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Modal Knowledge, Evolution, and Counterfactuals

In Robert William Fischer & Felipe Leon (eds.), Modal Epistemology After Rationalism. Dordrecht (2017)

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  1. Counterfactuals Versus Conceivability as a Guide to Modal Knowledge.Daniel Dohrn - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3637-3659.
    I compare two prominent approaches to knowledge of metaphysical modality, the more traditional approach via conceiving viz. imagining a scenario and a more recent approach via counterfactual reasoning. In particular, Timothy Williamson has claimed that the proper context for a modal exercise of imagination is a counterfactual supposition. I critically assess this claim, arguing that a purely conceivability/imaginability-based approach has a key advantage compared to a counterfactual-based one. It can take on board Williamson’s insights about the structure of modal imagination (...)
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  • 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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  • The Function of Modal Judgment and the Kantian Gap.Jessica Leech - forthcoming - Synthese:1-20.
    What is the function of modal judgment? Why do we make judgments of possibility and necessity? Or are such judgments, in fact, dispensable? This paper introduces and develops an answer to these questions based on Kant’s remarks in section 76 of the Critique of Judgment. Here, Kant appears to argue the following: that a capacity to make modal judgments using modal concepts is required for a capacity for objective representation, in light of our split cognitive architecture. This split cognitive architecture (...)
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