Skip header navigation

University of Stirling

×

Article

Modal Knowledge and Counterfactual Knowledge

Citation
Roca-Royes S (2011) Modal Knowledge and Counterfactual Knowledge. Logique et Analyse, 54 (216), pp. 537-552. http://www.vub.ac.be/CLWF/L&A/

Abstract
The paper compares the suitability of two different epistemologies of counterfactuals—(EC) and (W)—to elucidate modal knowledge. I argue that, while both of them explain the data on our knowledge of counterfactuals, neither can subsume modal knowledge. (EC) would be available only to extreme haecceitists. Only (W)—Williamson’s epistemology—is compatible with all counterpossibles being true; something on which Williamson’s account relies. A first problem is that, in the absence of further data for (W) and against (EC), Williamson’s choice of (W) is objectionably biased. A second, deeper problem is that (W) cannot satisfactorily elucidate modal knowledge. Third, from a naturalistic perspective, the nature of this second problem favours (EC) against (W).

Keywords
Epistemology of Modality; Counterfactuals; Conceivability; Essentialism

Journal
Logique et Analyse: Volume 54, Issue 216

StatusPublished
Author(s)Roca-Royes, Sonia
Publication date31/12/2011
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/2465
PublisherNational Centre for Logical Investigation
Publisher URLhttp://www.vub.ac.be/CLWF/L&A/
ISSN0024-5836
Scroll back to the top