Philosophical Insight and Modal Cognition

Mikkel Gerken

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Modal rationalists uphold a strong constitutive relationship between a priori cognition and modal cognition. Since both a priori cognition and modal cognition have been taken to be characteristic of philosophical insights, I will critically assess an ambitious modal rationalism and an associated ambitious methodological rationalism. I begin by examining Kripkean cases of the necessary a posteriori in order to characterize the ambitious modal rationalism that will be the focus of my criticism. I then argue that there is a principled association between this view in the epistemology of modality and an ambitious methodological rationalist picture of the nature of philosophical insights. On the basis of this discussion, I criticize ambitious modal rationalism and argue that the critique indicates some principled limits of generating philosophical insights by a priori modal cognition. Hence, my central diagnosis is that ambitious methodological rationalists are overly ambitious in the role that they assign a priori modal cognition in philosophical methodology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExperimental Philosophy, Rationalism, and Naturalism
Subtitle of host publicationRethinking Philosophical Method
EditorsEugen Fischer, John Collins
Place of PublicationOxon and New Yoek
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)978-1138887251, 978-1138887282
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2015

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Modal cognition
  • Methodology
  • Necessary a posteriori


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