Workshop with J. Conant and A. Moore: Descartes, Modality and Conceivability



9.45. Coffee/Welcome

10.15-12.00 Adrian Moore (Oxford) 'What Descartes Ought to Have Thought About Modality'

12.00 LUNCH

13.30-15.15 James Conant (Chicago) 'Reply to Moore'

15.15 Coffee break

15.45-17.00 Adrian Moore & James Conant open discussion: Descartes, modality and conceivability.

18.30 Dinner in town  


Papers will be circulated to Concept Lab members. email Natalia Waights Hickman ( for copies.

Adrian Moore (Oxford) 'What Descartes Ought to Have Thought About Modality'
My starting point is the first section of James Conant’s wonderful essay ‘The Search for Logically Alien Thought’, in which he discusses Descartes’s views about necessity and possibility.  Conant is especially interested in claims that Descartes makes, with respect to propositions that on his own conception are impossible, that God could nevertheless make them true.  I argue that these claims are lapses on Descartes’s part: he should not have made them.  At the end of my essay I focus on one particularly important case where Descartes not only says what I think he should say, in contradistinction to these lapses, but makes crucial capital out of his entitlement to do so.
James Conant (Chicago) 'Reply to Moore'


Published Apr. 28, 2017 4:17 PM - Last modified May 10, 2017 3:32 PM