Entailments are Cancellable

Ratio 30 (3):288-304 (2017)
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Abstract

Several philosophers have recently claimed that if a proposition is cancellable from an uttered sentence then that proposition is not entailed by that uttered sentence. The claim should be a familiar one. It has become a standard device in the philosopher's tool-kit. I argue that this claim is false. There is a kind of entailment—which I call “modal entailment”—that is context-sensitive and, because of this, cancellable. So cancellability does not show that a proposition is not entailed by an uttered sentence. I close the paper by describing an implication this has for a disagreement between J. L. Austin and Grice concerning the relation between felicity and truth.

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Alex Davies
University of Tartu

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