Moderate Modal Skepticism

In Matthew A. Benton, John Hawthorne & Dani Rabinowitz (eds.), Knowledge, Belief, and God: New Insights in Religious Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 302-321 (2018)

Authors
Juhani Yli-Vakkuri
Australian Catholic University
Margot Strohminger
Oxford University
Abstract
This paper examines "moderate modal skepticism", a form of skepticism about metaphysical modality defended by Peter van Inwagen in order to blunt the force of certain modal arguments in the philosophy of religion. Van Inwagen’s argument for moderate modal skepticism assumes Yablo's (1993) influential world-based epistemology of possibility. We raise two problems for this epistemology of possibility, which undermine van Inwagen's argument. We then consider how one might motivate moderate modal skepticism by relying on a different epistemology of possibility, which does not face these problems: Williamson’s (2007: ch. 5) counterfactual-based epistemology. Two ways of motivating moderate modal skepticism within that framework are found unpromising. Nevertheless, we also find a way of vindicating an epistemological thesis that, while weaker than moderate modal skepticism, is strong enough to support the methodological moral van Inwagen wishes to draw.
Keywords Epistemology of modality  Skepticism  Modal epistemology  Skeptical theism  Conceivability  Counterfactuals  Possible worlds  van Inwagen  Modal skepticism  Religious epistemology
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Modal Logic as Metaphysics.Timothy Williamson - 2013 - Oxford University Press.

View all 71 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Van Inwagen’s Modal Skepticism.Peter Hawke - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 153 (3):351-364.
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.
Hale on the Architecture of Modal Knowledge.Bob Fischer - 2016 - Analytic Philosophy 57 (1):76-89.
Modal Skepticism and Counterfactual Knowledge.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (3):605-623.
Conceivability, Possibility and the Resurrection of Material Beings.Thomas Atkinson - 2016 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 80 (2):115-132.
Modal Epistemology.Peter Van Inwagen - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 92 (1):67--84.
Williamsonian Modal Epistemology, Possibility-Based.Barbara Vetter - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):766-795.
From Modal Skepticism to Modal Empiricism.Felipe Leon - 2017 - In Robert William Fischer Felipe Leon (ed.), Modal Epistemology After Rationalism. Springer Verlag.
Abduction and Modality.Stephen Biggs - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (2):283-326.
1% Skepticism.Eric Schwitzgebel - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):271-290.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2016-09-19

Total views
554 ( #8,753 of 2,309,545 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
99 ( #5,693 of 2,309,545 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature