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Similarity and Possibility: An Epistemology of de re Possibility for Concrete Entities

  • Sonia Roca-RoyesEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 378)

Abstract

The paper sketches an epistemology of de re possibility (for concrete entities) centred on the notion of similarity. The proposal is, roughly, that we know about some entities’ unrealized possibilities by extrapolation from knowledge about some other, similar entities’ realized possibilities. The account is limited, among other things, in that it does not cover knowledge of de re necessities or essentialist knowledge, if we have it. But even if alternative epistemologies could explain that type of knowledge too, the current account is found to best explain the de re possibility knowledge, thereby resisting a potential charge of redundancy.

Keywords

Heart Attack Methodological Recommendation Modal Knowledge Essentialist Knowledge Epistemic Ground 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

Earlier drafts of this paper were presented in Aarhus, Belgrade, L’Aquila, Lisbon, London, Mainz, Paris, Stirling and York. I am grateful to the audiences on all those occasions for stimulating discussions. Special thanks are due to Ralf Busse, Guislain Guigon, Bob Hale, Christian Nimtz, Duško Prelević, Pierre Saint-Germier, Silvère Schutkowski, Margot Strohminger, Anand Vaidya, Barbara Vetter, and Tim Williamson. I am also greatly thankful to the editors of this volume, Bob Fischer and Felipe Leon, for their careful reading of, and helpful suggestions on, the submitted version. This paper was written with support from the RCUK for an AHRC Leadership Fellowship project with the title ‘Towards a non-uniform epistemology of modality’.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of StirlingStirlingUK

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