Moderate modal skepticism

Book chapter


Strohminger, Margot and Yli-Vakkuri, Juhani 2018. Moderate modal skepticism. in: M. A. Benton, J. Hawthorne and D. Rabinowitz (ed.) Knowledge, Belief, and God: New Insights in Religious Epistemology United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. pp. 302 - 321
AuthorsStrohminger, Margot and Yli-Vakkuri, Juhani
EditorsM. A. Benton, J. Hawthorne and D. Rabinowitz
Abstract

This chapter examines moderate modal skepticism, a form of skepticism about metaphysical modality defended by Peter van Inwagen in order to blunt the force of certain modal arguments in the philosophy of religion. Van Inwagen’s argument for moderate modal skepticism assumes Yablo’s (1993) influential world-based epistemology of possibility. This chapter raises two problems for this epistemology of possibility, which undermine van Inwagen’s argument. It then considers how one might motivate moderate modal skepticism by relying on a different epistemology of possibility, which does not face these problems: Williamson’s (2007) counterfactual-based epistemology. Two ways of motivating moderate modal skepticism within that framework are found unpromising. Nevertheless, the chapter also finds a way of vindicating an epistemological thesis that, while weaker than moderate modal skepticism, is strong enough to support the methodological moral van Inwagen wishes to draw.

Keywordsmodal skepticism; epistemology of modality; epistemic possibility; skeptical theism; counterfactuals; Peter van Inwagen
Page range302 - 321
Year2018
Book titleKnowledge, Belief, and God: New Insights in Religious Epistemology
PublisherOxford University Press
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
ISBN9780198798705
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198798705.003.0016
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85050331366
Research GroupDianoia Institute of Philosophy
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https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/86963/moderate-modal-skepticism

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