An Agency-Based Epistemology of Modality

In Duško Prelević & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Epistemology of Modality and Philosophical Methodology. New York, NY: Routledge (2023)
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My aim in this paper is to sketch, with a broad brush and in bare outlines, an approach to modal epistemology that is characterized by three distinctive features. First, the approach is agency-based: it locates the roots of our modal thought and knowledge in our experience of our own agency. Second, the approach is ambitious in that it takes the experience of certain modal properties in agency to be the sole distinctive feature of specifically modal thought and knowledge; everything that we know about modality beyond the experience of agency is a matter of applying standard methods of inquiry such as deduction, induction and abductive methods for choosing between theories. Third, the account holds that modal thought and knowledge is, first and foremost, about modal properties that are sufficiently like those encountered in agency.

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Barbara Vetter
Freie Universität Berlin


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