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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)

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  1. On Williamson’s Armchair Philosophical Knowledge.Cong Wang & Wen-Fang Wang - forthcoming - Sophia:1-20.
    Williamson argues that philosophers acquire no philosophical knowledge at all by semantic understanding alone. He further argues that the most important method used for achieving philosophical knowledge is through the ‘imaginative simulation’ process some of whose products are neither a priori nor a posteriori but ‘armchair’ knowledge. We argue in this paper that the way Williamson argues against the claim that semantic understanding alone is enough to achieve philosophical knowledge can be paralleled by an exactly similar argument against his view (...)
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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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  • Counterfactuals Versus Conceivability as a Guide to Modal Knowledge.Daniel Dohrn - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3637-3659.
    I compare two prominent approaches to knowledge of metaphysical modality, the more traditional approach via conceiving viz. imagining a scenario and a more recent approach via counterfactual reasoning. In particular, Timothy Williamson has claimed that the proper context for a modal exercise of imagination is a counterfactual supposition. I critically assess this claim, arguing that a purely conceivability/imaginability-based approach has a key advantage compared to a counterfactual-based one. It can take on board Williamson’s insights about the structure of modal imagination (...)
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  • Counterfactuals and Non-exceptionalism About Modal Knowledge.Daniel Dohrn - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (6):1461-1483.
    Since our capacities and methods of cognizing reality merely seem to tell us how things are but only within close limits how they could or must be, our claims to knowledge of mere possibilities and necessities raise the suspicion of exceptionalism: the capacities and methods used in developing these claims seem special compared to those involved in cognizing reality. One may be sceptical especially with regard to them, and there are doubts that they can be naturalistically explained. To avoid exceptionalism, (...)
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  • Simulation and the Predictive Brain.Daniel Dohrn - 2020 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 43.
    Prediction draws on both simulation and theory. I ask how simulation is defined, and what the roles of simulation and theory are, respectively. Simulation is flexible in structure and resources. Often simulation and theory are combined in prediction. The function of simulation consists of representing a situation that is relevantly like the target situation with regards to the feature predicted.
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