Research

Tom Schoonen

Most of my work is within the epistemology of modality, with a focus on the epistemology of possibility, moderate modal scepticism, and modal empiricism. For example, I am working on ways in which the similarity-theories of the epistemology of possibility can be spelled out, looking at reasoning by analogy and inferences based on kinds. I am also working on theories of imagination; in particular trying to find a useful, naturalised, way of restricting imagination in such a way that it might prove epistemically useful, for example, through the combination of embodied cognition and simulation theory (this is in collaboration with Max Jones). I've also done some work on the epistemology of thought experiments and the role that imagination plays in the method of cases. This research has focused on engaging with Edouard Machery's book Philosophy Within its Proper Bound as well as engaging with the post-Williamson Philosophy of Philosophy literature on the form of the Gettier-like reasoning (this is in collaboration with Peter Hawke).

In general, I am interested in issues concerning modality, dispositions, causation, and meta-theoretical issues concerning the relation between (formal) theories and the world. I like issues and puzzles in epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of language and mind, and philosophical logic.

My MSc Logic dissertation concerned an argument for the use of impossible worlds in formal semantics, based on a methodological argument and an argument from utility, which was supervised by Franz Berto and Paul Dekker (see the dissertation below). And my MSc MLEC dissertation was centred around Scott Soames' recent reductio argument against the conception of propostions as sets of truth-supporting circumstances and was supervised by Brian Rabern (see the dissertation below).

Publications

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

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

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

Talks

The Epistemological value of Pretense-Imagination
OZSW 2019 Conference, University of Amsterdam, November 2019

The Epistemological value of Pretense-Imagination
CLPS Seminar, KU Leuven, November 2019

Concrete Imagination and the Epistemology of Imagination
On What There Isn't, University of Düsseldorf, September 2019

Logical Development of Pretense [w/ A. Özgün]
Fiction and Imagination, University of Turin, June 2019

Are Gettier-Cases Disturbing? [w/ P. Hawke]
Fiction and Imagination, University of Turin, June 2019

Embodied Constraints on Imagination [w/ M. Jones]
Learning from Imagination, University of Leeds, May 2019

Concrete Imagination and the Epistemology of Imagination
Epistemology: Current Themes, Arché University of St. Andrews, May 2019

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

Papers in Progress

Logical Development of Pretense
Under review [w/ A. Özgün]

Are Gettier-Cases Disturbing?
Under review [w/ P. Hawke]

Concrete Imagination, Linguistic Content, and the Epistemology of Possibility
Under review

Analogy in the Epistemology of Possibility
Under review

Embodied Constraints on Knowledge from Imagination
Under review [w/ M. Jones]

Other

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. (pdf)

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

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