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  1. Epistemic Modality, Mind, and Mathematics.Hasen Khudairi - 2021 - Dissertation, University of St Andrews
    This book concerns the foundations of epistemic modality. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The book demonstrates how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the epistemic status of large cardinal axioms, undecidable propositions, and abstraction principles in the philosophy of mathematics; to the modal profile of rational intuition; and (...)
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  • Skepticism About Ought Simpliciter.Derek Clayton Baker - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 13.
    There are many different oughts. There is a moral ought, a prudential ought, an epistemic ought, the legal ought, the ought of etiquette, and so on. These oughts can prescribe incompatible actions. What I morally ought to do may be different from what I self-interestedly ought to do. Philosophers have claimed that these conflicts are resolved by an authoritative ought, or by facts about what one ought to do simpliciter or all-things-considered. However, the only coherent notion of an ought simpliciter (...)
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  • Ought-Contextualism and Reasoning.Darren Bradley - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):2977-2999.
    What does logic tells us how about we ought to reason? If P entails Q, and I believe P, should I believe Q? I will argue that we should embed the issue in an independently motivated contextualist semantics for ‘ought’, with parameters for a standard and set of propositions. With the contextualist machinery in hand, we can defend a strong principle expressing how agents ought to reason while accommodating conflicting intuitions. I then show how our judgments about blame and guidance (...)
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  • Assertion, Action, and Context.Robin McKenna & Michael Hannon - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):731-743.
    A common objection to both contextualism and relativism about knowledge ascriptions is that they threaten knowledge norms of assertion and action. Consequently, if there is good reason to accept knowledge norms of assertion or action, there is good reason to reject both contextualism and relativism. In this paper we argue that neither contextualism nor relativism threaten knowledge norms of assertion or action.
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  • Pejoratives & Oughts.Teresa Marques - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (3):1109-1125.
    Chris Hom argued that slurs and pejoratives semantically express complex negative prescriptive properties, which are determined in virtue of standing in external causal relations to social ideologies and practices. He called this view Combinatorial Externalism. Additionally, he argued that Combinatorial Externalism entailed that slurs and pejoratives have null extensions. In this paper, I raise an objection that has not been raised in the literature so far. I argue that semantic theories like Hom’s are forced to choose between two alternatives: either (...)
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  • Retractions.Teresa Marques - 2018 - Synthese 195 (8):3335-3359.
    Intuitions about retractions have been used to motivate truth relativism about certain types of claims. Among these figure epistemic modals, knowledge attributions, or personal taste claims. On MacFarlane’s prominent relativist proposal, sentences like “the ice cream might be in the freezer” or “Pocoyo is funny” are only assigned a truth-value relative to contexts of utterance and contexts of assessment. Retractions play a crucial role in the argument for assessment-relativism. A retraction of a past assertion is supposed to be mandatory whenever (...)
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  • A puzzle about enkratic reasoning.Jonathan Way - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3177-3196.
    Enkratic reasoning—reasoning from believing that you ought to do something to an intention to do that thing—seems good. But there is a puzzle about how it could be. Good reasoning preserves correctness, other things equal. But enkratic reasoning does not preserve correctness. This is because what you ought to do depends on your epistemic position, but what it is correct to intend does not. In this paper, I motivate these claims and thus show that there is a puzzle. I then (...)
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  • Embedded Taste Predicates.Julia Zakkou - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (6):718-739.
    ABSTRACTWide-ranging semantic flexibility is often considered a magic cure for contextualism to account for all kinds of troubling data. In particular, it seems to offer a way to account for our intuitions regarding embedded perspectival sentences. As has been pointed out by Lasersohn [2009. “Relative Truth, Speaker Commitment, and Control of Implicit Arguments.” Synthese 166 : 359â374], however, the semantic flexibility does not present a remedy for all kinds of embeddings. In particular, it seems ineffective when it comes to embeddings (...)
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  • The Contrast Between Permissions to Act and Permissions to Believe.Javier González de Prado Salas - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (1):21-34.
    There is an interesting contrast between permissions to act and permissions to believe. Plausibly, if it is permissible to believe something from a perspective with incomplete evidence, it cannot become impermissible to believe it from a second perspective with complete evidence. In contrast, it seems that something permissible to do for an agent in a perspective with limited evidence can become impermissible in a second perspective in which all the relevant evidence is available. What is more, an agent with incomplete (...)
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  • Modal Disagreements.Justin Khoo - 2015 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (5):511-534.
    It is often assumed that when one party felicitously rejects an assertion made by an- other party, the first party thinks that the proposition asserted by the second is false. This assumption underlies various disagreement arguments used to challenge contex- tualism about some class of expressions. As such, many contextualists have resisted these arguments on the grounds that the disagreements in question may not be over the proposition literally asserted. The result appears to be a dialectical stalemate, with no independent (...)
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  • 'Ought': OUT OF ORDER.Stephen Finlay - 2016 - In Nate Charlow & Matthew Chrisman (eds.), Deontic Modality. Oxford University Press.
    This paper argues that the innovation of an ordering source parameter in the standard Lewis-Kratzer semantics for modals was a mistake, at least for English auxiliaries like ‘ought’, and that a simpler dyadic semantics (as proposed in my earlier work) provides a superior account of normative uses of modals. I programmatically investigate problems arising from (i) instrumental conditionals, (ii) gradability and “weak necessity”, (iii) information-sensitivity, and (iv) conflicts, and show how the simpler semantics provides intuitive solutions given three basic moves: (...)
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  • Forms of Luminosity.Hasen Khudairi - 2017
    This dissertation concerns the foundations of epistemic modality. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The dissertation demonstrates how phenomenal consciousness and gradational possible-worlds models in Bayesian perceptual psychology relate to epistemic modal space. The dissertation demonstrates, then, how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; deontic modality; logical modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the (...)
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  • Indeterminacy and Normativity.Giulia Pravato - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-23.
    This paper develops and defends the view that substantively normative uses of words like “good”, “right” and “ought” are irresolvably indeterminate: any single case of application is like a borderline case for a vague or indeterminate term, in that the meaning-fixing facts, together with the non-linguistic facts, fail to determine a truth-value for the target sentence in context. Normative claims, like vague or indeterminate borderline claims, are not meaningless, though. By making them, the speaker communicates information about the precisifications that (...)
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  • Compositional Semantics and Normative ‘Ought’.Joanna Klimczyk - 2021 - Axiomathes 31 (3):381-399.
    According to the paradigm view in linguistics and philosophical semantics, it is lexical semantics plus the principle of compositionality that allows us to compute the meaning of an arbitrary sentence. The job of LS is to assign meaning to individual expressions, whereas PC says how to combine these individual meanings into larger ones. In this paper I argue that the pair LS + PC fails to account for the discourse-relevant meaning of normative ‘ought’. If my hypothesis is tenable, then the (...)
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  • Intention, Modality, & Decision Theory.Hasen Khudairi - manuscript
    This paper argues that the types of intention can be modeled as modal operators. I delineate the intensional-semantic profiles of the types of intention, and provide a precise account of how the types of intention are unified in virtue of both their operations in a single, encompassing, epistemic modal space, and their role in practical reasoning. I endeavor to provide reasons adducing against the proposal that the types of intention are reducible to the mental states of belief and desire, where (...)
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  • The If P, Ought P Problem.Jennifer Carr - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (4):555-583.
    Kratzer semantics for modals and conditionals generates the prediction that sentences of the form if p, ought p are trivially true. As Frank and Zvolenszky show, for certain flavors of modality, like deontic modality, this prediction is false. I explain some conservative solutions to the problem, and then argue that they are inadequate to account for puzzle cases involving self-frustrating oughts. These cases illustrate a general problem: there are two forms of information-sensitivity in deontic modals. Even generalizations of Kratzer semantics (...)
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  • Modality, Scale Structure, and Scalar Reasoning.Daniel Lassiter - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (4):461-490.
    Epistemic and deontic comparatives differ in how they interact with disjunction. I argue that this difference provides a compelling empirical argument against the semantics of Kratzer, which predicts that all modal comparatives should interact with disjunction in the same way. Interestingly, an identical distinction is found in the semantics of non-modal adjectives: additive adjectives like ‘heavy’ behave logically like epistemic comparatives, and intermediate adjectives like ‘hot’ behave like deontic comparatives. I characterize this distinction formally and argue that the divergence between (...)
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  • Modus Ponens Under the Restrictor View.Moritz Schulz - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (6):1001-1028.
    There is a renewed debate about modus ponens. Strikingly, the recent counterexamples in Cantwell, Dreier and MacFarlane and Kolodny are generated by restricted readings of the ‘if’-clause. Moreover, it can be argued on general grounds that the restrictor view of conditionals developed in Kratzer and Lewis leads to counterexamples to modus ponens. This paper provides a careful analysis of modus ponens within the framework of the restrictor view. Despite appearances to the contrary, there is a robust sense in which modus (...)
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  • Thick Concepts and Underdetermination.Pekka Väyrynen - 2013 - In Simon Kirchin (ed.), Thick Concepts. Oxford University Press. pp. 136-160.
    Thick terms and concepts in ethics somehow combine evaluation and non-evaluative description. The non-evaluative aspects of thick terms and concepts underdetermine their extensions. Many writers argue that this underdetermination point is best explained by supposing that thick terms and concepts are semantically evaluative in some way such that evaluation plays a role in determining their extensions. This paper argues that the extensions of thick terms and concepts are underdetermined by their meanings in toto, irrespective of whether their extensions are partly (...)
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  • Speech Act Theoretic Semantics.Daniel Harris - 2014 - Dissertation, CUNY
    I defend the view that linguistic meaning is a relation borne by an expression to a type of speech act, and that this relation holds in virtue of our overlapping communicative dispositions, and not in virtue of linguistic conventions. I argue that this theory gives the right account of the semantics–pragmatics interface and the best-available semantics for non-declarative clauses, and show that it allows for the construction of a rigorous compositional semantic theory with greater explanatory power than both truth-conditional and (...)
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  • On a Case for Truth‐Relativism.Jason Stanley - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (1):179-188.
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  • Contextualism and Knowledge Norms.Alex Worsnip - 2017 - In Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Contextualism. Routledge. pp. 177-189.
    I provide an opinionated overview of the literature on the relationship of contextualism to knowledge norms for action, assertion, and belief. I point out that contextualists about ‘knows’ are precluded from accepting the simplest versions of knowledge norms; they must, if they are to accept knowledge norms at all, accept “relativized” versions of them. I survey arguments from knowledge norms both for and against contextualism, tentatively concluding that commitment to knowledge norms does not conclusively win the day either for contextualism (...)
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  • Backtracking Counterfactuals Revisited.Justin Khoo - 2017 - Mind 126 (503):841-910.
    I discuss three observations about backtracking counterfactuals not predicted by existing theories, and then motivate a theory of counterfactuals that does predict them. On my theory, counterfactuals quantify over a suitably restricted set of historical possibilities from some contextually relevant past time. I motivate each feature of the theory relevant to predicting our three observations about backtracking counterfactuals. The paper concludes with replies to three potential objections.
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  • Agency and Reasons in Epistemology.Luis R. G. Oliveira - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Ever since John Locke, philosophers have discussed the possibility of a normative epistemology: are there epistemic obligations binding the cognitive economy of belief and disbelief? Locke's influential answer was evidentialist: we have an epistemic obligation to believe in accordance with our evidence. In this dissertation, I place the contemporary literature on agency and reasons at the service of some such normative epistemology. I discuss the semantics of obligations, the connection between obligations and reasons to believe, the implausibility of Lockean evidentialism, (...)
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  • ‘Ought’-Contextualism Beyond the Parochial.Alex Worsnip - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (11):3099-3119.
    Despite increasing prominence, ‘ought’-contextualism is regarded with suspicion by most metaethicists. As I’ll argue, however, contextualism is a very weak claim, that every metaethicist can sign up to. The real controversy concerns how contextualism is developed. I then draw an oft-overlooked distinction between “parochial” contextualism—on which the contextually-relevant standards are those that the speaker, or others in her environment, subscribe to—and “aspirational” contextualism—on which the contextually-relevant standards are the objective standards for the relevant domain. However, I argue that neither view (...)
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  • Truth-Assessment Methodology and the Case Against the Relativist Case 1 a Gainst Contextualism About Deontic Modals.J. L. Dowell - 2017 - Res Philosophica 94 (3):325-357.
    Recent challenges to Kratzer’s canonical contextualist semantics for modal expressions are united by a shared methodological practice: Each requires the assessment of the truth or warrant of a sentence in a scenario. The default evidential status accorded these judgments is a constraining one: It is assumed that, to be plausible, a semantic hypothesis must vindicate the reported judgments. Fully assessing the extent to which these cases do generate data that puts pressure on the canonical semantics, then, requires an understanding of (...)
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  • Confusion of Tongues: A Theory of Normative Language, by Stephen Finlay.J. L. Dowell - 2016 - Mind 125 (498):585-593.
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  • Discourse Contextualism.J. L. Dowell - 2018 - Analysis 78 (3):562-566.
    In Discourse Contextualism, Alex Silk defends a new contextualist account of expressions at the centre of recent debates over contextualism versus relativism, namely, gradable adjectives, taste predicates and epistemic and deontic modals ).1 1 The first part of the book, which lays out the view and shows how it explains the phenomena at issue in those debates, focuses on the case of epistemic modals. The second part of the book extends that account with Discourse Contextualist treatments of the remaining expressions. (...)
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  • How to Be an Ethical Expressivist.Alex Silk - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (1):47-81.
    Expressivism promises an illuminating account of the nature of normative judgment. But worries about the details of expressivist semantics have led many to doubt whether expressivism's putative advantages can be secured. Drawing on insights from linguistic semantics and decision theory, I develop a novel framework for implementing an expressivist semantics that I call ordering expressivism. I argue that by systematically interpreting the orderings that figure in analyses of normative terms in terms of the basic practical attitude of conditional weak preference, (...)
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  • Resolving Turri's Puzzle About Withholding.Sebastian Becker - 2016 - Dialectica 70 (2):229-243.
    Turri describes a case in which a group of experts apparently correctly advise you not to withhold on a proposition P, but where your evidence neither supports believing nor disbelieving P. He claims that this presents a puzzle about withholding: on the one hand, it seems that you should not withhold on P, since the experts say so. On the other hand, we have the intuition that you should neither believe nor disbelieve P, since your evidence doesn't support it. Thus, (...)
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