Philosophical Knowledge and Knowledge of Counterfactuals
Williamson (Timothy)
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Author’s Abstract

  1. Metaphysical modalities1 are definable from counterfactual conditionals, and the epistemology of the former is a special case of the epistemology of the latter.
  2. 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.
  3. Thus scepticism about metaphysical modality2 entails a more far-reaching scepticism about counterfactuals.
  4. The account is used to question the significance of the distinction between a priori and a posteriori knowledge.


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