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  1. Quantification and Epistemic Modality.Dilip Ninan - 2018 - Philosophical Review 127 (4):433-485.
    This essay introduces a puzzle about the interaction between quantifiers and epistemic modals. The puzzle motivates the idea that whether an object satisfies an epistemically modalized predicate depends on the mode of presentation of the domain of quantification. I compare two ways of implementing this idea, one using counterpart theory, the other using Aloni's 'conceptual covers' theory, and then provides some evidence in favor of the former.
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  • Epistemic Contradictions Do Not Threaten Classical Logic.Philipp Mayr - 2022 - Acta Analytica 37 (4):551-573.
    Epistemic contradictions are now a well-known and often discussed phenomenon among those who study epistemic modals. These contradictions are expressed by sentences like ‘It is raining and it might not be raining’ whose oddness to the common ear demands an explanation. However, it has turned out to be a rather controversial enterprise to provide such an explanation in a sufficiently precise and general manner. According to pragmatic explanations, epistemic contradictions are semantically consistent but pragmatically defective. According to semantic explanations, one (...)
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  • Modality and expressibility.Matthew Mandelkern - 2019 - Review of Symbolic Logic 12 (4):768-805.
    When embedding data are used to argue against semantic theory A and in favor of semantic theory B, it is important to ask whether A could make sense of those data. It is possible to ask that question on a case-by-case basis. But suppose we could show that A can make sense of all the embedding data which B can possibly make sense of. This would, on the one hand, undermine arguments in favor of B over A on the basis (...)
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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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  • Representing multiply de re epistemic modal statements.Cem Şişkolar - 2023 - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-27.
    I review Ninan’s Hundred Tickets case pertaining to quantification into epistemic modal contexts, and his counterpart theoretic way to address it (Ninan, Philos Rev, 2018). Ninan’s solution employs a ‘counterpart relation’ parameter intended to reflect how the domain of quantification is thought of in a context. This approach theoretically rules out the possibility of contexts where different ways of thinking about the domain can be deployed through different quantificational noun phrases. I bring out the case of the multiply de re (...)
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  • Generalized Update Semantics.Simon Goldstein - 2019 - Mind 128 (511):795-835.
    This paper explores the relationship between dynamic and truth conditional semantics for epistemic modals. It provides a generalization of a standard dynamic update semantics for modals. This new semantics derives a Kripke semantics for modals and a standard dynamic semantics for modals as special cases. The semantics allows for new characterizations of a variety of principles in modal logic, including the inconsistency of ‘p and might not p’. Finally, the semantics provides a construction procedure for transforming any truth conditional semantics (...)
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  • A strictly stronger relative must.Christopher Gauker - 2021 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 10 (2):82-89.
    It is widely accepted that when ‘might’ expresses certain kinds of relative modality, the sentence ‘p and it might not be the case that p’ is in some sense inconsistent. It has proven difficult to define a formal semantics that explicates this inconsistency while meeting certain other desiderata, in particular, that p does not imply ‘Must p’. This paper presents such a semantics. The key idea is that background contexts have to have multiple levels, including an inner set consisting of (...)
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  • Probabilistic semantics for epistemic modals: Normality assumptions, conditional epistemic spaces and the strength of must and might.Guillermo Del Pinal - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (4):985-1026.
    The epistemic modal auxiliaries must and might are vehicles for expressing the force with which a proposition follows from some body of evidence or information. Standard approaches model these operators using quantificational modal logic, but probabilistic approaches are becoming increasingly influential. According to a traditional view, must is a maximally strong epistemic operator and might is a bare possibility one. A competing account—popular amongst proponents of a probabilisitic turn—says that, given a body of evidence, must \ entails that \\) is (...)
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  • Noncognitivism without expressivism.Bob Beddor - 2023 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 107 (3):762-788.
    According to expressivists, normative language expresses desire‐like states of mind. According to noncognitivists, normative beliefs have a desire‐like functional role. What is the relation between these two doctrines? It is widely assumed that expressivism commits you to noncognitivism, and vice versa. This paper opposes that assumption. I advance a view that combines a noncognitivist psychology with a descriptivist semantics for normative language. While this might seem like an ungainly hybrid, I argue that it has important advantages over more familiar metaethical (...)
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  • Moral and epistemic evaluations: A unified treatment.Bob Beddor - 2021 - Philosophical Perspectives 35 (1):23-49.
    Philosophical Perspectives, Volume 35, Issue 1, Page 23-49, December 2021.
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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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  • Propositions as (Flexible) Types of Possibilities.Nate Charlow - 2022 - In Chris Tillman & Adam Russell Murray (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Propositions. Routledge. pp. 211-230.
    // tl;dr A Proposition is a Way of Thinking // -/- This chapter is about type-theoretic approaches to propositional content. Type-theoretic approaches to propositional content originate with Hintikka, Stalnaker, and Lewis, and involve treating attitude environments (e.g. "Nate thinks") as universal quantifiers over domains of "doxastic possibilities" -- ways things could be, given what the subject thinks. -/- This chapter introduces and motivates a line of a type-theoretic theorizing about content that is an outgrowth of the recent literature on epistemic (...)
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  • Might do Better: Flexible Relativism and the QUD.Bob Beddor & Andy Egan - 2018 - Semantics and Pragmatics 11.
    The past decade has seen a protracted debate over the semantics of epistemic modals. According to contextualists, epistemic modals quantify over the possibilities compatible with some contextually determined group’s information. Relativists often object that contextualism fails to do justice to the way we assess utterances containing epistemic modals for truth or falsity. However, recent empirical work seems to cast doubt on the relativist’s claim, suggesting that ordinary speakers’ judgments about epistemic modals are more closely in line with contextualism than relativism (...)
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  • Eavesdropping: What is it good for?Jonathan Phillips & Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - Semantics and Pragmatics.
    Eavesdropping judgments (judgments about truth, retraction, and consistency across contexts) about epistemic modals have been used in recent years to argue for a radical thesis: that truth is assessment-relative. We argue that judgments for 'I think that p' pattern in strikingly similar ways to judgments for 'Might p' and 'Probably p'. We argue for this by replicating three major experiments involving the latter and adding a condition with the form 'I think that p', showing that subjects respond in the same (...)
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  • Pluralism for Relativists: a new framework for context-dependence.Ahmad Jabbar - 2021 - In Proceedings of the 18th workshop of the Logic and Engineering of Natural Language Semantics (LENLS). pp. 3-16.
    We propose a framework that makes space for both non-indexical contextualism and assessment-sensitivity. Such pluralism is motivated by considering possible variance in judgments about retraction. We conclude that the proposed pluralism, instead of problematizing, vindicates defining truth of a proposition w.r.t. a context of utterance and a context of assessment. To implement this formally, we formalize initialization of parameters by contexts. Then, a given parameter, depending on a speaker's judgment, can get initialized by either the context of utterance or the (...)
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