Agentive Modality and the Structure of Modal Knowledge

Dissertation, (2021)

This thesis develops a theory about the structure of modal judgment and knowledge. Arguing in favour of pluralism about the source of modal knowledge, it focuses on the questions of the varieties of modal judgment and their relations, the function of modal judgment and the scope of modal knowledge. It offers a hypothesis about the development of the framework of modal knowledge, grounding it on the capacity to evaluate temporal judgments, from which the capacity to evaluate alternatives comes from, and it suggests that the most basic framework of modal judgments consists in that of agentive modality, and in particular, about what one can do, and how. Then, it is argued that the rest of the framework of modal judgment can be developed on this basis, although this imposes certain restrictions about the scope of modal knowledge. Additionally, the thesis provides analyses of various agentive modal notions, such as imaginability, what is a way to do something, and discusses how to understand counterfactuals with impossible antecedents.
Keywords modal epistemology  modality
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