The (a)(b)(c) of modal epistemology: A further attempt to meet the epistemic challenge


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Sonia Roca-Royes
University of Stirling
Abstract
This paper is about the epistemic challenge for mind-independence approaches of modality. The challenge is to elucidate the possibility conditions for modal knowledge, and arises from acceptance of the following three premises: (a) We have modal knowledge (which, for a mind-independence theorist is knowledge of the extra-mental world); (b) Any knowledge of the extra-mental world is grounded on causal affection; and (c) Any knowledge grounded on causal affection cannot outrun knowledge of mere truths (as opposed to modal truths). Most attempts to solve the challenge (Peacocke’s, Yablo’s and Chalmers’ among them), try to do so by denying premise (b). Here, reasons are given to doubt about the adequacy of such a strategy, and it is suggested that a better way of solving the challenge is by qualifying the acceptance of (b) as well as by denying (c).
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