Modal Empiricism: Objection, Reply, Proposal

  • Bob FischerEmail author
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 378)


According to modal empiricism, our justification for believing possibility and necessity claims is a posteriori. One serious objection to modal empiricism is the problem of empirical conservativeness: it doesn’t seem that experience can distinguish between modal claims. If experience can’t manage that, it’s hard to see how it can provide evidence for one claim over the other. So, if modal empiricism is true, we ought to be modal skeptics. On the assumption that we shouldn’t be modal skeptics, we should reject modal empiricism. I have two aims here: first, to reply to this objection to modal empiricism; second, to sketch a modal epistemology that fits with the reply I offer.


Semantic View Epistemic Possibility Empirical Consequence Evil Demon Modal Claim 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyTexas State UniversitySan MarcosUSA

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