Epistemic Modals in Context

In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Contextualism in Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 131-170 (2005)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
A very simple contextualist treatment of a sentence containing an epistemic modal, e.g. a might be F, is that it is true iff for all the contextually salient community knows, a is F. It is widely agreed that the simple theory will not work in some cases, but the counterexamples produced so far seem amenable to a more complicated contextualist theory. We argue, however, that no contextualist theory can capture the evaluations speakers naturally make of sentences containing epistemic modals. If we want to respect these evaluations, our best option is a relativist theory of epistemic modals. On a relativist theory, an utterance of a might be F can be true relative to one context of evaluation and false relative to another. We argue that such a theory does better than any rival approach at capturing all the behaviour of epistemic modals.
Keywords
No keywords specified (fix it)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
EGAEMI-2
Upload history
Archival date: 2017-03-06
View other versions
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
763 ( #5,171 of 54,461 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
91 ( #6,191 of 54,461 )

How can I increase my downloads?

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