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The University of Akron

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Reasons To Realize That We Can’T Really Know About Unrealized Possibilities, Joseph Klein Jan 2018

Reasons To Realize That We Can’T Really Know About Unrealized Possibilities, Joseph Klein

Williams Honors College, Honors Research Projects

The chief purpose of this essay is to defend the position that we do not have knowledge of unrealized possibilities. I do this first by laying out some basic concepts concerning modality. Then, I use these ideas to show that modal knowledge has sometimes been assumed without sufficient justification. Next, I provide my own argument that we have no access to such knowledge based on our understanding of evolutionary development. Finally, I discuss some potential implications for this argument and propose one way that we could reinterpret modal intuitions to explain why we came to think we had modal knowledge ...