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David Boylan
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
  1.  72
    What the Future 'Might' Brings.David Boylan - forthcoming - Mind.
    This paper is about a puzzle about the interaction of epistemic modals and future tense. In cases of predictable forgetfulness, speakers cannot describe their future states of mind with epistemic modals under future tense, but promising theories of epistemic modals do not predict this. In section 1, I outline the puzzle. In section 2, I argue it undermines a very general approach to epistemic modals that draws a tight connection between epistemic modality and evidence. In section 3, I defend the (...)
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  2. Agentive Modals.Matthew Mandelkern, Ginger Schultheis & David Boylan - 2017 - Philosophical Review 126 (3):301-343.
    This essay proposes a new theory of agentive modals: ability modals and their duals, compulsion modals. After criticizing existing approaches—the existential quantificational analysis, the universal quantificational analysis, and the conditional analysis—it presents a new account that builds on both the existential and conditional analyses. On this account, the act conditional analysis, a sentence like ‘John can swim across the river’ says that there is some practically available action that is such that if John tries to do it, he swims across (...)
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  3.  14
    How Strong is a Counterfactual?David Boylan & Ginger Schultheis - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    There are two leading theories about the meaning of counterfactuals, the Variably Strict Analysis (VSA) and the Strict Analysis (SA). Perhaps most famously, VSA and SA disagree about a principle known as Antecedent Strengtheing: SA validates the principle; VSA does not. Early VSA theorists believed that certain apparent counterexamples to Antecedent Strengthening— now known as Sobel Sequences—refuted SA. More recently, defenders of SA have enriched SA with certain dynamic principles governing how context evolves and argued that Sobel sequences are not (...)
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  4. I Believe I Can Φ.Matthew Mandelkern, Ginger Schultheis & David Boylan - 2015 - In Thomas Brochhagen, Floris Roelofsen & Nadine Theiler (eds.), Proceedings of the 20th Amsterdam Colloquium. pp. 256-265.
    We propose a new analysis of ability modals. After briefly criticizing extant approaches, we turn our attention to the venerable but vexed conditional analysis of ability ascriptions. We give an account that builds on the conditional analysis, but avoids its weaknesses by incorporating a layer of quantification over a contextually supplied set of actions.
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  5.  60
    Strengthening Principles and Counterfactual Semantics.David Boylan & Ginger Schultheis - 2017 - Proceedings of the 21st Amsterdam Colloquium.
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