Philosophical Knowledge and Knowledge of Counterfactuals
Author: Williamson, Timothy
Source: Grazer Philosophische Studien, Philosophical Knowledge. Edited by Christian Beyer and Alex Burri , pp. 89-123(35)
Abstract:Metaphysical modalities are definable from counterfactual conditionals, and the epistemology of the former is a special case of the epistemology of the latter. In particular, the role of conceivability and inconceivability in assessing claims of possibility and impossibility can be explained as a special case of the pervasive role of the imagination in assessing counterfactual conditionals, an account of which is sketched. Thus scepticism about metaphysical modality entails a more far-reaching scepticism about counterfactuals. The account is used to question the significance of the distinction between a priori and a posteriori knowledge.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2007-06-01