New Directions in the Epistemology of Modality, Special Issue of Synthese

Springer (forthcoming)

Authors
Antonella Mallozzi
Providence College
Abstract
The fourteen papers in this collection offer a variety of original contributions to the epistemology of modality. In seeking to explain our knowledge of possibility and necessity, they raise some novel questions, develop some unfamiliar theoretical perspectives, and make some intriguing proposals. In the Introduction (penultimate draft available for download), I give some general background about the contemporary literature in the area, by sketching a timeline of the main tendencies of the past twenty-five years or so, up to the present debates. Next, I focus on four features that largely characterize the latest literature, and the papers in the present collection in particular: (i) an endorsement of the importance of essentialism; (ii) a shift to a “metaphysics-first” approach to modal epistemology; (iii) a focus on metaphysical modality as opposed to other kinds of modality; and (iv) a preference for non-uniform modal epistemology. Then I turn to present the individual papers in the volume, which are organized based on their topic around the following four chapters: (A) Skepticism & Deflationism; (B) Essentialism; (C) Non-Essentialist Accounts; (D) Applications. LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS: Francesco Berto; Stephen Biggs & Jessica Wilson; Justin Clark-Doane; Philip Goff; Bob Hale; Frank Jackson; Mark Jago; Boris Kment; Antonella Mallozzi; Graham Priest; Gabriel Rabin; Amie Thomasson; Anand Vaidya & Michael Wallner; Jennifer Wang. The volume is dedicated to the memory of Bob Hale.
Keywords modal epistemology  conceivability and possibility  essentialism  metaphysics-first  counterfactual reasoning  modal rationalism  modal skepticism  a priori knowledge  metaphysical necessity
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