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Tom Schoonen

Tom Schoonen


epistemology and metaphysics of modality; epistemology of abilities; causation

In general, I’m very interested in empirically informed, interdisciplinary, and collaborative philosophy. I like to think about issues concerning modality, causality, and abilities as well as cognitively plausible epistemologies thereof. My primary research interests are in coming up with epistemologies of all things modal in line with methodological naturalism. In my PhD thesis, I develop cognitively plausible epistemologies of possibility, based on different theories of imagination and similarity reasoning. I argued that even though similarity-based approaches to the epistemology of possibility seem very promising, justified similarity judgements rely on prior knowledge of causal structures. During my time at the Human Abilities group, I want to explore how our knowledge of our own abilities might play a role in the epistemology of causation and in the epistemology of modality. This requires first of all to develop a (cognitively plausible) epistemology of abilities (as well as thinking about what abilities are), which is what I am currently focusing on. 


Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, German Research Foundation