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The origins of modal error

Dialectica 58 (1):11-42 (2004)

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  1. On intuitional stability: The clear, the strong, and the paradigmatic.Jennifer Cole Wright - 2010 - Cognition 115 (3):491-503.
    Skepticism about the epistemic value of intuition in theoretical and philosophical inquiry has recently been bolstered by empirical research suggesting that people’s concrete-case intuitions are vulnerable to irrational biases (e.g., the order effect). What is more, skeptics argue that we have no way to ‘‘calibrate” our intuitions against these biases and no way of anticipating intuitional instability. This paper challenges the skeptical position, introducing data from two studies that suggest not only that people’s concrete-case intuitions are often stable, but also (...)
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  • Les intuitions rationnelles sont-elles des intuitions modales?Pierre Saint-Germier - 2017 - Philosophiques 44 (1):49-71.
    Pierre Saint-Germier | : Nous discutons la thèse, acceptée par de nombreux théoriciens des intuitions rationnelles, selon laquelle ces dernières s’accompagnent d’une apparence de nécessité. L’existence d’intuitions rationnelles ayant pour objet des propositions contingentes jette un doute sur l’adéquation de cette thèse. Le problème peut trouver une solution dans le cadre d’une théorie faillibiliste des intuitions rationnelles, pourvu que l’on admette des illusions modales inéliminables. En nous appuyant sur une explication bidimensionnelle de l’a priori contingent, nous défendons une solution différente (...)
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  • Concepts and the Epistemology of Essence.Sonia Roca‐Royes - 2019 - Dialectica 73 (1-2):3-29.
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  • Know-How and Concept Possession.Bengson John & Moffett Marc - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 136 (1):31 - 57.
    We begin with a puzzle: why do some know-how attributions entail ability attributions while others do not? After rejecting the tempting response that know-how attributions are ambiguous, we argue that a satisfactory answer to the puzzle must acknowledge the connection between know-how and concept possession (specifically, reasonable conceptual mastery, or understanding). This connection appears at first to be grounded solely in the cognitive nature of certain activities. However, we show that, contra anti-intellectualists, the connection between know-how and concept possession can (...)
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  • What externalists should say about dry earth.Daniel Z. Korman - 2006 - Journal of Philosophy 103 (10):503-520.
    Dry earth seems to its inhabitants (our intrinsic duplicates) just as earth seems to us, that is, it seems to them as though there are rivers and lakes and a clear, odorless liquid flowing from their faucets. But, in fact, this is an illusion; there is no such liquid anywhere on the planet. I address two objections to externalism concerning the nature of the concept that is expressed by the word 'water' in the mouths of the inhabitants of dry earth. (...)
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  • Intuition and Conscious Reasoning.Ole Koksvik - 2013 - Philosophical Quarterly 63 (253):709-715.
    This paper argues that, contrary to common opinion, intuition can result from conscious reasoning. It also discusses why this matters.
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  • Counteractuals, Counterfactuals and Semantic Intuitions.Jesper Kallestrup - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (1):35-54.
    Machery et al. claim that analytic philosophers of language are committed to a method of cases according to which theories of reference are assessed by consulting semantic intuitions about actual and possible cases. Since empirical evidence suggests that such intuitions vary both within and across cultures, these experimental semanticists conclude that the traditional attempt at pursuing such theories is misguided. Against the backdrop of Kripke’s anti-descriptivist arguments, this paper offers a novel response to the challenge posed by Machery et al., (...)
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  • Rational Imagination and Modal Knowledge.Jonathan Ichikawa & Benjamin Jarvis - 2012 - Noûs 46 (1):127 - 158.
    How do we know what's (metaphysically) possible and impossible? Arguments from Kripke and Putnam suggest that possibility is not merely a matter of (coherent) conceivability/imaginability. For example, we can coherently imagine that Hesperus and Phosphorus are distinct objects even though they are not possibly distinct. Despite this apparent problem, we suggest, nevertheless, that imagination plays an important role in an adequate modal epistemology. When we discover what is possible or what is impossible, we generally exploit important connections between what is (...)
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  • Epistemic Thought Experiments and Intuitions.Manhal Hamdo - 2023 - Springer Verlag.
    This work investigates intuitions' nature, demonstrating how philosophers can best use them in epistemology. First, the author considers several paradigmatic thought experiments in epistemology that depict the appeal to intuition. He then argues that the nature of thought experiment-generated intuitions is not best explained by an a priori Platonism. Second, the book instead develops and argues for a thin conception of epistemic intuitions. The account maintains that intuition is neither a priori nor a posteriori but multi-dimensional. It is an intentional (...)
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  • Philosophical Methodology in Modal Epistemology.Dana Goswick - 2012 - Essays in Philosophy 13 (1):183-195.
    This paper examines the legitimacy of two common methodologies within philosophy: thought experiments and conceptual analysis. In particular, I examine the uses to which these two methodologies have been put within modal epistemology. I argue that, although both methods can be used to reveal conditional essentialist claims (e.g. necessarily: if x is water, then x is H20), neither can be used to reveal the de re essentialists claims (e.g. x is water and x is essentially H20) they’re often taken to (...)
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  • Modal epistemology made concrete.Daniel Dohrn - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2455-2475.
    Many philosophers since Hume have accepted that imagining/conceiving a scenario is our prime guide to knowing its possibility. Stephen Yablo provided a more systematic criterion: one is justified in judging that p is possible if one can imagine a world which one takes to verify p. I defend a version of Yablo’s criterion against van Inwagen’s moderate modal scepticism. Van Inwagen’s key argument is that we cannot satisfy Yablo’s criterion because we are not in a position to spell out far-fetched (...)
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  • Knowledge is Believing Something Because It's True.Tomas Bogardus & Will Perrin - 2022 - Episteme 19 (2):178-196.
    Modalists think that knowledge requires forming your belief in a “modally stable” way: using a method that wouldn't easily go wrong, or using a method that wouldn't have given you this belief had it been false. Recent Modalist projects from Justin Clarke-Doane and Dan Baras defend a principle they call “Modal Security,” roughly: if evidence undermines your belief, then it must give you a reason to doubt the safety or sensitivity of your belief. Another recent Modalist project from Carlotta Pavese (...)
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  • Necessary Laws and Chemical Kinds.Nora Berenstain - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (4):631-647.
    Contingentism, generally contrasted with law necessitarianism, is the view that the laws of nature are contingent. It is often coupled with the claim that their contingency is knowable a priori. This paper considers Bird's (2001, 2002, 2005, 2007) arguments for the thesis that, necessarily, salt dissolves in water; and it defends his view against Beebee's (2001) and Psillos's (2002) contingentist objections. A new contingentist objection is offered and several reasons for scepticism about its success are raised. It is concluded that (...)
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  • A Priori or A Posteriori?Tuomas E. Tahko - 2020 - In Ricki Bliss & James Miller (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 353-363.
    This article discusses the role of a priori and a posteriori knowledge and methods in metaphysics and metametaphysics. Issues discussed include the viability of the distinction, the continuity of a priori and a posteriori methods, connections to modal epistemology, and the role of the distinction for science and naturalistic metaphysics.
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  • On the Possibility of Gettier Cases for Modal Knowledge.Alexandru Dragomir - 2022 - Revue Roumaine de Philosophie 66 (2):315-326.
    Gettier cases are used to show that having a justified true belief is not sufficient for knowledge. They are cases in which an epistemic agent has a belief that is both justified and true, but intuitively cannot be taken to count as knowledge. Modal epistemology is the field of philosophy that tackles questions regarding the sources of our knowledge of modalities (possibility and necessity) and what offers justification for beliefs about what is possible or necessary. Part of the tradition in (...)
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  • The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology.Herman Cappelen, Tamar Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.) - 2016 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
    This is the most comprehensive book ever published on philosophical methodology. A team of thirty-eight of the world's leading philosophers present original essays on various aspects of how philosophy should be and is done. The first part is devoted to broad traditions and approaches to philosophical methodology. The entries in the second part address topics in philosophical methodology, such as intuitions, conceptual analysis, and transcendental arguments. The third part of the book is devoted to essays about the interconnections between philosophy (...)
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  • Intuition, Belief and Rational Criticisability.Ole Koksvik - manuscript
    A simple reductive view of intuition holds that intuition is a type of belief. That an agent who intuits that p sometimes believes that p is false is often thought to demonstrate that the simple reductive view is false. I show that this argument is inconclusive, but also that an argument for the same conclusion can be rebuilt using the notion of rational criticisability. I then use that notion to argue that perception is also not reducible to belief, and that (...)
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  • Against Pyrrhonian Equipollence.John Everett Button - unknown
    The production of equipollence is the most important part of the Pyrrhonian skeptic’s method for bringing about the suspension of judgment. The skeptic produces equipollence methodically, by opposing arguments, propositions, or appearances, in anyway whatsoever, until he produces an equality of “weightiness” on both sides of the conflicting views. Having no appropriate criterion to break the deadlock of equipollence, the skeptic is left with no reason to accept either view. I have two main aims in this paper. My first aim (...)
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  • Strange Kinds, Familiar Kinds, and the Charge of Arbitrariness.Daniel Z. Korman - 2010 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics:119-144.
    Particularists in material-object metaphysics hold that our intuitive judgments about which kinds of things there are and are not are largely correct. One common argument against particularism is the argument from arbitrariness, which turns on the claim that there is no ontologically significant difference between certain of the familiar kinds that we intuitively judge to exist (snowballs, islands, statues, solar systems) and certain of the strange kinds that we intuitively judge not to exist (snowdiscalls, incars, gollyswoggles, the fusion of the (...)
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  • Epistemology Without Intuition.Manhal Hamdo - 2018 - International Journal of Innovative Studies in Sociology and Humanities 3 (10):49-53.
    From Plato to the present, intuition plays a central role in epistemology. My concern in this paper is with the nature and epistemic status of intuition. To that end, I will be reviewing both Bealer’s and Wittgenstein’s accounts of intuition. I will be arguing that by ‘intuition’ Bealer understands modal intuition that has Platonic and metaphysical roles. Subsequently, I shall also show that although Wittgenstein’s view avoids these two issues, it amounts to the idea that intuition is a normative activity (...)
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  • High Standard Epistemology and the Appeal to Intuition}.Renia Gasparatou - 2009 - Filozofia 64 (7):680-692.
    n the analytic tradition, the appeal to intuition has been a common philosophical practice that supposedly provides us with epistemic standards. The authoress argues that the high epistemological standards of traditional analytic philosophy cannot be pursued by this method. Perhaps within a naturalistic, reliable frame intuitions can be evoked more coherently. Philosophers can use intuition as scientists do, in hypothesis- construction or data- collection. This is an ironic conclusion: Traditional analytic epistemologists rely on the appeal to intuition, but cannot justify (...)
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  • Mind-Independence and Modal Empiricism.Sonia Roca-Royes - unknown
    The paper focuses on the Epistemic Challenge for mind-independent accounts of modality. The challenge can be formulated as an inconsistency problem among three premises and, therefore, any strategy to meet the challenge will require the negation of (at least) one of its premises. The aim of the paper is not to offer a positive solution to the challenge, but rather to argue for the claim that to follow a hybrid strategy is probably the best way to meet it. With some (...)
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  • Theory Selection in Modal Epistemology.Robert William Fischer - 2015 - American Philosophical Quarterly 52 (4):381-395.
    Accounts of modal knowledge are many and varied. How should we choose between them? I propose that we employ inference to the best explanation, and I suggest that there are three desiderata that we should use to rank hypotheses: conservatism, simplicity, and the ability to handle disagreement. After examining these desiderata, I contend that they can’t be used to justify belief in the modal epistemology that fares best, but that they can justify our accepting it in an epistemically significant sense. (...)
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  • Indispensability Argument and Set Theory.Karlis Podnieks - 2008 - The Reasoner 2 (11):8--9.
    Most set theorists accept AC, and reject AD, i.e. for them, AC is true in the "world of sets", and AD is false. Applying to set theory the above-mentioned formalistic explanation of the existence of quarks, we could say: if, for a long time in the future, set theorists will continue their believing in AC, then one may think of a unique "world of sets" as existing in the same sense as quarks are believed to exist.
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