Imagination, Metaphysical Modality, and Modal Psychology

In Christopher Badura & Kind Amy (eds.), Epistemic Uses of Imagination. Routledge. pp. 79-99 (2021)
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Abstract

I develop a psychological account for how it is that we use imagination to metaphysically modalize, i.e., to reach conclusions about metaphysical modality. Specifically, I argue that Nichols and Stich’s (2003) cognitive theory of imagination can be extended to metaphysical modalizing. I then use the extension to explicate philosophical disagreements about whether a scenario is metaphysically possible. Thereafter, I address Nichols’ (2006) objection that psychologizing imagination makes it clear that imagination is unreliable when used to metaphysically modalize. The end result is a naturalistic account for how imagination enables us to metaphysically modalize.

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Michael Omoge
University of Alberta

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