Research

Tom Schoonen

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. More broadly, I am interested in issues in epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, science, and language.

In particular, I’m interested in our ampliative reasoning abilities and their relation to the epistemologies of modality and causation. For example, I am working on ways in which the similarity-based approaches to the epistemology of possibility can be spelled out, looking at reasoning by analogy and inferences based on (natural) kinds. I also work on ways in which our embodiment affects the epistemology of imagination and epistemology more generally.

Currently, I am exploring how knowledge of our own abilities might play a role in epistemologies of causation and modality. This requires first of all to develop a (cognitively plausible) epistemology of abilities (as well as thinking about what abilities are).

My PhD dissertation, Tales of Similarity and Imagination, can be found here. In it, I discuss and develop modest, empiricist epistemologies of possibility. I focus on imagination-based and similarity-based approaches to the epistemology of possibility and defend a non-exceptionalist epistemology of philosophical thought experiments.

Publications

Possibility, Relevant Similarity, and Structural Knowledge
2022, Synthese, 200 pp. 1-22 (pdf)

The Logical Development of Pretense Imagination
forthcoming, Erkenntnis (pdf) [preprint] [with A. Özgün]
(Note that due to Springer's typesetting, there are parts of the formalism that are illegible in the official version. Please read the preprint until Springer fixes the issue.)

A Note on the Epistemological Value of Pretense Imagination
forthcoming, Episteme (pdf)

Are Gettier Cases Disturbing?
2021, Philosophical Studies, 178(5), pp. 1503-1527 (pdf) [with P. Hawke]

The Problem of Modally Bad Company
2020, Res Philosophica, 97(4), pp. 639-659 (pdf) [preprint]

Conceivability and Possibility: Some Dilemmas for Humeans
2018, Synthese,195(6), pp. 2697-2715 (pdf) [with F. Berto]

Noneism and Allism on the Objects of Thought
2018, Journal of Logics and their applications, 4(11), pp. 3739-3757 (pdf) [with F. Berto]
(Special Issue: Tribute to Dale Jacquette, edited by John Woods)

Reasoning about Fiction
The Logica Yearbook 2017, pp. 255-269, College Publications (final version) [with F. Berto]

Book Reviews

Epistemic Uses of Imagination (Chris Badura and Amy Kind (eds.), Routledge, 2021),
forthcoming, The Philosophical Quarterly (pdf)

Works in Progress

Structuralist worries for epistemologies of powers-based modality
Under review [w/ G. Giannini]

Recreative Imagination, Imaginative Blocks, and Naturalism
Under review [w/ M. Jones]

Kinds and Possibility
Under review

Embodied Imagination and Knowledge of Possibilities
Under review [w/ M. Jones]

On the epistemology of our own abilities
Under review [w/ S. Kikkert]

Core Cognition and Imagination
In preparation [w/ S. Boardman]

Quantum Modal Realism and Naturalistic Epistemology of Modality
In preparation

Bodily Perception of Basic Causation
Draft

Actually Doing It Matters
Draft

Modal Modesty
Draft

Recent talks

Putting Epistemology back in the Epistemology of Modality [w/ Samuel Boardman]
IV Blasco Disputatio: The Epistemology of Modality, University of Valencia, June 2022

Agency, Causation, and Bodily Perception
Agency, Bodily Perception, and the Self, LOGOS, University of Barcelona (online), May 2022

Core Imagination
Naturalised Epistemologies of Modality, Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, “Human Abilities” (online), March 2022

Embodied Imagination and Modal Objectivity
The Science and Philosophy of Imagination, University of Bristol (online), September 2021

Imagination and Biases in Decision making
28th Conference of the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology, University of Leipzig (online), August 2021

Kinds and Possibility
Logic of Conceivability conference, University of Amsterdam (online), June 2021

Kinds and Possibility
Mind, Language, and Metaphysics Graduate Conference, Durham University (online), May 2021

The Epistemological value of Pretense-Imagination (video)
III Meeting Northern Imagination Forum, Online forum, April 2021

(For a list of all talks, see CV.)

Other

Imagining Disjunctions
The Junkyard Blog Post [with Chris Badura] (post)

Dissemination Corner - The Logic of Conceivability
The Reasoner, 14(2), 2020. (pdf)

Embodied Constraints on Imagination
The Junkyard Blog Post [with Max Jones] (post)

Dissemination Corner - The Logic of Conceivability
The Reasoner, 11(10), 2017.

Thinking the Impossible
MSc Thesis, 2016, Institute for Logic, Language, and Communication. (pdf)

Beliefs and 'Believes'
MSc Thesis, 2014, University of Edinburgh. (pdf)