Edited by Anand Vaidya (San Jose State University)
|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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David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Darrell P. Rowbottom
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