Van Inwagen’s modal skepticism
- Peter Hawke
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In this paper, the author defends Peter van Inwagen’s modal skepticism. Van Inwagen accepts that we have much basic, everyday modal knowledge, but denies that we have the capacity to justify philosophically interesting modal claims that are far removed from this basic knowledge. The author also defends the argument by means of which van Inwagen supports his modal skepticism, offering a rebuttal to an objection along the lines of that proposed by Geirrson. Van Inwagen argues that Stephen Yablo’s recent and influential account of the relationship between conceivability and possibility supports his skeptical claims. The author’s defence involves a creative interpretation and development of Yablo’s account, which results in a recursive account of modal epistemology, what the author calls the “safe explanation” theory of modal epistemology.
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- Sosa, E. (2000). Modal and other a priori epistemology: How can we know what is possible and what is impossible? The Southern Journal of Philosophy, XXXVIII(Supplement), 1–16.
- Stalnaker, R. (2002). What is it like to be a Zombie? In: T. S. Gendler, Hawthorne, J. (eds.), Conceivability and possibility, (pp.385–400). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Van Inwagen, P. (1998). Modal epistemology. Philosophical Studies, 92, 67–84. CrossRef
- Yablo, S. C. (1993). Is conceivability a guide to possibility? Philosophical and Phenomenological Research, 5(1), 1–42. CrossRef
- Van Inwagen’s modal skepticism
Volume 153, Issue 3 , pp 351-364
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- Springer Netherlands
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- Modal epistemology
- van Inwagen
- Peter Hawke (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Philosophy, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, WITS, Johannesburg, 2050, South Africa