Synthese 199:14293–14315 (2021)

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
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-021-03421-z
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

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.

View all 42 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Abduction, Imagination, and Science.Michael DeVito - 2020 - Philosophia Christi 22 (2):335-345.
Advice on Abductive Logic.Dov Gabbay & John Woods - 2006 - Logic Journal of the IGPL 14 (2):189-219.
Imagination: A Lens, Not a Mirror.Nick Wiltsher - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
Problems with Peirce's Concept of Abduction.Michael Hoffmann - 1999 - Foundations of Science 4 (3):271-305.


Added to PP index

Total views
76 ( #151,919 of 2,506,014 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
42 ( #21,001 of 2,506,014 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes