Grazer Philosophische Studien

Volume 49, 1994/95

Investigating Hintikka

Nenad Mišćević
Pages 149-173

Naturalism and Modal Reasoning

A naturalistic theory of modal intuitions and modal reasoning inspired by Hintikka's theorizing should start from the principle that advanced modal reasoning has its roots in commonsense intuitions. It is proposed that the naturalist can rely on the assumption of uniformity: the same set of basic principles is used in reasoning about actual and counterfactual dependencies - modal cognition is conservative. In the most primitive cases the difference between a model of an actual situation and of a merely possible one lies in its functional and indicational roles, not in its internal make-up. This conjecture enables one to derive important aspects of modal reasoning from the non-modal one. In the final section of the paper a simplified account of such derivation is proposed, drawn partly from connection- ist literature.