Tom Schoonen

Within the LoC project, I focus on the link between conceivability and modality, in particular, the relation between imagination and (metaphysical) possibility. I'm currently 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. One possible way of doing so it through the combination of embodied cognition and simulation theory (this is in collaboration with Max Jones). I'm also working 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). Finally, I'm working on the epistemology of possibility in general, focussing on the role of imagination as well as on forms of modality such as dispositions, affordances, and potentialities.

In general, I am interested in meta-theoretical issues concerning the relation between (formal) theories and the world or phenomenon these theories are about or aim to model, as well as issues and puzzles in epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of 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).


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)


Embodied Constraints on Imagination
Thinking About the Possible, CEU Budapest, July 2018

Gettier-Reasoning and Deviant Realisations
European Epistemology Network, VU Amsterdam, June 2018

Embodied Simulation and Modal Epistemology
Graduate Philosophy Conference, Trinity College Dublin, May 2018

Theories of Fiction: Meinongianism and Artifactual Theory
ECAP9, LMU Munich, August 2017

Reasoning in Fiction
Logica 2017, University of Prague, Hejnice, June 2017

Kung's Modal Epistemology
Conceivability and Modality, Sapienza University, Rome, June 2017

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


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)