Modal Epistemology and the Rationalist Renaissance
Bealer (George)
Source: Gendler & Hawthorne - Conceivability and Possibility, 2002
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

    The paper begins with a clarification of the notions of intuition (and, in particular, modal1 intuition), modal2 error, conceivability, metaphysical possibility, and epistemic possibility. It is argued that two-dimensionalism is the wrong framework for modal3 epistemology and that a certain nonreductionist approach to the theory of concepts and propositions is required instead. Finally, there is an examination of moderate rationalism's impact on modal4 arguments in the philosophy of mind--for example, Yablo's disembodiment argument and Chalmer's zombie argument. A less vulnerable style of modal5 argument is defended, which nevertheless wins the same anti-materialist conclusions sought by these other arguments.

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