Conceivability and modal knowledge

Metaphilosophy 37 (2):210–221 (2006)
Abstract
This article is a discussion of Hume's maxim Nothing we imagine is absolutely impossible. First I explain this maxim and distinguish it from the principle Whatever cannot be imagined (conceived), is impossible. Next I argue that Thomas Reid's criticism of the maxim fails and that the arguments by Tamar Szábo Gendler and John Hawthorne for the claim that "it is uncontroversial that there are cases where we are misled" by the maxim are unconvincing. Finally I state the limited but real value of the maxim: it does help us, in certain cases, reliably to make up our minds. Along the way I show that Reid, his criticism of the maxim notwithstanding, actually employs it, and I furthermore argue that the principle What is inconceivable, is impossible is spurious.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,848
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Kant's Compass.Jordan Howard Sobel - 1997 - Erkenntnis 46 (3):365-392.
Weakness Incorporated.Robert N. Johnson - 1998 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 15 (3):349 - 367.
What’s So Special About Sentences?Philip Hugly & Charles Sayward - 1995 - Communication and Cognition: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly Journal 28 (4):409-25.
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
40 ( #141,037 of 2,210,534 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #389,893 of 2,210,534 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature