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Modal Justification via Theories

Cham: Springer (2017)

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  1. Possibility, relevant similarity, and structural knowledge.Tom Schoonen - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-22.
    Recently, interest has surged in similarity-based epistemologies of possibility. However, it has been pointed out that the notion of ‘relevant similarity’ is not properly developed in this literature. In this paper, I look at the research done in the field of analogical reasoning, where we find that one of the most promising ways of capturing relevance in similarity reasoning is by relying on the predictive analogy similarity relation. This takes relevant similarity to be based on shared properties that have structural (...)
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  • Modal Inferences in Science: A Tale of Two Epistemologies.Ilmari Hirvonen, Rami Koskinen & Ilkka Pättiniemi - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13823-13843.
    Recent epistemology of modality has seen a growing trend towards metaphysics-first approaches. Contrastingly, this paper offers a more philosophically modest account of justifying modal claims, focusing on the practices of scientific modal inferences. Two ways of making such inferences are identified and analyzed: actualist-manipulationist modality and relative modality. In AM, what is observed to be or not to be the case in actuality or under manipulations, allows us to make modal inferences. AM-based inferences are fallible, but the same holds for (...)
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  • Epistemology of Modality: Between the Rock and the Hard Place.Ilkka Pättiniemi, Rami Koskinen & Ilmari Hirvonen - 2021 - Acta Philosophica Fennica.
    We review some of the major accounts in the current epistemology of modality and identify some shared issues that plague all of them. In order to provide insight into the nature of modal statements in science, philosophy, and beyond, a satisfactory epistemology of modality would need to be suitably applicable to practical and theoretical contexts by limited beings. However, many epistemologies of modality seem to work only when we have access to the kind of knowledge that is at least currently (...)
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  • Non-Uniformism and the Epistemology of Philosophically Interesting Modal Claims.Ylwa Sjölin Wirling - 2021 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 98:629-656.
    Philosophers often make exotic-sounding modal claims, such as: “A timeless world is impossible”, “The laws of physics could have been different from what they are”, “There could have been an additional phenomenal colour”. Otherwise popular empiricist modal epistemologies in the contemporary literature cannot account for whatever epistemic justification we might have for making such modal claims. Those who do not, as a result of this, endorse scepticism with respect to their epistemic status typically suggest that they can be justified but (...)
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  • An Agency-Based Epistemology of Modality.Barbara Vetter - forthcoming - In Duško Prelević & Anand Vaidya (eds.), The Epistemology of Modality and Philosophical Methodology. New York: Routledge.
    My aim in this paper is to sketch, with a broad brush and in bare outlines, an approach to modal epistemology that is characterized by three distinctive features. First, the approach is agency-based: it locates the roots of our modal thought and knowledge in our experience of our own agency. Second, the approach is ambitious in that it takes the experience of certain modal properties in agency to be the sole distinctive feature of specifically modal thought and knowledge; everything that (...)
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  • Abduction Versus Conceiving in Modal Epistemology.Stephen Biggs & Jessica Wilson - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 8):2045-2076.
    How should modal reasoning proceed? Here we compare abduction-based and conceiving-based modal epistemologies, and argue that an abduction-based approach is preferable, and by a wide margin.
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  • The Epistemology of Modality and the Problem of Modal Epistemic Friction.Anand Jayprakash Vaidya & Michael Wallner - 2021 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 8):1909-1935.
    There are three theories in the epistemology of modality that have received sustained attention over the past 20 years: conceivability-theory, counterfactual-theory, and deduction-theory. In this paper we argue that all three face what we call the problem of modal epistemic friction. One consequence of the problem is that for any of the three accounts to yield modal knowledge, the account must provide an epistemology of essence. We discuss an attempt to fend off the problem within the context of the internalism (...)
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  • Is Credibility a Guide to Possibility? A Challenge for Toy Models in Science.Ylwa Sjölin Wirling - 2021 - Analysis 81 (3):470-478.
    Several philosophers of science claim that scientific toy models afford knowledge of possibility, but answers to the question of why toy models can be expected to competently play this role are scarce. The main line of reply is that toy models support possibility claims insofar as they are credible. I raise a challenge for this credibility-thesis, drawing on a familiar problem for imagination-based modal epistemologies, and argue that it remains unanswered in the current literature. The credibility-thesis has a long way (...)
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