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  1. Science, Metaphysics and Method.James Ladyman - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (1):31-51.
    While there are many examples of metaphysical theorising being heuristically and intellectually important in the progress of scientific knowledge, many people wonder how metaphysics not closely informed and inspired by empirical science could lead to rival or even supplementary knowledge about the world. This paper assesses the merits of a popular defence of the a priori methodology of metaphysics that goes as follows. The first task of the metaphysician, like the scientist, is to construct a hypothesis that accounts for the (...)
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  • Idealization and Many Aims.Angela Potochnik - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (5):933-943.
    In this paper, I first outline the view developed in my recent book on the role of idealization in scientific understanding. I discuss how this view leads to the recognition of a number of kinds of variability among scientific representations, including variability introduced by the many different aims of scientific projects. I then argue that the role of idealization in securing understanding distances understanding from truth, but that this understanding nonetheless gives rise to scientific knowledge. This discussion will clarify how (...)
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  • Conceivability and De Re Modal Knowledge.Sonia Roca-Royes - 2011 - Noûs 45 (1):22-49.
    The paper presents a dilemma for both epistemic and non-epistemic versions of conceivability-based accounts of modal knowledge. On the one horn, non-epistemic accounts do not elucidate the essentialist knowledge they would be committed to. On the other, epistemic accounts do not elucidate everyday life de re modal knowledge. In neither case, therefore, do conceivability accounts elucidate de re modal knowledge.
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  • Perceptual Knowledge of Nonactual Possibilities.Margot Strohminger - 2015 - Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1):363-375.
    It is widely assumed that sense perception cannot deliver knowledge of nonactual (metaphysical) possibilities. We are not supposed to be able to know that a proposition p is necessary or that p is possible (if p is false) by sense perception. This paper aims to establish that the role of sense perception is not so limited. It argues that we can know lots of modal facts by perception. While the most straightforward examples concern possibility and contingency, others concern necessity and (...)
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  • Explanation and Explanationism in Science and Metaphysics.Juha Saatsi - forthcoming - In Matthew Slater & Zanja Yudell (eds.), Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter examines the status of inference to the best explanation in naturalistic metaphysics. The methodology of inference to the best explanation in metaphysics is studied from the perspective of contemporary views on scientific explanation and explanatory inferences in the history and philosophy of science. This reveals serious shortcomings in prevalent attempts to vindicate metaphysical "explanationism" by reference to similarities between science and naturalistic metaphysics. This critique is brought out by considering a common gambit of methodological unity: (1) Both metaphysics (...)
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  • Three Independent Factors in Epistemology.Guy Axtell & Philip Olson - 2009 - Contemporary Pragmatism 6 (2):89–109.
    We articulate John Dewey’s “independent factors” approach to moral philosophy and then adapt and extend this approach to address contemporary debate concerning the nature and sources of epistemic normativity. We identify three factors (agent reliability, synchronic rationality, and diachronic rationality) as each making a permanent contribution to epistemic value. Critical of debates that stem from the reductionistic ambitions of epistemological systems that privilege of one or another of these three factors, we advocate an axiological pluralism that acknowledges each factor as (...)
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  • Three Dogmas of Metaphysical Methodology.Jessica M. Wilson - 2013 - In Matthew Haug (ed.), Philosophical Methodology: The Armchair or the Laboratory? Routledge. pp. 145-165.
    In what does philosophical progress consist? 'Vertical' progress corresponds to development within a specific paradigm/framework for theorizing (of the sort associated, revolutions aside, with science); 'horizontal' progress corresponds to the identification and cultivation of diverse paradigms (of the sort associated, conservativism aside, with art and pure mathematics). Philosophical progress seems to involve both horizontal and vertical dimensions, in a way that is somewhat puzzling: philosophers work in a number of competing frameworks (like artists or mathematicians), while typically maintaining that only (...)
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  • Moderate Modal Skepticism.Margot Strohminger & Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2018 - In Matthew A. Benton, John Hawthorne & Dani Rabinowitz (eds.), Knowledge, Belief, and God: New Insights in Religious Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 302-321.
    This paper examines "moderate modal skepticism", a form of skepticism about metaphysical modality defended by Peter van Inwagen in order to blunt the force of certain modal arguments in the philosophy of religion. Van Inwagen’s argument for moderate modal skepticism assumes Yablo's (1993) influential world-based epistemology of possibility. We raise two problems for this epistemology of possibility, which undermine van Inwagen's argument. We then consider how one might motivate moderate modal skepticism by relying on a different epistemology of possibility, which (...)
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  • Understanding and the Facts.Catherine Z. Elgin - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 132 (1):33 - 42.
    If understanding is factive, the propositions that express an understanding are true. I argue that a factive conception of understanding is unduly restrictive. It neither reflects our practices in ascribing understanding nor does justice to contemporary science. For science uses idealizations and models that do not mirror the facts. Strictly speaking, they are false. By appeal to exemplification, I devise a more generous, flexible conception of understanding that accommodates science, reflects our practices, and shows a sufficient but not slavish sensitivity (...)
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  • Scepticism About Philosophy.Jason Brennan - 2010 - Ratio 23 (1):1-16.
    Suppose a person who is agnostic about most philosophical issues wishes to have true philosophical beliefs but equally wishes to avoid false philosophical beliefs. I argue that this truth-seeking, error-avoiding agnostic would not have good grounds for pursuing philosophy. Widespread disagreement shows that pursuing philosophy is not a reliable method of discovering true answers to philosophical questions. More likely than not, pursuing philosophy leads to false belief. Many attempts to rebut this sceptical argument fail.
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  • Does Conceivability Entail Metaphysical Possibility?Moti Mizrahi & David R. Morrow - 2015 - Ratio 28 (1):1-13.
    In this paper, we argue that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’, which is the view that ideal primary positive conceivability entails primary metaphysical possibility, is self-defeating. To this end, we outline two reductio arguments against ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’. The first reductio shows that, from supposing that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’ is true, it follows that conceivability both is and is not conclusive evidence for possibility. The second reductio shows that, from supposing that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’ is true, it follows that it is possible (...)
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  • Modal Rationalism.Jessica Leech - 2011 - Dialectica 65 (1):103-115.
    Hossack (2007) defends what he calls the rationalist thesis: the thesis that necessity reduces to (or at least always coincides with) a priori knowledge. In this paper I discuss some features of Hossack’s rationalist account of necessity. In the first half, I attempt to fill in a missing link in the rationalist thesis, connecting the notions of primitiveness of facts and a priori modes of presentation. In the second half, I complain that the strategy of dissolving counterexamples is not enough, (...)
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  • Knowledge Is Not Enough.Jennifer Ellen Nado - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (4):658-672.
    Discussions of the role of intuition in philosophical methodology typically proceed within the knowledge-centred framework of mainstream analytic epistemology. Either implicitly or explicitly, the primary questions in metaphilosophy frequently seem to revolve around whether or not intuition is a source of justification, evidence, or knowledge. I argue that this Standard Framework is inappropriate for methodological purposes: the epistemic standards that govern inquiry in philosophy are more stringent than the standards that govern everyday cognition. The experimentalist should instead view her criticisms (...)
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  • In Defense of Veritistic Value Monism.Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (1):19-40.
    Recently, veritistic value monism, i.e. the idea that true belief is unique in being of fundamental epistemic value, has come under attack by pluralist philosophers arguing that it cannot account fully for the domain of epistemic value. However, the relevant arguments fail to establish any such thing. For one thing, there is a presumption of monism due to considerations about axiological parsimony. While such a presumption would be defeated by evidence that the relevant kind of monism cannot account fully for (...)
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  • The Philosophy of Philosophy.Timothy Williamson - 2008 - Wiley.
    The second volume in the Blackwell Brown Lectures in Philosophy, this volume offers an original and provocative take on the nature and methodology of philosophy. Based on public lectures at Brown University, given by the pre-eminent philosopher, Timothy Williamson Rejects the ideology of the 'linguistic turn', the most distinctive trend of 20th century philosophy Explains the method of philosophy as a development from non-philosophical ways of thinking Suggests new ways of understanding what contemporary and past philosophers are doing.
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  • Philosophy Makes No Progress, So What Is the Point of It?John Shand - 2017 - Metaphilosophy 48 (3):284-295.
    Philosophy makes no progress. It fails to do so in the way science and mathematics make progress. By “no progress” is meant that there is no successive advance of a well-established body of knowledge—no views are definitively established or definitively refuted. Yet philosophers often talk and act as if the subject makes progress, and that its point and value lies in its doing so, while in fact they also approach the subject in ways that clearly contradict any claim to progress. (...)
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  • Lowe on Modal Knowledge.Joachim Horvath - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (3):208-217.
    In recent work, E. J. Lowe presents an essence-based account of our knowledge of metaphysical modality that he claims to be superior to its main competitors. I argue that knowledge of essences alone, without knowledge of a suitable bridge principle, is insufficient for knowing that something is metaphysically necessary or metaphysically possible. Yet given Lowe's other theoretical commitments, he cannot account for our knowledge of the needed bridge principle, and so his essence-based modal epistemology remains incomplete. In addition to that, (...)
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  • Epistemic Desiderata and Epistemic Pluralism.Rik Peels - 2010 - Journal of Philosophical Research 35:193-207.
    In this article I argue that Alston’s recent metaepistemological approach in terms of epistemic desiderata is not as epistemically plural as he claims it to be. After some preliminary remarks, I briefly recapitulate Alston’s epistemic desiderata approach. Next, I distinguish two ways in which one might consider truth to be an epistemic desideratum. Subsequently, I argue that only one truth-conducive desideratum can count as an epistemic desideratum. After this, I attempt to show that none of the higher-order desiderata that are (...)
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  • Defending Philosophy in the Face of Systematic Disagreement.Sanford Goldberg - 2013 - In Diego E. Machuca (ed.), Disagreement and Skepticism. Routledge. pp. 277-294.
    I believe that the sort of disagreements we encounter in philosophy—disagreements that often take the form that I have elsewhere called system- atic peer disagreements—make it unreasonable to think that there is any knowledge, or even justified belief, when the disagreements themselves are systematic. I readily acknowledge that this skeptical view is quite controversial; I suspect many are unconvinced. However, I will not be defending it here. Rather, I will be exploring a worry, or set of worries, that arise on (...)
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  • Reliabilism in Philosophy.Sanford C. Goldberg - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 142 (1):105 - 117.
    The following three propositions appear to be individually defensible but jointly inconsistent: (1) reliability is a necessary condition on epistemic justification; (2) on contested matters in philosophy, my beliefs are not reliably formed; (3) some of these beliefs are epistemically justified. I explore the nature and scope of the problem, examine and reject some candidate solutions, compare the issue with ones arising in discussions about disagreement, and offer a brief assessment of our predicament.
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  • Philosophy Without Belief.Zach Barnett - 2019 - Mind 128 (509):109-138.
    Should we believe our controversial philosophical views? Recently, several authors have argued from broadly conciliationist premises that we should not. If they are right, we philosophers face a dilemma: If we believe our views, we are irrational. If we do not, we are not sincere in holding them. This paper offers a way out, proposing an attitude we can rationally take toward our views that can support sincerity of the appropriate sort. We should arrive at our views via a certain (...)
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  • Necessary Beings: An Essay on Ontology, Modality, and the Relations Between Them.Bob Hale - 2013 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    Bob Hale presents a broadly Fregean approach to metaphysics, according to which ontology and modality are mutually dependent upon one another. He argues that facts about what kinds of things exist depend on facts about what is possible. Modal facts are fundamental, and have their basis in the essences of things--not in meanings or concepts.
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  • Grounding Concepts: An Empirical Basis for Arithmetical Knowledge.Carrie S. Jenkins - 2008 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    Carrie Jenkins presents a new account of arithmetical knowledge, which manages to respect three key intuitions: a priorism, mind-independence realism, and empiricism. Jenkins argues that arithmetic can be known through the examination of empirically grounded concepts, non-accidentally accurate representations of the mind-independent world.
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  • The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
  • A Virtue Epistemology: Apt Belief and Reflective Knowledge.Ernest Sosa - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
    Ernest Sosa argues for two levels of knowledge, the animal and the reflective, each viewed as a distinctive human accomplishment.
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  • Veritism Unswamped.Kurt Sylvan - 2018 - Mind 127 (506):381-435.
    According to Veritism, true belief is the sole fundamental epistemic value. Epistemologists often take Veritism to entail that all other epistemic items can only have value by standing in certain instrumental relations—namely, by tending to produce a high ratio of true to false beliefs or by being products of sources with this tendency. Yet many value theorists outside epistemology deny that all derivative value is grounded in instrumental relations to fundamental value. Veritists, I believe, can and should follow suit. After (...)
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  • True Enough.Catherine Z. Elgin - 2017 - Cambridge: MIT Press.
    Science relies on models and idealizations that are known not to be true. Even so, science is epistemically reputable. To accommodate science, epistemology should focus on understanding rather than knowledge and should recognize that the understanding of a topic need not be factive. This requires reconfiguring the norms of epistemic acceptability. If epistemology has the resources to accommodate science, it will also have the resources to show that art too advances understanding.
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  • Epistemic Desiderata.William P. Alston - 1993 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (3):527-551.
  • Is Conceivability a Guide to Possibility?Stephen Yablo - 1993 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (1):1-42.
  • Knowledge in a Social World.Alvin I. Goldman - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (1):185-190.
    Epistemology has historically focused on individual inquirers conducting their intellectual affairs in total isolation from one another. Methodological solipsism aside, however, it is incontestable that people’s opinions are massively influenced by their community and culture, by the written and spoken words of others, both past and present. This has led recent epistemologists to pay greater attention to the social dimensions of knowledge, especially to the role of testimony as a source of justification. The aim of Knowledge in a Social World (...)
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  • Modal Justification Via Theories.Bob Fischer - 2017 - Cham: Springer.
    This monograph articulates and defends a theory-based epistemology of modality (TEM). According to TEM, someone justifiably believe an interesting modal claim if and only if (a) she justifiably believes a theory according to which that claim is true, (b) she believes that claim on the basis of that theory, and (c) she has no defeaters for her belief in that claim. The book has two parts. In the first, the author motivates TEM, sets out the view in detail, and defends (...)
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  • What is the Source of Our Knowledge of Modal Truths?E. J. Lowe - 2012 - Mind 121 (484):919-950.
    There is currently intense interest in the question of the source of our presumed knowledge of truths concerning what is, or is not, metaphysically possible or necessary. Some philosophers locate this source in our capacities to conceive or imagine various actual or non-actual states of affairs, but this approach is open to certain familiar and seemingly powerful objections. A different and ostensibly more promising approach has been developed by Timothy Williamson, according to which our capacity for modal knowledge is just (...)
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  • Democratic Legitimacy.Fabienne Peter - 2008 - Routledge.
    This book offers a systematic treatment of the requirements of democratic legitimacy. It argues that democratic procedures are essential for political legitimacy because of the need to respect value pluralism and because of the learning process that democratic decision-making enables. It proposes a framework for distinguishing among the different ways in which the requirements of democratic legitimacy have been interpreted. Peter then uses this framework to identify and defend what appears as the most plausible conception of democratic legitimacy. According to (...)
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  • The Fate of Knowledge.Helen E. Longino - 2001 - Princeton University Press.
    "--Richard Grandy, Rice University "This is the first compelling diagnosis of what has gone awry in the raging 'science wars.
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  • Does Conceivability Entail Possibility.David Chalmers - 2002 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 145--200.
    There is a long tradition in philosophy of using a priori methods to draw conclusions about what is possible and what is necessary, and often in turn to draw conclusions about matters of substantive metaphysics. Arguments like this typically have three steps: first an epistemic claim , from there to a modal claim , and from there to a metaphysical claim.
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  • The Value of Knowledge and the Pursuit of Understanding.Jonathan L. Kvanvig - 2003 - Cambridge University Press.
    Epistemology has for a long time focused on the concept of knowledge and tried to answer questions such as whether knowledge is possible and how much of it there is. Often missing from this inquiry, however, is a discussion on the value of knowledge. In The Value of Knowledge and the Pursuit of Understanding Jonathan Kvanvig argues that epistemology properly conceived cannot ignore the question of the value of knowledge. He also questions one of the most fundamental assumptions in epistemology, (...)
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  • An Integrative Design? How Liberalised Modal Empiricism Fails the Integration Challenge.Ylwa Sjölin Wirling - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):5655-5673.
    The idea that justified modal belief can be accounted for in terms of empirically justified, non-modal belief is enjoying increasing popularity in the epistemology of modality. One alleged reason to prefer modal empiricism over more traditional, rationalist modal epistemologies is that empiricism avoids the problem with the integration challenge that arise for rationalism, assuming that we want to be realists about modal metaphysics. In this paper, I argue that given two very reasonable constraints on what it means to meet the (...)
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  • Truth as the Primary Epistemic Goal: A Working Hypothesis.Marian David - 2013 - In Matthias Steup, John Turri & Ernest Sosa (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology (Second Edition). Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 363-377.
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  • The Epistemology of Modality.Anand Vaidya - 2007 - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Who Wants to Know?Jennifer Nado - 2019 - Oxford Studies in Epistemology 6.
    This chapter argues that professional inquirers, including professional philosophers, are subject to special epistemic obligations which require them to meet higher standards than those that are required for knowing. Perhaps the most obvious examples come from the experimental sciences, where professionals are required to employ rigorous methodological procedures to reduce the risk of error and bias; procedures such as double-blinding are obligatory in many experimental contexts, but no parallel bias-reducing measures are generally expected in ordinary epistemic activity. To expect such (...)
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  • Modal Epistemology.Peter Van Inwagen - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 92 (1):67--84.
    Many important metaphysical arguments validly deduce an actuality from a possibility. For example: Because it is possible for me to exist in the absence of anything material, I am not my body. I argue that there is no reason to suppose that our capacity for modal judgment is equal to the task of determining whether the "possibility" premise of any of these arguments is true. I connect this thesis with Stephen Yablo's recent work on the epistemology of modal statements.
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  • Is Imagination Too Liberal for Modal Epistemology?Derek Lam - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):2155-2174.
    Appealing to imagination for modal justification is very common. But not everyone thinks that all imaginings provide modal justification. Recently, Gregory and Kung :620–663, 2010) have independently argued that, whereas imaginings with sensory imageries can justify modal beliefs, those without sensory imageries don’t because of such imaginings’ extreme liberty. In this essay, I defend the general modal epistemological relevance of imagining. I argue, first, that when the objections that target the liberal nature of non-sensory imaginings are adequately developed, those objections (...)
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  • Holes.David K. Lewis & Stephanie Lewis - 1970 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 48 (2):206 – 212.
  • Modal Epistemology and the Rationalist Renaissance.George Bealer - 2002 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 71-125.
    The paper begins with a clarification of the notions of intuition (and, in particular, modal intuition), modal error, conceivability, metaphysical possibility, and epistemic possibility. It is argued that two-dimensionalism is the wrong framework for modal epistemology and that a certain nonreductionist approach to the theory of concepts and propositions is required instead. Finally, there is an examination of moderate rationalism’s impact on modal arguments in the philosophy of mind -- for example, Yablo’s disembodiment argument and Chalmers’s zombie argument. A less (...)
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  • .Richard Alston - 2015
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  • Pure Epistemic Proceduralism.Fabienne Peter - 2008 - Episteme: A Journal of Social Epistemology 5 (1):33-55.
    In this paper I defend a pure proceduralist conception of legitimacy that applies to epistemic democracy. This conception, which I call pure epistemic proceduralism, does not depend on procedure-independent standards for good outcomes and relies on a proceduralist epistemology. It identifies a democratic decision as legitimate if it is the outcome of a process that satisfies certain conditions of political and epistemic fairness. My argument starts with a rejection of instrumentalism–the view that political equality is only instrumentally valuable. I reject (...)
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  • Is Philosophical Knowledge Possible?Hilary Kornblith - 2013 - In Diego E. Machuca (ed.), Disagreement and Skepticism. Routledge. pp. 260.
  • Conceivability, Possibility and Physicalism.S. Worley - 2003 - Analysis 63 (1):15-23.
  • From Modal Skepticism to Modal Empiricism.Felipe Leon - 2017 - In Robert William Fischer Felipe Leon (ed.), Modal Epistemology After Rationalism. Springer Verlag.
    This collection highlights the new trend away from rationalism and toward empiricism in the epistemology of modality. Accordingly, the book represents a wide range of positions on the empirical sources of modal knowledge. Readers will find an introduction that surveys the field and provides a brief overview of the work, which progresses from empirically-sensitive rationalist accounts to fully empiricist accounts of modal knowledge. Early chapters focus on challenges to rationalist theories, essence-based approaches to modal knowledge, and the prospects for naturalizing (...)
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  • Epistemology and Cognition.Alvin I. Goldman - 1991 - Erkenntnis 34 (1):117-123.
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