Abduction and Modality

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (2):283-326 (2010)
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Abstract

This paper introduces a modal epistemology that centers on inference to the best explanation (i.e. abduction). In introducing this abduction-centered modal epistemology, the paper has two main goals. First, it seeks to provide reasons for pursuing an abduction-centered modal epistemology by showing that this epistemology aids a popular stance on the mind-body problem and allows an appealing approach to modality. Second, the paper seeks to show that an abduction-centered modal epistemology can work by showing that abduction can establish claims about necessity/possibility (i.e. modal claims)—where ‘necessity’ and ‘possibility’ denote metaphysical necessity and possibility, ways things may or may not have been given how they actually are

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Stephen Biggs
Iowa State University

Citations of this work

Explanation and explanationism in science and metaphysics.Juha Saatsi - 2017 - In Matthew H. Slater & Zanja Yudell (eds.), Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science: New Essays. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
The a priority of abduction.Stephen Biggs & Jessica M. Wilson - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (3):735-758.
In defense of Countabilism.David Builes & Jessica M. Wilson - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (7):2199-2236.

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References found in this work

Naming and Necessity: Lectures Given to the Princeton University Philosophy Colloquium.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Edited by Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel.
Does conceivability entail possibility.David J. Chalmers - 2002 - In Tamar Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 145--200.
What is it like to be a bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
The Philosophy of Philosophy.Timothy Williamson - 2007 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

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