If you were trying to explain what you study to someone who didn't know anything about philosophy, what would you say? (It should be short and clear, but you can't cheat by just saying "I study ethics".)
I have a hard enough time explaining my thesis to other philosophers! If asked by non-philosophers, I've always offered the 'cheat' answer: "I'm studying the concept of possibility." If made to explain further, I usually just end up confusing them. But perhaps the following would work:
The world is a certain way, but intuitively, things could have turned out in a completely different way, right? For example, Germany could have won WWII, and then things would be very different. I'm looking into the abstract question of how these various 'ways a world might be' are related to the world itself. I'm especially interested in which possibilities really could have come about (say, if you were to "rewind and replay" history enough times, it would eventually turn out that way). I'm also curious about how we learn what's possible, given that merely possible things don't actually exist.
Does that make sense?