The capacity of humans to acquire knowledge of what is actually true is in many ways relatively well understood. For example, by visual perception we are able to acquire knowledge of the actual spatial location of the objects within our field of vision; by memory, we are able to recall events that actually took place in the past; etc. But humans are not only interested in what is actually the case. Often, we are also interested in what could be the case (possibilities), what must be the case (necessities), and what would be the case, if something else, which is not in fact the case, were the case (counterfactuals). Propositions of these kinds belong to the class of modal propositions. Knowledge of such modalities cannot be acquired in a direct way by any of the usual and basic cognitive pathways, such as perception. No amount of observation of some particular fact will tell one whether that fact obtains with necessity, or whether it would have obtained if some other fact had obtained. Instead, modal knowledge seems to require reasoning and cognitive faculties of a decidedly shakier kind, involving inexact and ill-understood operations such as imagination, intuition, and mental simulation. This conference will address questions concerning our capacity for modal knowledge.
Otàvio Bueno, University of Miami
Hannes Leitgeb, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Stephen Mumford, University of Nottingham
Daniel Nolan, Australian National University
Sonia Roca Royes, University of Stirling
Anand Vaidya, San Jose State University
Timothy Williamson, Oxford University
Jens Christian Bjerring, Aarhus University
Jacob Busch, Aarhus University
Mikkel Gerken, University of Edinburgh
Lars Bo Gundersen, Aarhus University
Nikolaj Nottelmann, University of Southern Denmark
Sara Kier Praëm, Aarhus University
Asger Steffensen, Aarhus University
Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen, Aarhus University
Hanoch Ben-Yami, Central European University
Albert Casullo, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Daniel Dorhn, HU Berlin
Bob Fischer, Texas State University
Margot Strohminger, University of Antwerp
Toumas Tahko, University of Helsinki
Nathan Wildman, University of Hamburg
Conference fees including all meals (catered coffee and lunch Wednesday-Friday, and restaurant dinner Wednesday and Thursday).
Students (including PhD students): €100
Conference participation including coffee only (no meals) is free of charge, but registration is required.
Registration for the conference is open until September 15.
Registration fees are fully refundable before September 1; if you need to cancel your registration after September 1, we will refund 50 %.
September 24-26, 2014
Lakeside Conference Center
Single session conference with 14 presentations and 7 prepared responses to the main speakers over 3 days.
For all questions please contact the conference organizers at:
Please indicate in the header of your message the issue concerned: practical aspects (e.g., hotel reservations, travel, visa), registration, or the conference program.
The conference is organized in collaboration between the Modal Epistemology Research Group, and the Research Programme for Philosophy and Intellectual History, Dept. of Culture and Society, at Aarhus University. The Conference is funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research.