the inaugural address
I argue that a pragmatic scepticism about metaphysical modality is a perfectly reasonable position to maintain. I then illustrate the difficulties and limitations associated with some strategies for defeating such scepticism. These strategies appeal to associations between metaphysical modality and the following: objective probability, counterfactuals and distinctive explanatory value.
John Divers is a first-generation University entrant who studied, and subsequently taught, Philosophy at the University of Glasgow. He has been Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield and currently holds that position at the University of Leeds. The dominant theme in his published work is modality, including the 2002 book Possible Worlds and (in progress) Necessity After Quine. John is also an Editor of Thought and Director of the Leverhulme Trust Research Project, Thinking Counterfactually - How "Would have been” reveals what is and what must be.
6–8 July 2018
Faculty of Philosophy
Radcliffe Observatory Quarter 555
Oxford OX2 6GG
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