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Imagination and possibility

Philosophical Forum 38 (2):125–146 (2007)

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  1. Consciousness and Modal Empiricism.Rebecca Roman Hanrahan - 2009 - Philosophia 37 (2):281-306.
    David Chalmers supports his contention that there is a possible world populated by our zombie twins by arguing for the assumption that conceivability entails possibility. But, I argue, the modal epistemology he sets forth, ‘modal rationalism,’ ignores the problem of incompleteness and relies on an idealized notion of conceivability. As a consequence, this epistemology can’t justify our quotidian judgments of possibility, let alone those judgments that concern the mind/body connection. Working from the analogy that the imagination is to the possible (...)
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  • Hale on the Architecture of Modal Knowledge.Bob Fischer - 2016 - Analytic Philosophy 57 (1):76-89.
    There are many modal epistemologies available to us. Which should we endorse? According to Bob Hale, we can start to answer this question by examining the architecture of modal knowledge. That is, we can try to decide between the following claims: knowing that p is possible is essentially a matter of having a well-founded belief that there are no conflicting necessities—a necessity-based approach—and knowing that p is necessary is essentially a matter of having a well-founded belief that there are no (...)
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  • Modal Arguments, Possible Evidence and Contingent Metaphysics.Michael Traynor - 2017 - Dissertation, St Andrews
    The present work explores various ways in which contingent evidence can impact metaphysics, while advocating that, just as a scientific realist allows for ampliative inferences to the unobservable, ampliative inferences from possible evidence can warrant possibility claims that lie beyond the reach of sensorial imagination. In slogan form: possible evidence is a guide to possibility. Drawing on Shoemaker’s (1969) argument for the possibility of time without change, I advocate the following principle: If there is a possible world at which the (...)
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  • Beyond the Limits of Imagination: Abductive Inferences From Imagined Phenomena.Michael Traynor - 2021 - Synthese 199:14293–14315.
    The present paper proposes a route to modal claims that allows us to infer to certain possibilities even if they are sensorily unimaginable and beyond the evidential capacity of stipulative imagining. After a brief introduction, Sect. 2 discusses imaginative resistance to help carve a niche for the kinds of inferences about which this essay is chiefly concerned. Section 3 provides three classic examples, along with a discussion of their similarities and differences. Section 4 recasts the notion of potential explanation in (...)
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  • Conceivability and the Epistemology of Modality.Asger Bo Skjerning Steffensen - 2015 - Dissertation, Aarhus University
    The dissertation is in the format of a collection of several academic texts, composed of a two-part presentation and three papers on the topic of conceivability and the epistemology of modality. The presentation is composed of, first, a general introduction to conceivability theses and objections and, second, a discussion of two cases. Following the presentation, Asger provides three papers. The first paper, Pretense and Conceivability: A reply to Roca-Royes, presents a problem and a dilemma for Roca-Royes’ Non-Standard Dilemma for conceivability-based (...)
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  • Theory Selection in Modal Epistemology.Robert William Fischer - 2015 - American Philosophical Quarterly 52 (4):381-395.
    Accounts of modal knowledge are many and varied. How should we choose between them? I propose that we employ inference to the best explanation, and I suggest that there are three desiderata that we should use to rank hypotheses: conservatism, simplicity, and the ability to handle disagreement. After examining these desiderata, I contend that they can’t be used to justify belief in the modal epistemology that fares best, but that they can justify our accepting it in an epistemically significant sense. (...)
     
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  • The Actual and the Possible.Rebecca Hanrahan - 2017 - Journal of Philosophical Research 42:223-242.
    We can safely infer that a proposition is possible if p is the case. But, I argue, this inference from the actual to the possible is merely explicative in nature, though we employ it at times as if it were ampliative. To make this inference ampliative, we need to include an inference to the best explanation. Specifically, we can draw a substantive conclusion as to whether p is possible from the fact that p is the case, if via our best (...)
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