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Alexander W. Kocurek [6]Alexander Kocurek [2]
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Alexander W. Kocurek
Cornell University
  1. Counteridenticals.Alexander W. Kocurek - 2018 - The Philosophical Review 127 (3):323-369.
    A counteridentical is a counterfactual with an identity statement in the antecedent. While counteridenticals generally seem non-trivial, most semantic theories for counterfactuals, when combined with the necessity of identity and distinctness, attribute vacuous truth conditions to such counterfactuals. In light of this, one could try to save the orthodox theories either by appealing to pragmatics or by denying that the antecedents of alleged counteridenticals really contain identity claims. Or one could reject the orthodox theory of counterfactuals in favor of a (...)
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  2. On the Expressive Power of First-Order Modal Logic with Two-Dimensional Operators.Alexander Kocurek - 2018 - Synthese 195 (10):4373-4417.
    Many authors have noted that there are types of English modal sentences cannot be formalized in the language of basic first-order modal logic. Some widely discussed examples include “There could have been things other than there actually are” and “Everyone who is actually rich could have been poor.” In response to this lack of expressive power, many authors have discussed extensions of first-order modal logic with two-dimensional operators. But claims about the relative expressive power of these extensions are often justified (...)
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  3. On the Substitution of Identicals in Counterfactual Reasoning.Alexander W. Kocurek - 2020 - Noûs 54 (3):600-631.
    It is widely held that counterfactuals, unlike attitude ascriptions, preserve the referential transparency of their constituents, i.e., that counterfactuals validate the substitution of identicals when their constituents do. The only putative counterexamples in the literature come from counterpossibles, i.e., counterfactuals with impossible antecedents. Advocates of counterpossibilism, i.e., the view that counterpossibles are not all vacuous, argue that counterpossibles can generate referential opacity. But in order to explain why most substitution inferences into counterfactuals seem valid, counterpossibilists also often maintain that counterfactuals (...)
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  4. The Problem of Cross-World Predication.Alexander Kocurek - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 45 (6):697-742.
    While standard first-order modal logic is quite powerful, it cannot express even very simple sentences like “I could have been taller than I actually am” or “Everyone could have been smarter than they actually are”. These are examples of cross-world predication, whereby objects in one world are related to objects in another world. Extending first-order modal logic to allow for cross-world predication in a motivated way has proven to be notoriously difficult. In this paper, I argue that the standard accounts (...)
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  5. Against Conventional Wisdom.Alexander W. Kocurek, Ethan Jerzak & Rachel Etta Rudolph - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (22):1-27.
    Conventional wisdom has it that truth is always evaluated using our actual linguistic conventions, even when considering counterfactual scenarios in which different conventions are adopted. This principle has been invoked in a number of philosophical arguments, including Kripke’s defense of the necessity of identity and Lewy’s objection to modal conventionalism. But it is false. It fails in the presence of what Einheuser (2006) calls c-monsters, or convention-shifting expressions (on analogy with Kaplan’s monsters, or context-shifting expressions). We show that c-monsters naturally (...)
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  6.  95
    Counterlogicals as Counterconventionals.Alexander W. Kocurek & Ethan Jerzak - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic.
    We develop and defend a new approach to counterlogicals. Non-vacuous counterlogicals, we argue, fall within a broader class of counterfactuals known as counterconventionals. Existing semantics for counterconventionals (developed by Einheuser (2006) and Kocurek et al. (2020)) allow counterfactuals to shift the interpretation of predicates and relations. We extend these theories to counterlogicals by allowing counterfactuals to shift the interpretation of logical vocabulary. This yields an elegant semantics for counterlogicals that avoids problems with the usual impossible worlds semantics. We conclude by (...)
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  7.  65
    Hyperlogic: A System for Talking About Logics.Alexander W. Kocurek - 2019 - Proceedings for the 22nd Amsterdam Colloquium.
    Sentences about logic are often used to show that certain embedding expressions, including attitude verbs, conditionals, and epistemic modals, are hyperintensional. Yet it not clear how to regiment “logic talk” in the object language so that it can be compositionally embedded under such expressions. This paper does two things. First, it argues against a standard account of logic talk, viz., the impossible worlds semantics. It is shown that this semantics does not easily extend to a language with propositional quantifiers, which (...)
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  8.  98
    On the Concept of a Notational Variant.Alexander W. Kocurek - 2017 - In Alexandru Baltag, Jeremy Seligman & Tomoyuki Yamada (eds.), Logic, Rationality, and Interaction (LORI 2017, Sapporo, Japan). pp. 284-298.
    In the study of modal and nonclassical logics, translations have frequently been employed as a way of measuring the inferential capabilities of a logic. It is sometimes claimed that two logics are “notational variants” if they are translationally equivalent. However, we will show that this cannot be quite right, since first-order logic and propositional logic are translationally equivalent. Others have claimed that for two logics to be notational variants, they must at least be compositionally intertranslatable. The definition of compositionality these (...)
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