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George Bealer (2002). Modal Epistemology and the Rationalist Renaissance.

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  1.  36
    A Theory-Based Epistemology of Modality.Bob Fischer - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (2):228-247.
    We have some justified beliefs about modal matters. A modal epistemology should explain what’s involved in our having that justification. Given that we’re realists about modality, how should we expect that explanation to go? In the first part of this essay, I suggest an answer to this question based on an analogy with games. Then, I outline a modal epistemology that fits with that answer. According to a theory-based epistemology of modality, you justifiably believe that p if you justifiably believe (...)
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  2.  64
    Fundamentality and the Mind-Body Problem.Philip Goff - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (4):881-898.
    In the recent metaphysics literature, a number of philosophers have independently endeavoured to marry sparse ontology to abundant truth. The aim is to keep ontological commitments minimal, whilst allowing true sentences to quantify over a vastly greater range of entities than those which they are ontologically committed to. For example, an ontological commitment only to concrete, microscopic simples might be conjoined with a commitment to truths such as ‘There are twenty people working in this building’ and ‘There are prime numbers (...)
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    Counteractuals, Counterfactuals and Semantic Intuitions.Jesper Kallestrup - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (1):35-54.
    Machery et al. claim that analytic philosophers of language are committed to a method of cases according to which theories of reference are assessed by consulting semantic intuitions about actual and possible cases. Since empirical evidence suggests that such intuitions vary both within and across cultures, these experimental semanticists conclude that the traditional attempt at pursuing such theories is misguided. Against the backdrop of Kripke’s anti-descriptivist arguments, this paper offers a novel response to the challenge posed by Machery et al., (...)
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  4. Modal Humeanism and Arguments From Possibility.Margot Strohminger - 2013 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 113 (3pt3):391-401.
    Sider (2011, 2013) proposes a reductive analysis of metaphysical modality—‘(modal) Humeanism’—and goes on to argue that it has interesting epistemological and methodological implications. In particular, Humeanism is supposed to undermine a class of ‘arguments from possibility’, which includes Sider's (1993) own argument against mereological nihilism and Chalmers's (1996) argument against physicalism. I argue that Sider's arguments do not go through, and moreover that we should instead expect Humeanism to be compatible with the practice of arguing from possibility in philosophy.
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  5.  77
    On Categories and A Posteriori Necessity: A Phenomenological Echo.M. J. Garcia-Encinas - 2012 - Metaphilosophy 43 (1-2):147-164.
    This article argues for two related theses. First, it defends a general thesis: any kind of necessity, including metaphysical necessity, can only be known a priori. Second, however, it also argues that the sort of a priori involved in modal metaphysical knowledge is not related to imagination or any sort of so-called epistemic possibility. Imagination is neither a proof of possibility nor a limit to necessity. Rather, modal metaphysical knowledge is built on intuition of philosophical categories and the structures they (...)
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  6. 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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  7. Abduction and Modality.Stephen Biggs - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (2):283-326.
    This paper introduces a modal epistemology that centers on inference to the best explanation (i.e. abduction). In introducing this abduction-centered modal epistemology, the paper has two main goals. First, it seeks to provide reasons for pursuing an abduction-centered modal epistemology by showing that this epistemology aids a popular stance on the mind-body problem and allows an appealing approach to modality. Second, the paper seeks to show that an abduction-centered modal epistemology can work by showing that abduction can establish claims about (...)
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  8. Propositions and Attitude Ascriptions: A Fregean Account.David J. Chalmers - 2011 - Noûs 45 (4):595-639.
    When I say ‘Hesperus is Phosphorus’, I seem to express a proposition. And when I say ‘Joan believes that Hesperus is Phosphorus’, I seem to ascribe to Joan an attitude to the same proposition. But what are propositions? And what is involved in ascribing propositional attitudes?
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  9. What Intuitions Are Like.Elijah Chudnoff - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (3):625-654.
    What are intuitions? According to doxastic views, they are doxastic attitudes or dispositions, such as judgments or inclinations to make judgments. According to perceptualist views, they are—like perceptual experiences—pre-doxastic experiences that—unlike perceptual experiences—represent abstract matters as being a certain way. In this paper I argue against doxasticism and in favor of perceptualism. I describe two features that militate against doxasticist views of perception itself: perception is belief-independent and perception is presentational. Then I argue that intuitions also have both features. The (...)
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  10. Are There a Posteriori Conceptual Necessities?Daniel Dohrn - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 155 (2):181-197.
    I critically assess Stephen Yablo’s claim that cassinis are ovals is an a posteriori conceptual necessity. One does not know it simply by mastering the relevant concepts but by substantial empirical scrutiny. Yablo represents narrow content by would have turned out -conditionals. An epistemic reading of such conditionals does not bear Yablo’s claim. Two metaphysically laden readings are considered. In one reading, Yablo’s conditionals test under what circumstances concepts remain the same while their extensions diverge. As an alternative, I develop (...)
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  11. Van Inwagen's Modal Skepticism.Peter Hawke - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 153 (3):351-364.
    In this paper, the author defends Peter van Inwagen’s modal skepticism. Van Inwagen accepts that we have much basic, everyday modal knowledge, but denies that we have the capacity to justify philosophically interesting modal claims that are far removed from this basic knowledge. The author also defends the argument by means of which van Inwagen supports his modal skepticism, offering a rebuttal to an objection along the lines of that proposed by Geirrson. Van Inwagen argues that Stephen Yablo’s recent and (...)
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  12.  79
    On the Possibility of Skeptical Scenarios.Peter Kung - 2011 - European Journal of Philosophy 19 (3):387-407.
    : It is generally accepted that skeptical scenarios must be possible to raise legitimate skeptical doubt. I argue that if the possibility in question is supposed to be genuine metaphysical possibility, the skeptic's reasoning does not straightforwardly succeed. I first motivate the metaphysical possibility requirement on skeptical scenarios : it's a plausible position that several authors accept and that a family of prominent views—sensitivity, safety, relevant alternatives—are committed to. I argue that plausible constraints in modal epistemology show that justification for (...)
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  13. Conceptual Mastery and the Knowledge Argument.Gabriel Rabin - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (1):125-147.
    According to Frank Jackson’s famous knowledge argument, Mary, a brilliant neuroscientist raised in a black and white room and bestowed with complete physical knowledge, cannot know certain truths about phenomenal experience. This claim about knowledge, in turn, implies that physicalism is false. I argue that the knowledge argument founders on a dilemma. Either (i) Mary cannot know the relevant experiential truths because of trivial obstacles that have no bearing on the truth of physicalism or (ii) once the obstacles have been (...)
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  14. Conceivability and De Re Modal Knowledge.Sonia Roca-Royes - 2011 - Noûs 45 (1):22-49.
    The paper presents a dilemma for both epistemic and non-epistemic versions of conceivability-based accounts of modal knowledge. On the one horn, non-epistemic accounts do not elucidate the essentialist knowledge they would be committed to. On the other, epistemic accounts do not elucidate everyday life de re modal knowledge. In neither case, therefore, do conceivability accounts elucidate de re modal knowledge.
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  15. Ghosts and Sparse Properties: Why Physicalists Have More to Fear From Ghosts Than Zombies.Philip Goff - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (1):119-139.
    Zombies are bodies without minds: creatures that are physically identical to actual human beings, but which have no conscious experience. Much of the consciousness literature focuses on considering how threatening philosophical reflection on such creatures is to physicalism. There is not much attention given to the converse possibility, the possibility of minds without bodies, that is, creatures who are conscious but whose nature is exhausted by their being conscious. We can call such a ‘purely conscious’ creature a ghost.
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  16. Against A Posteriori Functionalism.Marc Moffett - 2010 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (1):83-106.
    There are two constraints on any functionalist solution to the Mind-Body Problem construed as an answer to the question, “What is the relationship between the mental properties and relations (hereafter, simply the mental properties) and physical properties and relations?” The first constraint is that it must actually address the Mind-Body Problem and not simply redefine the debate in terms of other, more tractable, properties (e.g., the species-specific property of having human-pain). Such moves can be seen to be spurious by the (...)
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  17.  79
    The Epistemic Value of Intuitive Moral Judgements.Albert W. Musschenga - 2010 - Philosophical Explorations 13 (2):113-128.
    In this article, I discuss whether intuitive moral judgements have epistemic value. Are they mere expressions of irrational feelings that should be disregarded or should they be taken seriously? In section 2, I discuss the view of some social psychologists that moral intuitions are, like other social intuitions, under certain conditions more reliable than conscious deliberative judgements. In sections 3 and 4, I examine whether intuitive moral judgements can be said not to need inferential justification. I outline a concept of (...)
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  18.  80
    Saving the Doxastic Account of Intuitions.Christian Nimtz - 2010 - Philosophical Psychology 23 (3):357-375.
    Many philosophers and psychologists hold that intuitions are, or reduce to, beliefs. The argument from intuition without beliefs threatens to undercut any such doxastic account: since there are clear cases of intuition without belief, intuitions cannot be beliefs. Advocates of the intellectual seeming account conclude that intuitions belong to the basic mental kind of intellectual seeming. I argue that rightly understood, apparent cases of intuition without belief are cases of someone having the inclination to believe that p whilst believing that (...)
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  19. 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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  20. Concrete Possible Worlds and Counterfactual Conditionals: Lewis Versus Williamson on Modal Knowledge.Andrea Sauchelli - 2010 - Synthese 176 (3):345-359.
    The epistemology of modality is gradually coming to play a central role in general discussions about modality. This paper is a contribution in this direction, in particular I draw a comparison between Lewis’s Modal realism and Timothy Williamson’s recent account of modality in terms of counterfactual thinking. In order to have criteria of evaluation, I also formulate four requirements which are supposed to be met by any theory of modality to be epistemologically adequate.
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  21.  88
    Philosophical Methodology: The Current Debate.Anand J. Vaidya - 2010 - Philosophical Psychology 23 (3):391-417.
  22. Understanding and Essence.Anand Jayprakash Vaidya - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (4):811-833.
    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) (...)
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  23. What is Hume's Dictum, and Why Believe It?Jessica M. Wilson - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (3):595 - 637.
    Hume's Dictum (HD) says, roughly and typically, that there are no metaphysically necessary connections between distinct, intrinsically typed, entities. HD plays an influential role in metaphysical debate, both in constructing theories and in assessing them. One should ask of such an influential thesis: why believe it? Proponents do not accept Hume's arguments for his dictum, nor do they provide their own; however, some have suggested either that HD is analytic or that it is synthetic a priori (that is: motivated by (...)
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  24.  4
    What is Hume’s Dictum, and Why Believe It?Jessica M. Wilson - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (3):595-637.
  25. On Intuitional Stability: The Clear, the Strong, and the Paradigmatic.Jennifer Wright - 2010 - Cognition 115 (3):491-503.
    Skepticism about the epistemic value of intuition in theoretical and philosophical inquiry has recently been bolstered by empirical research suggesting that people’s concrete-case intuitions are vulnerable to irrational biases (e.g., the order effect). What is more, skeptics argue that we have no way to ‘‘calibrate” our intuitions against these biases and no way of anticipating intuitional instability. This paper challenges the skeptical position, introducing data from two studies that suggest not only that people’s concrete-case intuitions are often stable, but also (...)
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  26. Thought-Experiment Intuitions and Truth in Fiction.Jonathan Ichikawa & Benjamin Jarvis - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 142 (2):221 - 246.
    What sorts of things are the intuitions generated via thought experiment? Timothy Williamson has responded to naturalistic skeptics by arguing that thought-experiment intuitions are judgments of ordinary counterfactuals. On this view, the intuition is naturalistically innocuous, but it has a contingent content and could be known at best a posteriori. We suggest an alternative to Williamson's account, according to which we apprehend thought-experiment intuitions through our grasp on truth in fiction. On our view, intuitions like the Gettier intuition are necessarily (...)
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  27. The Poverty of Analysis.David Papineau - 2009 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 83 (1):1-30.
    I argue that philosophy is like science in three interesting and non-obvious ways. First, the claims made by philosophy are synthetic, not analytic: philosophical claims, just like scientific claims, are not guaranteed by the structure of the concepts they involve. Second, philosophical knowledge is a posteriori, not a priori: the claims established by philosophers depend on the same kind of empirical support as scientific theories. And finally, the central questions of philosophy concern actuality rather than necessity: philosophy is primarily aimed (...)
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  28. Naturalism, Fallibilism, and the a Priori.Lisa Warenski - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 142 (3):403-426.
    This paper argues that a priori justification is, in principle, compatible with naturalism—if the a priori is understood in a way that is free of the inessential properties that, historically, have been associated with the concept. I argue that empirical indefeasibility is essential to the primary notion of the a priori ; however, the indefeasibility requirement should be interpreted in such a way that we can be fallibilist about apriori-justified claims. This fallibilist notion of the a priori accords with the (...)
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  29. Modal Epistemology: Our Knowledge of Necessity and Possibility.Simon Evnine - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (4):664-684.
    I survey a number of views about how we can obtain knowledge of modal propositions, propositions about necessity and possibility. One major approach is that whether a proposition or state of affairs is conceivable tells us something about whether it is possible. I examine two quite different positions that fall under this rubric, those of Yablo and Chalmers. One problem for this approach is the existence of necessary a posteriori truths and I deal with some of the ways in which (...)
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  30. Three Strands in Kripke's Argument Against the Identity Theory.Jesper Kallestrup - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (6):1255-1280.
    Kripke's argument against the identity theory in the philosophy of mind runs as follows. Suppose some psychophysical identity statement S is true. Then S would seem to be contingent at least in the sense that S seems possibly false. And given that seeming contingency entails genuine contingency when it comes to such statements S is contingent. But S is necessary if true. So S is false. This entry considers responses to each of the three premises. It turns out that each (...)
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  31. Intuition and Philosophical Methodology.John Symons - 2008 - Axiomathes 18 (1):67-89.
    Intuition serves a variety of roles in contemporary philosophy. This paper provides a historical discussion of the revival of intuition in the 1970s, untangling some of the ways that intuition has been used and offering some suggestions concerning its proper place in philosophical investigation. Contrary to some interpretations of the results of experimental philosophy, it is argued that generalized skepticism with respect to intuition is unwarranted. Intuition can continue to play an important role as part of a methodologically conservative stance (...)
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  32. Possibility and Imagination.Alex Byrne - 2007 - Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):125–144.
  33. Meaning-Constitutivity.Matti Eklund - 2007 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 50 (6):559-574.
    I discuss some problems faced by the meaning‐inconsistency view on the liar and sorites paradoxes which I have elsewhere defended. Most of the discussion is devoted to the question of what a defender of the meaning‐inconsistency view should say about semantic competence.
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  34. Epistemic Possibility.Michael Huemer - 2007 - Synthese 156 (1):119-142.
    Seven proposed accounts of epistemic possibility are criticized, and a new account is proposed, making use of the notion of having justification for dismissing a proposition. The new account explains intuitions about otherwise puzzling cases, upholds plausible general principles about epistemic possibility, and explains the practical import of epistemic modality judgements. It is suggested that judgements about epistemic possibility function to assess which propositions are worthy of further inquiry.
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  35. The Epistemology of Thought Experiments : First Person Versus Third Person Approaches.Kirk Ludwig - 2007 - In Peter A. French & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.), Midwest Studies in Philosophy. Blackwell. pp. 128-159.
    There has been a movement recently to bring to bear on the conduct of philosophical thought experiments 1 the empirical techniques of the social sciences, that is, to treat their conduct as in the nature of an anthropological investigation into the application conditions of the concepts of a group of subjects. This is to take a third person, in contrast to the traditional first person, approach to conceptual analysis. This has taken the form of conducting surveys about scenarios used in (...)
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  36.  74
    Reliability Connections Between Conceivability and Inconceivability.Peter Murphy - 2006 - Dialectica 60 (2):195-205.
    Conceivability is an important source of our beliefs about what is possible; inconceivability is an important source of our beliefs about what is impossible. What are the connections between the reliability of these sources? If one is reliable, does it follow that the other is also reliable? The central contention of this paper is that suitably qualified the reliability of inconceivability implies the reliability of conceivability, but the reliability of conceivability fails to imply the reliability of inconceivability.
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  37. 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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    Epistemology and Possibility.Rebecca Hanrahan - 2005 - Dialogue 44 (4):627-652.
    ABSTRACT: Recently the discussion surrounding the conceivability thesis has been less about the link between conceivability and possibility per se and more about the requirements of a successful physicalist program. But before entering this debate it is necessary to consider whether conceivability provides us with even prima facie justification for our modal beliefs. I argue that two methods of conceiving—imagining that p and telling a story about p—can provide us with such justification, but only if certain requirements are met. To (...)
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  39. 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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