Imaginable Impossibilities and Thought Experiments

Special Issue on Impossibility – CfP for Inquiry

Dear colleagues,

the international peer-reviewed journal Inquiry will be running a special issue on the topic of impossibility

Together with Massimiliano Carrara (Padova) and Bjørn Jespersen (Groningen), I will be co-editor of this special issue.

We welcome submissions on any and all notions of impossibility, and on the history of this multi-angled concept. While all submissions must be philosophical in nature, we are interested in manuscripts that have either a predominantly conceptual, logical or historical focus.

There are several reasons for devoting a special issue to the topic of impossibility. There is currently a plurality of notions of impossibility along two axes. The first axis bears on the taxonomy of different kinds of impossibility, such as alethic, epistemic, doxastic, analytic, mathematical, logical, nomological, metaphysical, and pragmatic (in terms of practical feasibility). The other axis concerns the degrees of granularity within each category. Notoriously, possible-worlds semantics has an excessively coarse-grained notion of impossibility, which makes the framework inapplicable to a host of modalities. These include, among others, counterpossibles (unless vacuism is expressly adopted), various attitudes, knowledge, imagining, and conceivability. Also historically, the nature and the many kinds of impossibility have been discussed, often in connection with the theory of conditionals and the truth-conditions of counterpossibles. Nevertheless, the history of impossibility has  received much less attention than the one devoted to its modal counterparts of possibility and necessity. This special issue seeks to help fill this lacuna. 

Although there is no word limit for submissions, your submission is much more likely to be considered if it is not in excess of 10,000 words.

The deadline is May 1st, 2023. 

For further information, please contact the guest editors at;

Please submit your paper at

The usual standards of review maintained by Inquiry apply. 

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