Epistemology and possibility

Dialogue 44 (4):627-652 (2005)

Abstract
ABSTRACT: Recently the discussion surrounding the conceivability thesis has been less about the link between conceivability and possibility per se and more about the requirements of a successful physicalist program. But before entering this debate it is necessary to consider whether conceivability provides us with even prima facie justification for our modal beliefs. I argue that two methods of conceiving—imagining that p and telling a story about p—can provide us with such justification, but only if certain requirements are met. To make these arguments, I consider those of Paul Tidman, whose position I use as a foil.RÉSUMÉ: Dernièrement, le débat sur la thèse de la concevabilité a peu porté sur le lien entre la concevabilité et la possibilité per se et s’est plutôt intéressé aux conditions requises pour la réalisation du programme physicaliste. Toutefois, avant d’entrer dans ce débat, il est nécessaire de se demander si la concevabilité offre une justification même élémentaire des croyances modales. Je soutiens que deux méthodesde concevoir — imaginer que p et raconter une histoire à propos de p — sont susceptibles de nous fournir cette justification, mais seulement dans la limite de certaines conditions. À l’appui de mon propos, j’envisage la position de Paul Tidman, qui me sert de repoussoir.
Keywords Belief  Conceivability  Epistemology  Image  Possibility
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DOI 10.1017/s0012217300000020
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Does Conceivability Entail Possibility?David Chalmers - 2002 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 145--200.
Reason, Truth and History.Hilary Putnam - 1981 - Cambridge University Press.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (1):42-47.

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