Conceivability and Defeasible Modal Justification
Author: Geirsson, H.
Source: Philosophical Studies, Volume 122, Number 3, February 2005 , pp. 279-304(26)
Abstract:This paper advances the thesis that we can justifiably believe philosophically interesting possibility statements. The first part of the paper critically discusses van Inwagen’s skeptical arguments while at the same time laying some of the foundation for a positive view. The second part of the paper advances a view of conceivability in terms of imaginability, where imaginging can be propositional, pictorial, or a combination of the two, and argues that conceivability can, and often does, provide us with justified beliefs of what is metaphysically possible. The notion of scenarios is developed, as is an account of how filling out scenarios can uncover a defeater or, in many cases, strengthen the justification for the relevant possibility statement.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 50011-1306, USA,
Publication date: February 2005