Weak Assertion

Philosophical Quarterly 69 (277):741-770 (2019)
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Abstract
We present an inferentialist account of the epistemic modal operator might. Our starting point is the bilateralist programme. A bilateralist explains the operator not in terms of the speech act of rejection ; we explain the operator might in terms of weak assertion, a speech act whose existence we argue for on the basis of linguistic evidence. We show that our account of might provides a solution to certain well-known puzzles about the semantics of modal vocabulary whilst retaining classical logic. This demonstrates that an inferentialist approach to meaning can be successfully extended beyond the core logical constants.
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Archival date: 2019-05-10
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