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The Modal Future: A Theory of Future-Directed Thought and Talk

Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press (2021)

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  1. Wondering about the future.Stephan Torre - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (8):2449-2473.
    Will it rain tomorrow? Will there be a sea battle tomorrow? Will my death be painful? Wondering about the future plays a central role in our cognitive lives. It is integral to our inquiries, our planning, our hopes, and our fears. The aim of this paper is to consider various accounts of future contingents and the implications that they have for wondering about the future. I argue that reflecting on the nature of wondering about the future supports an Ockhamist account (...)
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  • Does Chance Undermine Would?Alexander W. Kocurek - 2022 - Mind 131 (523):747-785.
    Counterfactual scepticism 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, namely, 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 (...)
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  • Clearing up Clouds: Underspecification in Demonstrative Communication.Rory Harder - 2023 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 53 (1):38-59.
    This paper explains how an assertion may be understood despite there being nothing said or meant by the assertion. That such understanding is possible is revealed by cases of the so-called ``felicitous underspecification'' of demonstratives: cases where there is understanding of an assertion containing a demonstrative despite the interlocutors not settling on one or another object as the one the speaker is talking about (King 2014a, 2017, 2021). I begin by showing how Stalnaker's ([1978] 1999) well-known pragmatic principles adequately permit (...)
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  • How to theorize about subjective language: a lesson from ‘de re’.Pranav Anand & Natasha Korotkova - 2022 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (3):619-681.
    Subjective language has attracted substantial attention in the recent literature in formal semantics and philosophy of language Subjective meaning: alternatives to relativism, De Gruyter, Berlin, pp 1–19, 2016; Lasersohn in Subjectivity and perspective in truth-theoretic semantics, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2017; Vardomskaya in Sources of subjectivity, Ph.D. thesis, University of Chicago, IL, 2018; Zakkou in Faultless disagreement: a defense of contextualism in the realm of personal taste, Vittorio Klostermann, Frankfurt a. M., 2019b). Most current theories argue that Subjective Predicates, which (...)
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  • On The Open Future: Replies to Rhoda and Rubio.Patrick Todd - forthcoming - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion.
    These are my materials (a short precis, and replies to Alan Rhoda and Daniel Rubio) for an invited symposium on my book _The Open Future: Why Future Contingents are All False_ (OUP, 2021) in IJPR. [The commentaries from Rhoda/Rubio are available on their respective PhilPapers profiles.].
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  • Chance, ability, and control.Matthew Mandelkern - manuscript
    A compelling, and popular, thought is that ability entails control: S’s being able to φ entails that φ be, in some sense, in S’s control. But this intuition is inconsistent with a different prima facie compelling thought: that S’s succeeding in φ-ing entails that S is able to φ. In this paper, I introduce a new form of evidence to help adjudicate between these two theses: namely, probability judgments about ability ascriptions. I argue that these judgments provide evidence in favor (...)
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  • Aboutness and Modality.Dean McHugh - 2022 - Proceedings of the 23Rd Amsterdam Colloquium.
    In this paper I would like to offer a new framework for hypothetical reasoning, with the goal of predicting what scenarios we consider when we interpret a conditional or causal claim (such as a sentence containing the word ‘because‘). The idea is that when we interpret a conditional or causal claim, we identify a part of the world to change and imagine changing that. Sentences are about parts of the world: when we interpret a conditional antecedent or because clause, we (...)
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