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  1. The Problem of Future Contingents: Scoping Out a Solution.Patrick Todd - 2020 - Synthese 197 (11):5051-5072.
    Various philosophers have long since been attracted to the doctrine that future contingent propositions systematically fail to be true—what is sometimes called the doctrine of the open future. However, open futurists have always struggled to articulate how their view interacts with standard principles of classical logic—most notably, with the Law of Excluded Middle. For consider the following two claims: Trump will be impeached tomorrow; Trump will not be impeached tomorrow. According to the kind of open futurist at issue, both of (...)
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  • Future Contingents and the Logic of Temporal Omniscience.Patrick Todd & Brian Rabern - 2021 - Noûs 55 (1):102-127.
    At least since Aristotle’s famous 'sea-battle' passages in On Interpretation 9, some substantial minority of philosophers has been attracted to the doctrine of the open future--the doctrine that future contingent statements are not true. But, prima facie, such views seem inconsistent with the following intuition: if something has happened, then (looking back) it was the case that it would happen. How can it be that, looking forwards, it isn’t true that there will be a sea battle, while also being true (...)
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  • Path Semantics for Indicative Conditionals.Paolo Santorio - 2022 - Mind 131 (521):59-98.
    The literature on indicative conditionals contains two appealing views. The first is the selectional view: on this view, conditionals operate by selecting a single possibility, which is used to evaluate the consequent. The second is the informational view: on this view, conditionals don’t express propositions, but rather impose constraints on information states of speakers. Both views are supported by strong arguments, but they are incompatible on their standard formulations. Hence it appears that we have to choose between mutually exclusive options. (...)
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  • The Dynamics of Argumentative Discourse.Carlotta Pavese & Alexander W. Kocurek - 2022 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 51 (2):413-456.
    Arguments have always played a central role within logic and philosophy. But little attention has been paid to arguments as a distinctive kind of discourse, with its own semantics and pragmatics. The goal of this essay is to study the mechanisms by means of which we make arguments in discourse, starting from the semantics of argument connectives such as `therefore'. While some proposals have been made in the literature, they fail to account for the distinctive anaphoric behavior of `therefore', as (...)
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  • Talking About Worlds.Matthew Mandelkern - 2018 - Philosophical Perspectives 32 (1):298-325.
    I explore the logic of the conditional, using credence judgments to argue against Duality and in favor of Conditional Excluded Middle. I then explore how to give a theory of the conditional which validates the latter and not the former, developing a variant on Kratzer (1981)'s restrictor theory, as well as a proposal which combines Stalnaker (1968)'s theory of the conditional with the theory of epistemic modals I develop in Mandelkern 2019a. I argue that the latter approach fits naturally with (...)
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  • Hurford Conditionals.Matthew Mandelkern & Jacopo Romoli - 2018 - Journal of Semantics 35 (2):357-367.
    Compare the following conditionals: 'If John is not in Paris, he is in France' versus 'If John is in France, he is not in Paris.' The second sounds entirely natural, whereas the first sounds quite strange. This contrast is puzzling, because these two conditionals have the same structure at a certain level of logical abstraction, namely 'If ¬p+, then p.' -/- We argue that existing theories of informational oddness do not distinguish between these conditionals. We do not have an account (...)
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  • Bounded Modality.Matthew Mandelkern - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (1):1-61.
    What does 'might' mean? One hypothesis is that 'It might be raining' is essentially an avowal of ignorance like 'For all I know, it's raining'. But it turns out these two constructions embed in different ways, in particular as parts of larger constructions like Wittgenstein's 'It might be raining and it's not' and Moore's 'It's raining and I don't know it', respectively. A variety of approaches have been developed to account for those differences. All approaches agree that both Moore sentences (...)
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  • Subjunctive Conditionals’ Local Contexts.John Mackay - 2019 - Linguistics and Philosophy 42 (3):207-221.
    Philippe Schlenker gives a method of deriving local contexts from an expression’s classical semantics. In this paper I show that this method, when applied to the traditional variably strict semantics for subjunctive conditionals of Robert Stalnaker, David Lewis, and Angelika Kratzer, delivers an empirically incorrect prediction. The prediction is that the antecedent of a conditional should have the whole domain of possible worlds as its local context and therefore should be allowed to have only necessary presuppositions. In the later part (...)
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  • Addendum to “Subjunctive Conditionals’ Local Contexts”.John Mackay - 2019 - Linguistics and Philosophy 42 (3):223-223.
    Philippe Schlenker gives a method of deriving local contexts from an expression’s classical semantics. In this paper I show that this method, when applied to the traditional variably strict semantics for subjunctive conditionals of Robert Stalnaker, David Lewis, and Angelika Kratzer, delivers an empirically incorrect prediction. The prediction is that the antecedent of a conditional should have the whole domain of possible worlds as its local context and therefore should be allowed to have only necessary presuppositions. In the later part (...)
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  • Epistemic dilemmas and rational indeterminacy.Nick Leonard - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (3):573-596.
    This paper is about epistemic dilemmas, i.e., cases in which one is doomed to have a doxastic attitude that is rationally impermissible no matter what. My aim is to develop and defend a position according to which there can be genuine rational indeterminacy; that is, it can be indeterminate which principles of rationality one should satisfy and thus indeterminate which doxastic attitudes one is permitted or required to have. I am going to argue that this view can resolve epistemic dilemmas (...)
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  • Belief and Rational Indeterminacy.Nick Leonard - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13523-13542.
    This paper is about an anti-expertise paradox that arises because of self-referential sentences like: = I do not believe that is true. The first aim is to motivate, develop, and defend a novel view of epistemic rationality according to which there can be genuine rational indeterminacy, i.e., it can be indeterminate which doxastic states an agent is rationally permitted or required to have. The second aim is to show how this view can provide a solution to this paradox while also (...)
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  • “Ought” and Intensionality.Junhyo Lee - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):4621-4643.
    The syntactic structure of the deontic “ought” has been much debated in philosophy and linguistics. Schroeder argues that the deontic “ought” is syntactically ambiguous in the sense that it can be associated with either a control or raising construction. He distinguishes between deliberative and evaluative “ought”s and argues that the deliberative “ought” is control while the evaluative “ought” is raising. However, if there is a control sense of “ought,” it implies that there is a sense of “ought” in which the (...)
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  • Disjunctive Antecedent Conditionals.Justin Khoo - 2018 - Synthese 198 (8):7401-7430.
    Disjunctive antecedent conditionals —conditionals of the form if A or B, C—sometimes seem to entail both of their simplifications and sometimes seem not to. I argue that this behavior reveals a genuine ambiguity in DACs. Along the way, I discuss a new observation about the role of focal stress in distinguishing the two interpretations of DACs. I propose a new theory, according to which the surface form of a DAC underdetermines its logical form: on one possible logical form, if A (...)
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  • Assessing alternatives: the case of the presumptive future in Italian.Michela Ippolito & Donka F. Farkas - 2022 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (4):943-984.
    In this paper, we study the distribution and interpretation of a non-temporal use of the future tense in Italian, called ‘presumptive’ or ‘epistemic’, which we label here PF. We first distinguish PF from its closest modal relatives, namely epistemic necessity/possibility/likelihood modals, as well as weak necessity modals. We then propose an account of PF in declaratives and interrogatives that treats it as a special comparative subjective likelihood modal, and test its empirical predictions. A theoretical lesson drawn from this detailed study (...)
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  • Knowledge of Future Contingents.Andrea Iacona - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (2):447-467.
    This paper addresses the question whether future contingents are knowable, that is, whether one can know that things will go a certain way even though it is possible that things will not go that way. First I will consider a long-established view that implies a negative answer, and draw attention to some endemic problems that affect its credibility. Then I will sketch an alternative line of thought that prompts a positive answer: future contingents are knowable, although our epistemic access of (...)
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  • Credible Futures.Andrea Iacona & Samuele Iaquinto - 2021 - Synthese 199:10953-10968.
    This paper articulates in formal terms a crucial distinction concerning future contingents, the distinction between what is true about the future and what is reasonable to believe about the future. Its key idea is that the branching structures that have been used so far to model truth can be employed to define an epistemic property, credibility, which we take to be closely related to knowledge and assertibility, and which is ultimately reducible to probability. As a result, two kinds of claims (...)
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  • Agentive Free Choice.Melissa Fusco - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-31.
    The Free Choice effect---whereby <>(p or q) seems to entail both <>p and <>q---has traditionally been characterized as a phenomenon affecting the deontic modal "may". This paper presents an extension of the semantic account of free choice defended in Fusco (2015) to the agentive modal "can", the "can" which, intuitively, describes an agent's powers. -/- I begin by sketching a model of inexact ability, which grounds a modal approach to agency (Belnap & Perloff 1998; Belnap, Perloff, and Xu 2001) in (...)
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  • Agential Free Choice.Melissa Fusco - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 50 (1):57-87.
    The Free Choice effect—whereby \\) seems to entail both \ and \—has traditionally been characterized as a phenomenon affecting the deontic modal ‘may’. This paper presents an extension of the semantic account of free choice defended by Fusco to the agentive modal ‘can’, the ‘can’ which, intuitively, describes an agent’s powers. On this account, free choice is a nonspecific de re phenomenon that—unlike typical cases—affects disjunction. I begin by sketching a model of inexact ability, which grounds a modal approach to (...)
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  • Finding the force: How children discern possibility and necessity modals.Anouk Dieuleveut, Annemarie van Dooren, Ailís Cournane & Valentine Hacquard - 2022 - Natural Language Semantics 30 (3):269-310.
    This paper investigates when and how children figure out the force of modals: that possibility modals express possibility, and necessity modals express necessity. Modals raise a classic subset problem: given that necessity entails possibility, what prevents learners from hypothesizing possibility meanings for necessity modals? Three solutions to such subset problems can be found in the literature: the first is for learners to rely on downward-entailing environments :185–215, 2009); the second is a bias for strong meanings; the third is for learners (...)
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  • Future and Negation.Ciro De Florio & Aldo Frigerio - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    In this article, we take into consideration two semantics of the future tense: linearism, according to which future-tense sentences are interpreted on a single history, and universalism, according to which they are evaluated by universally quantifying on the plurality of future histories that radiate from the present instant. Specifically, we focus on a objection advanced against universalism: if universalism were correct semantics of will, negated future-tense sentences of natural language should have two readings, depending on the scope of negation with (...)
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  • Assertions and Future Tense Semantics.Ciro De Florio & Aldo Frigerio - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):4729-4747.
    Non-bivalent semantics of the future tense assert that propositions regarding future contingents are neither true nor false. One of the most relevant non-bivalent semantics is supervaluationism :264–281, 1970; Thomason, in: Gabbay, Guenthner Handbook of philosophical logic, Springer, Berlin, 1984), which preserves important logical principles. Recently, non-bivalent semantics are under attack from some pragmatics arguments: these semantics would be incompatible with our practices of asserting future contingents and with the probability we ascribe to such assertions :251–271, 2014; Cariani and Santorio in (...)
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  • The restrictor view, without covert modals.Ivano Ciardelli - 2022 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (2):293-320.
    The view that if-clauses function semantically as restrictors is widely regarded as the only candidate for a fully general account of conditionals. The standard implementation of this view assumes that, where no operator to be restricted is in sight, if-clauses restrict covert epistemic modals. Stipulating such modals, however, lacks independent motivation and leads to wrong empirical predictions. In this paper I provide a theory of conditionals on which if-clauses are uniformly interpreted as restrictors, but no covert modals are postulated. Epistemic (...)
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  • Human Foreknowledge.Fabrizio Cariani - 2021 - Philosophical Perspectives 35 (1):50-69.
    I explore the motivation and logical consequences of the idea that we have some (limited) ability to know contingent facts about the future, even in presence of the assumption that the future is objectively unsettled or indeterminate. I start by formally characterizing skepticism about the future. This analysis nudges the anti-skeptic towards the idea that if some propositions about the future are objectively indeterminate, then it may be indeterminate whether a suitably positioned agent knows them. -/- Philosophical Perspectives, Volume 35, (...)
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  • Force and Choice.Sam Carter - 2022 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (4):873-910.
    Some utterances of imperative clauses have directive force—they impose obligations. Others have permissive force—they extend permissions. The dominant view is that this difference in force is not accompanied by a difference in semantic content. Drawing on data involving free choice items in imperatives, I argue that the dominant view is incorrect.
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  • Conditional Heresies.Fabrizio Cariani & Simon Goldstein - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (2):251-282.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • What the Future ‘Might’ Brings.David Boylan - 2020 - Mind 129 (515):809-829.
    This paper concerns a puzzle about the interaction of epistemic modals and future tense. In cases of predictable forgetfulness, speakers cannot describe their future states of mind with epistemic modals under future tense, but promising theories of epistemic modals do not predict this. In §1, I outline the puzzle. In §2, I argue that it undermines a very general approach to epistemic modals that draws a tight connection between epistemic modality and evidence. In §3, I defend the assumption that tense (...)
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  • DOES Success Entail Ability?David Boylan - 2022 - Noûs 56 (3):570-601.
    This paper is about the principle that success entails ability, which I call Success. I argue the status of Success is highly puzzling: when we focus on past instances of actually successful action, Success is very compelling; but it is in tension with the idea that true ability claims require an action be in the agent's control. I make the above tension precise by considering the logic of ability. I argue Success is appealing because it is classically equivalent to two (...)
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  • Fatalism and Future Contingents.Giacomo Andreoletti - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 60 (3):1-14.
    In this paper I address issues related to the problem of future contingents and the metaphysical doctrine of fatalism. Two classical responses to the problem of future contingents are the third truth value view and the all-false view. According to the former, future contingents take a third truth value which goes beyond truth and falsity. According to the latter, they are all false. I here illustrate and discuss two ways to respectively argue for those two views. Both ways are similar (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • Modeling Future Indeterminacy in Possibility Semantics.Fabrizio Cariani - manuscript
    I consider the application of possibility semantics to the modeling of the indeterminacy of the future. I argue that interesting problems arise in connection to the addition of object-language determinacy operator. I show that adding a two-dimensional layer to possibility semantics can help solve these problems.
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  • 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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  • Maybe Some Other Time.Martin Glazier - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    I develop a puzzle whose resolution I argue requires an unfamiliar distinction between two forms or senses of metaphysical modality, each bearing a different relationship to time. In one sense of ‘metaphysically possible’, it is metaphysically possible for it to be a time other than the time it is now; in another sense, this is not metaphysically possible.
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  • Experimenting with (Conditional) Perfection.Fabrizio Cariani & Lance J. Rips - forthcoming - In Stefan Kaufmann, David Over & Ghanshyam Sharma (eds.), Conditionals: Logic, Semantics, Psychology.
    Conditional perfection is the phenomenon in which conditionals are strengthened to biconditionals. In some contexts, “If A, B” is understood as if it meant “A if and only if B.” We present and discuss a series of experiments designed to test one of the most promising pragmatic accounts of conditional perfection. This is the idea that conditional perfection is a form of exhaustification—that is a strengthening to an exhaustive reading, triggered by a question that the conditional answers. If a speaker (...)
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