Date of Graduation

Spring 2018

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Research Sponsor

Dr. Christopher Buford

First Reader

Dr. Joseph Li Vecchi

Second Reader

Dr. Eric Sotnak


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 in the first place.

Included in

Epistemology Commons