sexta-feira, 11 de novembro de 2011

The Epistemology of Modality

Cologne, Germany, February 23-24 2012

Modal discourse is ubiquitous in everyday life: how things could have been different, what we might do, what the future could be; questions of this kind, with different readings of (or restrictions on) the kind of modality involved, are likely to be asked about almost any subject that attracts interest in human life, no matter whether the topic is addressed informally or through a scientific discipline. Analytic philosophy also concerns itself with modal discourse in many ways; as an object of analysis, as a tool (when a modal account is offered of apparently non- modal phenomena) and, more directly, when philosophers argue about metaphysical modal claims. But how do we get to know the answers to the modal questions? By definition, modal claims transcend the way things are. This seems to pose a peculiar difficulty for the epistemology of modal discourse, somewhat analogous to the (alleged) problem for our knowledge of abstract objects known as “Benacerraf dilemma”; in both cases there seems to be a tension between the metaphysics and the epistemology of the relevant area. A related issue is whether the solution to the problem, for modal discourse, requires tracing modal knowledge back to a priori or conceptual truths. In the workshop, we aim to discuss and develop different answers that have been given recently to this problem.

Speakers: Jacek Brzozowski (Köln), Bob Hale (Sheffield), Sonia Roca-Royes (Stirling), Daniele Sgaravatti (Köln), Anand Vaidya (San Jose), Timothy Williamson (Oxford).

Participation in the workshop is free, but registration is needed and there is a limited number of available places. For registration and inquiries please write to: Registration deadline: January 10 2012 The Workshop is organized by the Emmy Noether research group ‘Understanding and the A Priori’:

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