Synthese 199:14293–14315 (2021)

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Abstract
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 Lipton’s (Inference to the best explanation, Routledge, Abingdon, 2004) in order to accommodate inferences to possibility claims; Sect. 5 then attempts to characterise a principle underlying such inferences. Section 6 concludes by discussing how the proposal relates to other modal epistemologies, with emphasis on the potential of such inferences to produce genuinely new ideas.
Keywords Abduction  Absolute Space  IBE  Imaginative resistance  Perception  Thought experiments  Time without change  Turing Test
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-021-03421-z
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References found in this work BETA

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Minds, Brains, and Programs.John Searle - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):417-57.
Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 1989 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

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