This book collects original essays on the epistemology of modality and related issues in modal metaphysics and philosophical methodology.
The contributors utilize both the newer "metaphysics-first" and the more traditional "epistemology-first" approaches to these issues. The chapters on modal epistemology mostly focus on the problem of how we can gain knowledge of possibilities, which have never been actualized, or necessities which are not provable either by logico-mathematical reasoning or by linguistic competence alone. These issues are closely related to some of the central issues in philosophical methodology, notably: to what extent is the armchair methodology of philosophy a reliable guide for the formation of beliefs about what is possible and necessary. This question also relates to the nature of thought experiments that are extensively used in science and philosophy.
Epistemology of Modality and Philosophical Methodology will be of interest to researchers and advanced students working on the epistemology and metaphysics of modality, as well as those whose work is concerned with philosophical methodology more generally.
1. Modality, Worlds, Essence, and Modal Knowledge Boris Kment
2. An Agency-Based Epistemology of Modality Barbara Vetter
3. The Price of Sensitivity Rebecca Hanrahan
4. Modal Epistemology for Modalists Otavio Bueno and Scott Shalkowski
5. How (Meta-)Semantics Defuses Modal Pessimism Christian Nimtz
6. How Things Might Have to Be Nathan Salmon
7. In Search of a Structurally Complete Epistemology of Essence Michael Wallner
8. Morals and Modals: Riddles of the Vidhi Liṅ Arindam Chakrabarti and Ian Nicolay
9. The Explanatory Power of Modal Rationalism Duško Prelević
10. Response to Prelević Sonia Roca Royes
11. Reviving the Modal Account of Essence Rebecca Chan
12. Response to Chan Sanna Mattila
13. Modal Knowledge and Modal Methodology Amie Thomasson and Theodore Locke
14. Response to Thomasson and Locke Antonella Mallozzi
15. Gettier’s Thought Experiment Joachim Horvath
16. Response to Horvath Timothy Williamson
17. In Defense of Modest Modal Skepticism Edouard Machery
18. Response to Machery Margot Strohminger and Juhani Yli-Vakkuri
"This is an excellent collection of cutting-edge research in the epistemology of modality and philosophical methodology. It takes the next step forward in an exciting and fundamental research programme in philosophy."
David Efird, University of York, UK