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Propositions as (Flexible) Types of Possibilities

In Chris Tillman & Adam Murray (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Propositions. Routledge. pp. 211-230 (2022)

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  1. On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
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  • Sense and reference.Gottlob Frege - 1948 - Philosophical Review 57 (3):209-230.
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  • On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
    This book is a defense of modal realism; the thesis that our world is but one of a plurality of worlds, and that the individuals that inhabit our world are only a few out of all the inhabitants of all the worlds. Lewis argues that the philosophical utility of modal realism is a good reason for believing that it is true.
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  • Relational Semantics and Domain Semantics for Epistemic Modals.Dilip Ninan - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (1):1-16.
    The standard account of modal expressions in natural language analyzes them as quantifiers over a set of possible worlds determined by the evaluation world and an accessibility relation. A number of authors have recently argued for an alternative account according to which modals are analyzed as quantifying over a domain of possible worlds that is specified directly in the points of evaluation. But the new approach only handles the data motivating it if it is supplemented with a non-standard account of (...)
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  • Impossible Worlds.Daniel Nolan - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (4):360-372.
    Philosophers have found postulating possible worlds to be very useful in a number of areas, including philosophy of language and mind, logic, and metaphysics. Impossible worlds are a natural extension to this use of possible worlds, and can help resolve a number of difficulties thrown up by possible‐worlds frameworks.
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  • Relativism and Expressivism.Bob Beddor - 2020 - In Martin Kusch (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Relativism. Routledge.
    Relativism and expressivism offer two different semantic frameworks for grappling with a similar cluster of issues. What is the difference between these two frameworks? Should they be viewed as rivals? If so, how should we choose between them? This chapter sheds light on these questions. After providing an overview of relativism and expressivism, I discuss three potential choice points: their relation to truth conditional semantics, their pictures of belief and communication, and their explanations of disagreement.
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  • Impossible Worlds: A Modest Approach.Daniel Nolan - 1997 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 38 (4):535-572.
    Reasoning about situations we take to be impossible is useful for a variety of theoretical purposes. Furthermore, using a device of impossible worlds when reasoning about the impossible is useful in the same sorts of ways that the device of possible worlds is useful when reasoning about the possible. This paper discusses some of the uses of impossible worlds and argues that commitment to them can and should be had without great metaphysical or logical cost. The paper then provides an (...)
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  • Variabilism.Samuel Cumming - 2008 - Philosophical Review 117 (4):525-554.
    Variabilism is the view that proper names (like pronouns) are semantically represented as variables. Referential names, like referential pronouns, are assigned their referents by a contextual variable assignment (Kaplan 1989). The reference parameter (like the world of evaluation) may also be shifted by operators in the representation language. Indeed verbs that create hyperintensional contexts, like ‘think’, are treated as operators that simultaneously shift the world and assignment parameters. By contrast, metaphysical modal operators shift the world of assessment only. Names, being (...)
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  • Outlook-based semantics.Elizabeth Coppock - 2018 - Linguistics and Philosophy 41 (2):125-164.
    This paper presents and advocates an approach to the semantics of opinion statements, including matters of personal taste and moral claims. In this framework, ‘outlook-based semantics’, the circumstances of evaluation are not composed of a possible world and a judge ; rather, outlooks replace possible worlds in the role of circumstance of evaluation. Outlooks are refinements of worlds that settle not only matters of fact but also matters of opinion. Several virtues of the framework and advantages over existing implementations of (...)
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  • The problem with the Frege–Geach problem.Nate Charlow - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (3):635-665.
    I resolve the major challenge to an Expressivist theory of the meaning of normative discourse: the Frege–Geach Problem. Drawing on considerations from the semantics of directive language (e.g., imperatives), I argue that, although certain forms of Expressivism (like Gibbard’s) do run into at least one version of the Problem, it is reasonably clear that there is a version of Expressivism that does not.
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  • Triviality For Restrictor Conditionals.Nate Charlow - 2015 - Noûs 50 (3):533-564.
    I present two Triviality results for Kratzer's standard “restrictor” analysis of indicative conditionals. I both refine and undermine the common claim that problems of Triviality do not arise for Kratzer conditionals since they are not strictly conditionals at all.
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  • On sense and intension.David J. Chalmers - 2002 - Philosophical Perspectives 16:135-82.
    What is involved in the meaning of our expressions? Frege suggested that there is an aspect of an expression.
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  • Grading Modal Judgement.Nate Charlow - 2020 - Mind 129 (515):769-807.
    This paper proposes a new model of graded modal judgment. It begins by problematizing the phenomenon: given plausible constraints on the logic of epistemic modality, it is impossible to model graded attitudes toward modal claims as judgments of probability targeting epistemically modal propositions. This paper considers two alternative models, on which modal operators are non-proposition-forming: (1) Moss (2015), in which graded attitudes toward modal claims are represented as judgments of probability targeting a “proxy” proposition, belief in which would underwrite belief (...)
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  • Frege’s Puzzle and the Objects of Credence.David J. Chalmers - 2011 - Mind 120 (479):587-635.
    The objects of credence are the entities to which credences are assigned for the purposes of a successful theory of credence. I use cases akin to Frege's puzzle to argue against referentialism about credence : the view that objects of credence are determined by the objects and properties at which one's credence is directed. I go on to develop a non-referential account of the objects of credence in terms of sets of epistemically possible scenarios.
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  • Epistemic Two-Dimensional Semantics.David J. Chalmers - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 118 (1-2):153-226.
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  • Good news about the description theory of names.Bart Geurts - 1997 - Journal of Semantics 14 (4):319-348.
    This is an attempt at reviving Kneale's version of the description theory of names, which says that a proper name is synonymous with a definite description of the form ‘the individual named so-and-so’. To begin with, I adduce a wide range of observations to show that names and overt definites are alike in all relevant respects. I then turn to Kripke's main objection against Kneale's proposal, and endeavour to refute it. In the remainder of the paper I elaborate on Kneale's (...)
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  • Two Roles for Propositions: Cause for Divorce?Mark Schroeder - 2011 - Noûs 47 (3):409-430.
    Nondescriptivist views in many areas of philosophy have long been associated with the commitment that in contrast to other domains of discourse, there are no propositions in their particular domain. For example, the ‘no truth conditions’ theory of conditionals1 is understood as the view that conditionals don’t express propositions, noncognitivist expressivism in metaethics is understood as advocating the view that there are not really moral propositions,2 and expressivism about epistemic modals is thought of as the view that there is no (...)
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  • Impossible possible worlds vindicated.Jaakko Hintikka - 1975 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 4 (4):475 - 484.
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  • Knowledge and Belief: An Introduction to the Logic of the Two Notions.Jaakko Hintikka - 1962 - Studia Logica 16:119-122.
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  • Impossible Worlds.Francesco Berto & Mark Jago - 2019 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by Mark Jago.
    Impossible Worlds focuses on an exciting new theory in philosophy, with applications in metaphysics, logic, and the theory of meaning. Its central topic is: how do we meaningfully talk and reason about situations which, unbeknownst to us, are impossible? This issue emerges as a central problem in contemporary philosophical accounts of meaning, information, knowledge, belief, fiction, conditionality, and counterfactual supposition. The book is written bytwo of the leading philosophers in the area and contains original research of relevance to professional philosophers (...)
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  • Belief as Question‐Sensitive.Seth Yalcin - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (1):23-47.
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  • Semantic Relationism.Chulmin Yoon - 2022 - In Chris Tillman & Adam Murray (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Propositions. Routledge.
    In this article, I present different characteristics of de jure coreference, including an epistemological one and a logical one. Then, I present the semantic relation of coordination as what explains or grounds the phenomenon of de jure coreference. And I compare two theories of relational semantics, Fine’s (2007) and Taschek’s (1995a, 1995b, 1998), with respect to two famous puzzles in the philosophy of language, Frege’s puzzle and Kripke’s puzzle about belief. Lastly, I briefly discuss coordination between empty terms.
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  • Disputing about Taste.Andy Egan - 2010 - In Richard Feldman & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Disagreement. Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press. pp. 247-286.
    “There’s no disputing about taste.” That’s got a nice ring to it, but it’s not quite the ring of truth. While there’s definitely something right about the aphorism – there’s a reason why it is, after all, an aphorism, and why its utterance tends to produce so much nodding of heads and muttering of “just so” and “yes, quite” – it’s surprisingly difficult to put one’s finger on just what the truth in the neighborhood is, exactly. One thing that’s pretty (...)
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  • Context Probabilism.Seth Yalcin - 2012 - In M. Aloni (ed.), 18th Amsterdam Colloquium. Springer. pp. 12-21.
    We investigate a basic probabilistic dynamic semantics for a fragment containing conditionals, probability operators, modals, and attitude verbs, with the aim of shedding light on the prospects for adding probabilistic structure to models of the conversational common ground.
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  • Assessment Sensitivity: Relative Truth and its Applications.John MacFarlane - 2014 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    John MacFarlane explores how we might make sense of the idea that truth is relative. He provides new, satisfying accounts of parts of our thought and talk that have resisted traditional methods of analysis, including what we mean when we talk about what is tasty, what we know, what will happen, what might be the case, and what we ought to do.
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  • Probabilistic Knowledge.Sarah Moss - 2018 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
    Traditional philosophical discussions of knowledge have focused on the epistemic status of full beliefs. In this book, Moss argues that in addition to full beliefs, credences can constitute knowledge. For instance, your .4 credence that it is raining outside can constitute knowledge, in just the same way that your full beliefs can. In addition, you can know that it might be raining, and that if it is raining then it is probably cloudy, where this knowledge is not knowledge of propositions, (...)
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  • Probability Operators.Seth Yalcin - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (11):916-37.
    This is a study in the meaning of natural language probability operators, sentential operators such as probably and likely. We ask what sort of formal structure is required to model the logic and semantics of these operators. Along the way we investigate their deep connections to indicative conditionals and epistemic modals, probe their scalar structure, observe their sensitivity to contex- tually salient contrasts, and explore some of their scopal idiosyncrasies.
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  • More on epistemic modals.Seth Yalcin - 2009 - Mind 118 (471):785-793.
    I respond to comments by David Barnett and Roy Sorensen on my paper ‘Epistemic Modals’.
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  • Bayesian Expressivism.Seth Yalcin - 2012 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 112 (2pt2):123-160.
    I develop a conception of expressivism according to which it is chiefly a pragmatic thesis about some fragment of discourse, one imposing certain constraints on semantics. The first half of the paper uses credal expressivism about the language of probability as a stalking-horse for this purpose. The second half turns to the question of how one might frame an analogous form of expressivism about the language of deontic modality. Here I offer a preliminary comparison of two expressivist lines. The first, (...)
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  • Epistemic Modals.Seth Yalcin - 2007 - Mind 116 (464):983-1026.
    Epistemic modal operators give rise to something very like, but also very unlike, Moore's paradox. I set out the puzzling phenomena, explain why a standard relational semantics for these operators cannot handle them, and recommend an alternative semantics. A pragmatics appropriate to the semantics is developed and interactions between the semantics, the pragmatics, and the definition of consequence are investigated. The semantics is then extended to probability operators. Some problems and prospects for probabilistic representations of content and context are explored.
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  • Dynamics of Epistemic Modality.Malte Willer - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (1):45-92.
    A dynamic semantics for epistemically modalized sentences is an attractive alternative to the orthodox view that our best theory of meaning ascribes to such sentences truth-conditions relative to what is known. This essay demonstrates that a dynamic theory about might and must offers elegant explanations of a range of puzzling observations about epistemic modals. The first part of the story offers a unifying treatment of disputes about epistemic modality and disputes about matters of fact while at the same time avoiding (...)
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  • Meta-agnosticism: Higher order epistemic possibility.Roy Sorensen - 2009 - Mind 118 (471):777-784.
    In ‘Epistemic Modals’ (2007), Seth Yalcin proposes Stalnaker-style semantics for epistemic possibility. He is inspired by John MacFarlane’s ingenious defence of relativism, in which claims of epistemic possibility are made rigidly from the perspective of the assessor’s actual stock of information (rather than from the speaker’s knowledge base or that of his audience or community). The innovations of MacFarlane and Yalcin independently reinforce the modal collapse espoused by Jaakko Hintikka in his 1962 epistemic logic (which relied on the implausible KK (...)
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  • Cognitive propositions.Scott Soames - 2013 - Philosophical Perspectives 27 (1):479-501.
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  • Names Are Variables.Anders J. Schoubye - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (1):53-94.
    MILLIANISM and DESCRIPTIVISM are without question the two most prominent views with respect to the semantics of proper names. However, debates between MILLIANS and DESCRIPTIVISTS have tended to focus on a fairly narrow set of linguistic data and an equally narrow set of problems, mainly how to solve with Frege's puzzle and how to guarantee rigidity. In this article, the author focuses on a set of data that has been given less attention in these debates—namely, so-called predicative uses, bound uses, (...)
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  • Reference and Monstrosity.Paolo Santorio - 2012 - Philosophical Review 121 (3):359-406.
    According to the orthodox account developed by Kaplan, indexicals like I, you, and now invariably refer to elements of the context of speech. This essay argues that the orthodoxy is wrong. I, you, and the like are shifted by certain modal operators and hence can fail to refer to elements of the context, for example, I can fail to refer to the speaker. More precisely, indexicals are syntactically akin to logical variables. They can be free, in which case they work, (...)
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  • Expressing Credences.Daniel Rothschild - 2012 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 112 (1pt1):99-114.
    After presenting a simple expressivist account of reports of probabilistic judgements, I explore a classic problem for it, namely the Frege-Geach problem. I argue that it is a problem not just for expressivism but for any reasonable account of ascriptions of graded judgements. I suggest that the problem can be resolved by appropriately modelling imprecise credences.
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  • Ways Things Can't Be.Greg Restall - 1997 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 38 (4):583-596.
    Paraconsistent logics are often semantically motivated by considering "impossible worlds." Lewis, in "Logic for equivocators," has shown how we can understand paraconsistent logics by attributing equivocation of meanings to inconsistent believers. In this paper I show that we can understand paraconsistent logics without attributing such equivocation. Impossible worlds are simply sets of possible worlds, and inconsistent believers (inconsistently) believe that things are like each of the worlds in the set. I show that this account gives a sound and complete semantics (...)
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  • The problem of the essential indexical.John Perry - 1979 - Noûs 13 (1):3-21.
    Perry argues that certain sorts of indexicals are 'essential', in the sense that they cannot be eliminated in favor of descriptions. This paper also introduces the influential idea that certain sorts of indexicals play a special role in thought, and have a special connection to action.
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  • Frege on demonstratives.John Perry - 1977 - Philosophical Review 86 (4):474-497.
    Demonstratives seem to have posed a severe difficulty for Frege’s philosophy of language, to which his doctrine of incommunicable senses was a reaction. In “The Thought,” Frege briefly discusses sentences containing such demonstratives as “today,” “here,” and “yesterday,” and then turns to certain questions that he says are raised by the occurrence of “I” in sentences (T, 24-26). He is led to say that, when one thinks about oneself, one grasps thoughts that others cannot grasp, that cannot be communicated. However, (...)
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  • Epistemology Formalized.Sarah Moss - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (1):1-43.
    This paper argues that just as full beliefs can constitute knowledge, so can properties of your credence distribution. The resulting notion of probabilistic knowledge helps us give a natural account of knowledge ascriptions embedding language of subjective uncertainty, and a simple diagnosis of probabilistic analogs of Gettier cases. Just like propositional knowledge, probabilistic knowledge is factive, safe, and sensitive. And it helps us build knowledge-based norms of action without accepting implausible semantic assumptions or endorsing the claim that knowledge is interest-relative.
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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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  • Attitudes de dicto and de se.David Lewis - 1979 - Philosophical Review 88 (4):513-543.
    I hear the patter of little feet around the house, I expect Bruce. What I expect is a cat, a particular cat. If I heard such a patter in another house, I might expect a cat but no particular cat. What I expect then seems to be a Meinongian incomplete cat. I expect winter, expect stormy weather, expect to shovel snow, expect fatigue---a season, a phenomenon, an activity, a state. I expect that someday mankind will inhabit at least five planets. (...)
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  • Context dependence, disagreement, and predicates of personal taste.Peter Lasersohn - 2005 - Linguistics and Philosophy 28 (6):643--686.
    This paper argues that truth values of sentences containing predicates of “personal taste” such as fun or tasty must be relativized to individuals. This relativization is of truth value only, and does not involve a relativization of semantic content: If you say roller coasters are fun, and I say they are not, I am negating the same content which you assert, and directly contradicting you. Nonetheless, both our utterances can be true (relative to their separate contexts). A formal semantic theory (...)
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  • A defense of imprecise credences in inference and decision making1.James M. Joyce - 2010 - Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1):281-323.
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  • Structured Propositions as Types.Peter W. Hanks - 2011 - Mind 120 (477):11-52.
    In this paper I defend an account of the nature of propositional content according to which the proposition expressed by a declarative sentence is a certain type of action a speaker performs in uttering that sentence. On this view, the semantic contents of proper names turn out to be types of reference acts. By carefully individuating these types, it is possible to provide new solutions to Frege’s puzzles about names in identity- and belief-sentences.
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  • If-Clauses and Probability Operators.Paul Égré & Mikaël Cozic - 2011 - Topoi 30 (1):17-29.
    Adams’ thesis is generally agreed to be linguistically compelling for simple conditionals with factual antecedent and consequent. We propose a derivation of Adams’ thesis from the Lewis- Kratzer analysis of if-clauses as domain restrictors, applied to probability operators. We argue that Lewis’s triviality result may be seen as a result of inexpressibility of the kind familiar in generalized quantifier theory. Some implications of the Lewis- Kratzer analysis are presented concerning the assignment of probabilities to compounds of conditionals.
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  • Names Are Predicates.Delia Graff Fara - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (1):59-117.
    One reason to think that names have a predicate-type semantic value is that they naturally occur in count-noun positions: ‘The Michaels in my building both lost their keys’; ‘I know one incredibly sharp Cecil and one that's incredibly dull’. Predicativism is the view that names uniformly occur as predicates. Predicativism flies in the face of the widely accepted view that names in argument position are referential, whether that be Millian Referentialism, direct-reference theories, or even Fregean Descriptivism. But names are predicates (...)
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  • Inquiry.Robert Stalnaker - 1984 - Synthese 79 (1):171-189.
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  • 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.
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  • From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis.Frank Jackson - 1998 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Frank Jackson champions the cause of conceptual analysis as central to philosophical inquiry. In recent years conceptual analysis has been undervalued and widely misunderstood, suggests Jackson. He argues that such analysis is mistakenly clouded in mystery, preventing a whole range of important questions from being productively addressed. He anchors his argument in discussions of specific philosophical issues, starting with the metaphysical doctrine of physicalism and moving on, via free will, meaning, personal identity, motion, and change, to ethics and the philosophy (...)
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