Philosophy Compass 3 (4):664-684 (2008)

Authors
Simon Evnine
University of Miami
Abstract
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 these authors respond to the problem, including the use of two-dimensional modal semantics. Conventionalism about modality offers a complementary approach to modal epistemology, prompting us to identify our knowledge of modal truths with our mastery of linguistic or conceptual conventions. Finally, I discuss an approach to modal epistemology deriving from David Lewis's work that seeks to identify structural features of the modal space over which necessity and possibility are defined.
Keywords Necessity  Possiblity  Yablo  Chalmers  Lewis  Conventionalism
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DOI 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2008.00147.x
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References found in this work BETA

Does Conceivability Entail Possibility.David Chalmers - 2002 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 145--200.
Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 431-433.
Essays in Quasi-Realism.Simon Blackburn - 1993 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Essential Properties and Individual Essences.Sonia Roca-Royes - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (1):65-77.
The Logic(s) of Modal Knowledge.Daniel Cohnitz - 2012 - In Greg Restall & Gillian Russell (eds.), New Waves in Philosophical Logic. MacMillan.
Theory Selection in Modal Epistemology.Robert William Fischer - 2015 - American Philosophical Quarterly 52 (4):381-395.
Ideal Reasoners Don’T Believe in Zombies.Danilo Fraga Dantas - 2017 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 21 (1):41-59.

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