<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>Bealer (George) - The Origins of Modal Error (Theo Todman's Book Collection - Paper Abstracts) </title> <link href="../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../TT_ICO.png" /></head> <BODY> <CENTER> <div id="header"><HR><h1>Theo Todman's Web Page - Paper Abstracts</h1><HR></div><A name="Top"></A> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_06/PaperSummary_6164.htm">The Origins of Modal Error</A></th></tr> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../Authors/B/Author_Bealer (George).htm">Bealer (George)</a></th></tr> <tr><th>Source: Dialectica 58:1 (2004), pp. 11-42</th></tr> <tr><th>Paper - Abstract</th></tr> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=400><tr><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_06/PaperSummary_6164.htm">Paper Summary</A></td><td><A HREF="#ColourConventions">Text Colour-Conventions</a></td></tr></TABLE></CENTER></P> <hr><P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><U>Philosophers Index Abstract</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><a name="1"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">Modal</A><SUP>1</SUP> intuitions are the primary source of <a name="2"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>2</SUP> knowledge but also of <a name="3"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>3</SUP> error. According to the theory of <a name="4"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>4</SUP> error in this paper, <a name="5"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>5</SUP> intuitions retain their evidential force in spite of their fallibility, and erroneous <a name="6"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>6</SUP> intuitions are in principle identifiable and eliminable by subjecting our intuitions to a priori dialectic. After an inventory of standard sources of <a name="7"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>7</SUP> error, two further sources are examined in detail. The first source  namely, the failure to distinguish between metaphysical possibility and various kinds of epistemic possibility  turns out to be comparatively easy to untangle and poses little threat to intuition-driven philosophical investigation. The second source is the local (i.e., temporary) misunderstanding of one s concepts (as opposed to outright Burgean misunderstanding). This pathology may be understood on analogy with a patient who is given a clean bill of health at his annual check-up, despite his having a cold at the time of the check-up: although the patient s health is locally (temporarily) disrupted, his overall health is sufficiently good to enable him to overcome the cold without external intervention. Even when our understanding of certain pivotal concepts has lapsed locally, our larger body of intuitions is sufficiently reliable to allow us, without intervention, to ferret out the <a name="8"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>8</SUP> errors resulting from this lapse in understanding by means of dialectic and/or a process of a priori reflection. This source of <a name="9"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>9</SUP> error, and our capacity to overcome it, has wide-ranging implications for philosophical method  including, in particular, its promise for disarming skepticism about the classical method of intuition-driven philosophical investigation itself. Indeed, it is shown that skeptical accounts of <a name="10"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>10</SUP> error (e.g., the accounts given by Hill, Levin, and several others) are ultimately self-defeating.</ol></FONT><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR></P><a name="ColourConventions"></a><p><b>Text Colour Conventions (see <A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</b></p><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</li></OL> <BR><HR><BR><CENTER> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-03T00:08" pubdate>03/08/2018 00:08:45</time> <br><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A></TD></TR> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>