philosophy of Philosophy. [REVIEW]Gillian Russell - 2010 - Philosophical Books 51 (1):39-52.
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  38. Modal Rationalism and the Transference of Meaning.James L. Trafford - 2010 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 10 (2):97-107.
    The lesson is familiar. Kripke’s arguments in favor of a posteriori necessary truths annul the idea that conceivability is a guide to metaphysical possibility because determining that which is a priori is a separate issue from determining that which is necessary. Modal rationalists do not completely agree with this conclusion. Following recent work on two-dimensional semantics, David Chalmers suggests that two distinct semantic values can be assigned to a statement, depending on whether we consider possible worlds as counterfactual or counteractual. (...)
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  39. The Modal Argument for a Priori Justification.Joachim Horvath - 2009 - Ratio 22 (2):191-205.
    Kant famously argued that, from experience, we can only learn how something actually is, but not that it must be so. In this paper, I defend an improved version of Kant's argument for the existence of a priori knowledge, the Modal Argument , against recent objections by Casullo and Kitcher. For the sake of the argument, I concede Casullo's claim that we may know certain counterfactuals in an empirical way and thereby gain epistemic access to some nearby, nomologically possible worlds. (...)
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  40. 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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  41. Rationalism and Modal Knowledge.Stephen K. McLeod - 2009 - Critica 41 (122):29-42.
    The article argues against attempts to combine ontological realism about modality with the rejection of modal rationalism and it suggests that modal realism requires modal rationalism. /// El artículo da argumentos en contra de que se intente combinar el realismo ontológico sobre la modalidad con el rechazo del racionalismo modal y sugiere que el realismo modal exige racionalismo modal.
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  42. John Borneman. Syrian Episodes: Sons, Fathers, and an Anthropologist in Aleppo (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007), Xxix+ 236 Pp. $27.95/£ 17.95 Cloth. Amine Bouchentouf. Commodities for Dummies (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing, 2007), Xx+ 360 Pp.£ 16.99 Paper. Kelly Boyd and Rohan McWilliam. The Victorian Studies Reader (London: Routledge. [REVIEW]Mireia Aragay, Hildegard Klein, Enric Monforte & Pilar Zozaya - 2008 - The European Legacy 13 (3):397-399.
  43. The Philosophy of Philosophy, by Timothy Williamson.Luis S. Robledo - 2008 - Disputatio.
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  44. Modal Rationalism and Modal Monism.Anand Vaidya - 2008 - Erkenntnis 68 (2):191-212.
    Modal rationalism includes the thesis that ideal primary positive conceivability entails primary possibility. Modal monism is the thesis that the space of logically possible worlds is coextensive with the space of metaphysically possible worlds. In this paper I explore the relation between the two theses. My aim is to show that the former thesis implies the latter thesis, and that problems with the latter make the former implausible as a complete picture of the epistemology of modality. My argument explores the (...)
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  45. Actuality: Scott Soames and Keith Hossack: Actuality and Modal Rationalism.Keith Hossack - 2007 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt3):433-456.
  46. The Metaphysics of Knowledge.Keith Hossack - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
    The Metaphysics of Knowledge presents the thesis that knowledge is an absolutely fundamental relation, with an indispensable role to play in metaphysics, philosophical logic, and philosophy of mind and language. Knowledge has been generally assumed to be a propositional attitude like belief. But Keith Hossack argues that knowledge is not a relation to a content; rather, it a relation to a fact. This point of view allows us to explain many of the concepts of philosophical logic in terms of knowledge. (...)
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  47. Bealer on the Autonomy of Philosophical and Scientific Knowledge.Michael J. Shaffer - 2007 - Metaphilosophy 38 (1):44–54.
    In a series of influential articles, George Bealer argues for the autonomy of philosophical knowledge on the basis that philosophically known truths must be necessary truths. The main point of his argument is that the truths investigated by the sciences are contingent truths to be discovered a posteriori by observation, while the truths of philosophy are necessary truths to be discovered a priori by intuition. The project of assimilating philosophy to the sciences is supposed to be rendered illegitimate by the (...)
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  48. Conceivability and Possibility: Chalmers on Modal Epistemology.Hamid Vahid - 2006 - Philosophical Explorations 9 (3):243-260.
    We often decide whether a state of affairs is possible by trying to mentally depict a scenario where the state in question obtains . These mental acts seem to provide us with an epistemic route to the space of possibilities. The problem this raises is whether conceivability judgments provide justification-conferring grounds for the ensuing possibility-claims . Although the question has a long history, contemporary interest in it was, to a large extent, prompted by Kripke's utilization of modal intuitions in the (...)
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  49. The Origins of Modal Error.George Bealer - 2004 - Dialectica 58 (1):11-42.
    Modal intuitions are the primary source of modal knowledge but also of modal error. According to the theory of modal error in this paper, modal intuitions retain their evidential force in spite of their fallibility, and erroneous modal intuitions are in principle identifiable and eliminable by subjecting our intuitions to a priori dialectic. After an inventory of standard sources of modal error, two further sources are examined in detail. The first source - namely, the failure to distinguish between metaphysical possibility (...)
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  50. Imagining Possibilities.Dominic Gregory - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (2):327-348.
    This paper argues that the imaginability of propositions of a certain kind under certain special circumstances implies their possibility. It then attempts to use that conclusion in doing some modal epistemology. In particular, the paper argues that the conclusion justifies some ascriptions of possibility and that it promises to justify some ascriptions of impossibility.
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