A Counterfactual Theory of Epistemic Possibility

Res Philosophica 97 (4):525-544 (2020)
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Abstract

Standard theories of epistemic possibility analyze this relation in terms of knowledge, entailment, or probability. These theories are mistaken. Here, I present counterexamples to the standard theories and defend a new theory: that a proposition is epistemically possible on a body of evidence just in case that evidence supports that if the proposition were true, then the evidence might exist. In addition to avoiding the problems of the standard views, this new theory captures good reasoning about epistemic possibilities and matches intuitive judgments in a wide range of cases, giving us good reason to accept it.

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Brandon Carey
California State University, Sacramento

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References found in this work

Elusive Knowledge.David K. Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Impossible Worlds: A Modest Approach.Daniel Nolan - 1997 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 38 (4):535-572.
Epistemic Possibilities.Keith DeRose - 1991 - Philosophical Review 100 (4):581-605.
CIA Leaks.Kai von Fintel & Anthony S. Gillies - 2008 - Philosophical Review 117 (1):77-98.

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