Conceivability and epistemic possibility

Erkenntnis 67 (3):387-399 (2007)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The notion of conceivability has traditionally been regarded as crucial to an account of modal knowledge. Despite its importance to modal epistemology, there is no received explication of conceivability. In recent discussions, some have attempted to explicate the notion in terms of epistemic possibility. There are, however, two notions of epistemic possibility, a more familiar one and a novel one. I argue that these two notions are independent of one another. Both are irrelevant to an account of modal knowledge on the predominant view of modal reality. Only the novel notion is relevant and apt on the competing view of modal reality; but this latter view is problematic in light of compelling counterexamples. Insufficient care regarding the independent notions of epistemic possibility can lead to two problems: a gross problem of conflation and a more subtle problem of obscuring a crucial fact of modal epistemology. Either problem needlessly hampers efforts to develop an adequate account of modal knowledge. I conclude that the familiar notion of epistemic possibility should be eschewed in the context of modal epistemology

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,322

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Modal epistemology.Peter Van Inwagen - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 92 (1):67--84.
Modal Epistemology and the Rationalist Renaissance.George Bealer - 2002 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 71-125.
Does conceivability entail possibility.David J. Chalmers - 2002 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 145--200.
Conceivability and defeasible modal justification.Heimir Geirsson - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 122 (3):279-304.
Conceivability and possibility: Chalmers on modal epistemology.Hamid Vahid - 2006 - Philosophical Explorations 9 (3):243-260.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
327 (#59,200)

6 months
11 (#220,905)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

M. Oreste Fiocco
University of California, Irvine

Citations of this work

Add more citations

References found in this work

Naming and Necessity: Lectures Given to the Princeton University Philosophy Colloquium.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Edited by Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel.
Does conceivability entail possibility.David J. Chalmers - 2002 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 145--200.
From a Logical Point of View.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1953 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

View all 40 references / Add more references