Rational Imagination and Modal Knowledge

Jonathan Ichikawa, Benjamin Jarvis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


How do we know what's (metaphysically) possible and impossible? Arguments from Kripke and Putnam suggest that possibility is not merely a matter of (coherent) conceivability/imaginability. For example, we can coherently imagine that Hesperus and Phosphorus are distinct objects even though they are not possibly distinct. Despite this apparent problem, we suggest, nevertheless, that imagination plays an important role in an adequate modal epistemology. When we discover what is possible or what is impossible, we generally exploit important connections between what is possible and what we can coherently imagine. We can often come to knowledge of metaphysical modality a priori.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-158
Issue number1
Early online date20 Jan 2011
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


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