Van Inwagen's modal skepticism

Peter HAWKE*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-364
Number of pages14
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Volume153
Issue number3
Early online date16 Feb 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright:
Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Modal epistemology
  • Modality
  • Skepticism
  • van Inwagen
  • Yablo

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