Will done Better: Selection Semantics, Future Credence, and Indeterminacy

Mind 127 (505):129-165 (2018)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Statements about the future are central in everyday conversation and reasoning. How should we understand their meaning? The received view among philosophers treats will as a tense: in ‘Cynthia will pass her exam’, will shifts the reference time forward. Linguists, however, have produced substantial evidence for the view that will is a modal, on a par with must and would. The different accounts are designed to satisfy different theoretical constraints, apparently pulling in opposite directions. We show that these constraints are jointly satisfied by a novel modal account of will. On this account, will is a modal but doesn't work as a quantifier over worlds. Rather, the meaning of will involves a selection function similar to the one used by Stalnaker in his semantics for conditionals. The resulting theory yields a plausible semantics and logic for will and vindicates our intuitive views about the attitudes that rational agents should have towards future-directed contents.
Reprint years
2018
PhilPapers/Archive ID
CARWDB-6
Revision history
First archival date: 2015-11-26
Latest version: 2 (2017-06-07)
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
Semantics in Generative Grammar.Heim, Irene & Kratzer, Angelika

View all 63 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Bounded Modality.Mandelkern, Matthew
Conditional Heresies.Cariani, Fabrizio & Goldstein, Simon
Assertion and Modality.Cariani, Fabrizio
Talking About Worlds.Mandelkern, Matthew

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

Added to PP index
2015-11-26

Total views
1,103 ( #1,677 of 41,492 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
195 ( #1,916 of 41,492 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.