Limits of Conceivability in the Study of the Future. Part 6. Common Themes

Continues from the previous posts. In this series of posts, three cases from philosophy of science were discussed. The cases involve conceptual and epistemological considerations that suggest the following lessons. First, there are possible futures that cannot be conceived due to deep epistemological and conceptual reasons. At least in science, there have been unconceived alternatives […]

Limits of Conceivability in the Study of the Future. Part 5. Put Up or Shut Up

Continues from previous posts. Both cases discussed in previous posts are related to the so-called inevitability vs. contingentism debate but, in this post, we discuss a set of considerations that have been at the heart of the debate. The debate concerns the possibility of equally successful but fundamentally different science (Hacking 2000; Soler et. al […]

Limits of Conceivability in the Study of the Future. Part 4. The Problem of Leaking Counterfactuals

Continues from the previous posts We have seen, in Part 2, that counterfactual histories are often considered as an important way to approach future possibilities. However, a recent argument by Tambolo (2020) puts this verdict in doubt. Tambolo discusses counterfactuals in the historiography of science. Tambolo argues that “In the case of general history, it […]

Limits of Conceivability in the Study of the Future. Part 3. The Problem of Unconceived Alternatives

Continues from part 1 and part 2. In philosophy of science, one of the main debates concerns scientific realism. According to scientific realism, successful and mature scientific theories are approximately true descriptions of mind-independent reality (Psillos 1999, xvii). The debate concerning scientific realism is enormous and here we focus on one argumentative line within it. […]

Limits of Conceivability in the Study of The Future. Part 2. History, Future, and Conceivability

This post continues from the previous post. —- The three cases from philosophy of science draw conceptual and epistemological insights from considerations that are intimately related to history and historiography. They are related to history when they are based on events and patterns in the past, and they are related to historiography when they are […]

Limits of Conceivability in the Study of the Future. Part 1. The Problem

This post is the first post in a series that discusses the limits of conceivability. I draw lessons concerning our ability to conceive and reason about possible future from three argumentative cases in philosophy of science. In this post, I introduce the problem. In the next post, contextualize the philosophical cases on the theoretical and […]

A Merry Little Christmas? On Possible and Desirable Christmases

At this time of the year, the nature and possibility of a desirable Christmas must be asked again. In this post, I examine the question of how we can understand possible Christmases and their desirability in our own lives. The first thing we need to study is the previous Christmases. Can we find some patterns […]