Modal Knowledge and Counterfactual Knowledge

Logique Et Analyse 54 (216):537-552 (2011)
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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, only (W)—Williamson’s epistemology—is compatible with all counterpossibles being true. This is something on which Williamson’s counterfactual-based account of modal knowledge relies. A first problem is, therefore, that, in the absence of further, disambiguating data, 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).

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Sonia Roca-Royes
University of Stirling

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