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  1. Tense, Mood, and Centering.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    Natural languages exhibit a great variety of grammatical paradigms. For instance, in English verbs are grammatically marked for tense, whereas in the tenseless Eskimo-Aleut language Kalaallisut they are marked for illocutionary mood. Although time is a universal dimension of the human experience and speaking is part of that experience, some languages encode reference to time without any grammatical tense morphology, or reference to speech acts without any illocutionary mood morphology. Nevertheless, different grammatical systems are semantically parallel in certain respects. Specifically, (...)
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  2. Future Displacement and Modality.Fabrizio Cariani - manuscript
    In this survey article, I discuss the variety of ways in which language allows us to talk about the future. Topics discussed include how the category of predictive expressions broadly understood relates to the syntactic category of tense; what it means to say that a language does not have tense; how predictiveness relates to modality; and finally technical issue concerning the scope of negation in a semantics that is capable of shifting evaluation towards the future.
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  3. The Modal Future Hypothesis Debugged.Fabrizio Cariani - manuscript
    This note identifies and corrects some problems in developments of the thesis that predictive expressions, such as English "will", are modals. I contribute a new argument supporting Cariani and Santorio's recent claim that predictive expressions are non-quantificational modals. At the same time, I improve on their selectional semantics by fixing an important bug. Finally, I show that there are benefits to be reaped by integrating the selection semantics framework with standard ideas about the future orientation of modals.
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  4. Confidence Reports.Fabrizio Cariani, Paolo Santorio & Alexis Wellwood - manuscript
    We advocate and develop a states-based semantics for both nominal and adjectival confidence reports, as in "Ann is confident/has confidence that it's raining", and their comparatives "Ann is more confident/has more confidence that it's raining than that it's snowing". Other examples of adjectives that can report confidence include "sure" and "certain". Our account adapts Wellwood's account of adjectival comparatives in which the adjectives denote properties of states, and measure functions are introduced compositionally. We further explore the prospects of applying these (...)
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  5. Does Chance Undermine Would?Alexander W. Kocurek - forthcoming - Mind.
    Counterfactual skepticism holds that most ordinary counterfactuals are false. The main argument for this view appeals to a ‘chance undermines would’ principle: if ψ would have some chance of not obtaining had φ obtained, then φ []–> ψ is false. This principle seems to follow from two fairly weak principles, viz., that ‘chance ensures could’ and that φ []–> ψ and φ <>–> ψ clash. Despite their initial plausibility, I show that these principles are independently problematic: given some modest closure (...)
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  6. Weak and Strong Necessity Modals: On Linguistic Means of Expressing "A Primitive Concept OUGHT".Alex Silk - 2022 - In Billy Dunaway & David Plunkett (eds.), Meaning, Decision, and Norms: Themes from the Work of Allan Gibbard. pp. 203-245.
    This paper develops an account of the meaning of `ought', and the distinction between weak necessity modals (`ought', `should') and strong necessity modals (`must', `have to'). I argue that there is nothing specially ``strong'' about strong necessity modals per se: uses of `Must p' predicate the (deontic/epistemic/etc.) necessity of the prejacent p of the actual world (evaluation world). The apparent ``weakness'' of weak necessity modals derives from their bracketing whether the necessity of the prejacent is verified in the actual world. (...)
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  7. The Modal Future: A Theory of Future-Directed Thought and Talk.Fabrizio Cariani - 2021 - Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    Provisional draft, pre-production copy of my book “The Modal Future” (forthcoming with Cambridge University Press).
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  8. Assertion and Modality.Fabrizio Cariani - 2020 - In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Assertion. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 505-528.
    This essay is an opinionated exploration of the constraints that modal discourse imposes on the theory of assertion. Primary focus is on the question whether modal discourse challenges the traditional view that all assertions have propositional content. This question is tackled largely with reference to discourse involving epistemic modals, although connections with other flavors of modality are noted along the way.
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  9. Variable Objects and Truthmaking.Friederike Moltmann - 2020 - In Mircea Dumitru (ed.), Metaphysics, Meaning, and Modality. Themes from Kit Fine. Oxford University Press.
    This paper will focus on a philosophically significant construction whose semantics brings together two important notions in Kit Fine’s philosophy, the notion of truthmaking and the notion of a variable embodiment, or its extension, namely what I call a ‘variable object’. This is the construction of definite NPs like 'the number of people that can fit into the bus', 'the book John needs to write', and 'the gifted mathematician John claims to be'. Such NPs are analysed as standing for variable (...)
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  10. Future Orientation on an Event-Relative Semantics for Modals.Daniel Skibra - 2020 - In Maggie Baird (ed.), NELS 49: Proceedings of the Forty-Ninth Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society: Volume 3. Amherst, MA: GLSA, Dept. of Linguistics. pp. 149-162.
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  11. Content in a Dynamic Context.Una Stojnić - 2019 - Noûs 53 (2):394-432.
    The standing tradition in theorizing about meaning, since at least Frege, identifies meaning with propositions, which are, or determine, the truth-conditions of a sentence in a context. But a recent trend has advocated a departure from this tradition: in particular, it has been argued that modal claims do not express standard propositional contents. This non-propositionalism has received different implementations in expressivist semantics and certain kinds of dynamic semantics. They maintain that the key aspect of interpretation of modal claims is the (...)
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  12. Диференційні Параметри Експресем Та Регулятем У Художньому Тексті.Svitlana Halaur - 2018 - Language: Classic – Modern – Postmodern 4:20-32.
    У статті з’ясовано проблему контекстної логіко-інтелектуальної експресивності та входження її до сфери категорії регулятивності. Із цією метою експресивність проаналізовано у двох її виявах – інгерентному та адгерентному. Доведено, що адгерентні експресивні засоби – стилістичні прийоми – беруть активну участь у регулюванні читацької діяльності. Продемонстровано інклюзивні відношення між експресемами та регулятемами, окреслено ядерно-периферійний ресурс регулятивних засобів.
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  13. Choice Points for a Modal Theory of Disjunction.Fabrizio Cariani - 2017 - Topoi 36 (1):171-181.
    This paper investigates the prospects for a semantic theory that treats disjunction as a modal operator. Potential motivation for such a theory comes from the way in which modals embed within disjunctions. After reviewing some of the relevant data, I go on to distinguish a variety of modal theories of disjunction. I analyze these theories by considering pairs of conflicting desiderata, highlighting some of the tradeoffs they must face.
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  14. One's Modus Ponens: Modality, Coherence and Logic.Una Stojnić - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (1):167-214.
    Recently, there has been a shift away from traditional truth-conditional accounts of meaning towards non-truth-conditional ones, e.g., expressivism, relativism and certain forms of dynamic semantics. Fueling this trend is some puzzling behavior of modal discourse. One particularly surprising manifestation of such behavior is the alleged failure of some of the most entrenched classical rules of inference; viz., modus ponens and modus tollens. These revisionary, non-truth-conditional accounts tout these failures, and the alleged tension between the behavior of modal vocabulary and classical (...)
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  15. Temporality: Universals and Variation.Maria Bittner - 2014 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    This book surveys the ways in which languages of different types refer to past, present, and future events and how these referents are related to the knowledge and attitudes of discourse participants. The book is the culmination of fifteen years of research by the author. Four major language types are examined in-depth: tense-based English, tense-aspect-based Polish, aspect-based Chinese, and mood-based Kalaallisut. Each contributes to a series of logical representation languages, which together define a common logical language that is argued to (...)
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  16. Dispositions Without Conditionals.Barbara Vetter - 2014 - Mind 123 (489):129-156.
    Dispositions are modal properties. The standard conception of dispositions holds that each disposition is individuated by its stimulus condition(s) and its manifestation(s), and that their modality is best captured by some conditional construction that relates stimulus to manifestation as antecedent to consequent. I propose an alternative conception of dispositions: each disposition is individuated by its manifestation alone, and its modality is closest to that of possibility — a fragile vase, for instance, is one that can break easily. The view is (...)
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  17. Contextualist Solutions to Three Puzzles About Practical Conditionals.Janice Dowell, J. L. - 2012 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, volume 7. Oxford University Press.
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  18. Modals Without Scales.Amy Rose Deal - 2011 - Language 87 (3):559-585.
    Some natural languages do not lexically distinguish between modals of possibility and modals of necessity. From the perspective of languages like English, modals in such languages appear to do double duty: they are used both where possibility modals are expected and where necessity modals are expected. The Nez Perce modal suffix o’qa offers an example of this behavior. I offer a simple account of the flexibility of the o’qa modal centered on the absence of scalar implicatures. O’qa is a possibility (...)
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  19. Deterministic Chance.Antony Eagle - 2011 - Noûs 45 (2):269 - 299.
    I sketch a new constraint on chance, which connects chance ascriptions closely with ascriptions of ability, and more specifically with 'CAN'-claims. This connection between chance and ability has some claim to be a platitude; moreover, it exposes the debate over deterministic chance to the extensive literature on (in)compatibilism about free will. The upshot is that a prima facie case for the tenability of deterministic chance can be made. But the main thrust of the paper is to draw attention to the (...)
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  20. Ruzsa on Quine’s Argument Against Modal Logic.Zsófia Zvolenszky - 2010 - Hungarian Philosophical Review (Magyar Filozófiai Szemle) (4):40-48.
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  21. Does Possible World Semantics Turn All Propositions Into Necessary Ones?John-Michael Kuczynski - 2007 - Journal of Pragmatics 39 (5):972-916.
    "Jim would still be alive if he hadn't jumped" means that Jim's death was a consequence of his jumping. "x wouldn't be a triangle if it didn't have three sides" means that x's having a three sides is a consequence its being a triangle. Lewis takes the first sentence to mean that Jim is still alive in some alternative universe where he didn't jump, and he takes the second to mean that x is a non-triangle in every alternative universe where (...)
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  22. Must I Do What I Ought (or Will the Least I Can Do Do)?Paul McNamara - 1996 - In Mark Brown & Jose' Carmo (eds.), Deontic Logic, Agency and Normative Systems. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. pp. 154-173.
    Appears to give the first model-theoretic account of both "must" and "ought" (without conflating them with one another). Some key pre-theoretic semantic and pragmatic phenomena that support a negative answer to the main title question are identified and a conclusion of some significance is drawn: a pervasive bipartisan presupposition of twentieth century ethical theory and deontic logic is false. Next, an intuitive model-theoretic framework for "must" and "ought" is hypothesized. It is then shown how this hypothesis helps to explain and (...)
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  23. Individuals and Possibilities (1): Notes on Stone (1999) 'Reference to Possible Worlds'.Maria Bittner - unknown
    The first of three lectures on nominal and modal discourse reference across languages (IMS, Stuttgart, 2000).
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