The paper deals with polymodal languages combined with standard semantics defined by means of some conditions on the frames. So, a notion of "polymodal base" arises which provides various enrichments of the classical modal language. One of these enrichments, viz. the base £(R,-R), with modalities over a relation and over its complement, is the paper's main paradigm. The modal definability (in the spirit of van Benthem's correspondence theory) of arbitrary and ~-elementary classes of frames in this base (...) and in some of its extensions, e.g., £(R,-R,R-1 ,_R-1), £(R,-R,=I=) etc., is described, and numerous examples of conditions definable there, as well as undefinable ones, are adduced. (shrink)
We generalize and extend the class of Sahlqvist formulae in arbitrary polyadic modallanguages, to the class of so called inductive formulae. To introduce them we use a representation of modal polyadic languages in a combinatorial style and thus, in particular, develop what we believe to be a better syntactic approach to elementary canonical formulae altogether. By generalizing the method of minimal valuations à la Sahlqvist–van Benthem and the topological approach of Sambin and Vaccaro we prove (...) that all inductive formulae are elementary canonical and thus extend Sahlqvist’s theorem over them. In particular, we give a simple example of an inductive formula which is not frame-equivalent to any Sahlqvist formula. Then, after a deeper analysis of the inductive formulae as set-theoretic operators in descriptive and Kripke frames, we establish a somewhat stronger model-theoretic characterization of these formulae in terms of a suitable equivalence to syntactically simpler formulae in the extension of the language with reversive modalities. Lastly, we study and characterize the elementary canonical formulae in reversive languages with nominals, where the relevant notion of persistence is with respect to discrete frames. (shrink)
On Kratzer’s canonical account, modal expressions (like “might” and “must”) are represented semantically as quantifiers over possibilities. Such expressions are themselves neutral; they make a single contribution to determining the propositions expressed across a wide range of uses. What modulates the modality of the proposition expressed—as bouletic, epistemic, deontic, etc.—is context.2 This ain’t the canon for nothing. Its power lies in its ability to figure in a simple and highly unified explanation of a fairly wide range of language use. (...) Recently, though, the canon’s neat story has come under attack. The challenge cases involve the epistemic use of a modal sentence for which no single resolution of the contextual parameter appears capable of accommodating all our intuitions.3 According to these revisionaries, such cases show that the canonical story needs to be amended in some way that makes multiple bodies of information relevant to the assessment of such statements. Here I show that how the right canonical, flexibly contextualist account of modals can accommodate the full range of challenge cases. The key will be to extend Kratzer’s formal semantic account with an account of how context selects values for a modal’s.. (shrink)
We introduce and study hierarchies of extensions of the propositional modal and temporal languages with pairs of new syntactic devices: point of reference-reference pointer which enable semantic references to be made within a formula. We propose three different but equivalent semantics for the extendedlanguages, discuss and compare their expressiveness. The languages with reference pointers are shown to have great expressive power (especially when their frugal syntax is taken into account), perspicuous semantics, and simple deductive (...) systems. For instance, Kamp's and Stavi's temporal operators, as well as nominals (names, clock variables), are definable in them. Universal validity in these languages is proved undecidable. The basic modal and temporal logics with reference pointers are uniformly axiomatized and a strong completeness theorem is proved for them and extended to some classes of their extensions. (shrink)
This article presents modal versions of resource-conscious logics. We concentrate on extensions of variants of linear logic with one minimal non-normal modality. In earlier work, where we investigated agency in multi-agent systems, we have shown that the results scale up to logics with multiple non-minimal modalities. Here, we start with the language of propositional intuitionistic linear logic without the additive disjunction, to which we add a modality. We provide an interpretation of this language on a class of Kripke resource (...) models extended with a neighbourhood function: modal Kripke resource models. We propose a Hilbert-style axiomatisation and a Gentzen-style sequent calculus. We show that the proof theories are sound and complete with respect to the class of modal Kripke resource models. We show that the sequent calculus admits cut elimination and that proof-search is in PSPACE. We then show how to extend the results when non-commutative connectives are added to the language. Finally, we put the l.. (shrink)
Modal dimensionalism is realism about spaces, times and worlds—metaphysical indices that make objects spatial, temporal and modal, respectively, and that play the role of alethic relativizers, i.e. items to which matters of truth are relativized. This paper examines several arguments against MD and shows that MD offers a feasible way to understand modal discourse.
In this dissertation we present proof systems for several modal logics. These proof systems are based on analytic (or semantic) tableaux. -/- Modal logics are logics for reasoning about possibility, knowledge, beliefs, preferences, and other modalities. Their semantics are almost always based on Saul Kripke’s possible world semantics. In Kripke semantics, models are represented by relational structures or, equivalently, labeled graphs. Syntactic formulas that express statements about knowledge and other modalities are evaluated in terms of such models. -/- (...) This dissertation focuses on modal logics with dynamic operators for public announcements, belief revision, preference upgrades, and so on. These operators are defined in terms of mathematical operations on Kripke models. Thus, for example, a belief revision operator in the syntax would correspond to a belief revision operation on models. -/- The ‘dynamic’ semantics of dynamic modal logics are a clever way of extending languages without compromising on intuitiveness. We present ‘dynamic’ tableau proof systems for these dynamic semantics, with the express aim to make them conceptually simple, easy to use, modular, and extensible. This we do by reflecting the semantics as closely as possible in the components of our tableau system. For instance, dynamic operations on Kripke models have counterpart dynamic relations between tableaux. -/- Soundness, completeness, and decidability are three of the most important properties that a proof system may have. A proof system is sound if and only if any formula for which a proof exists, is true in every model. A proof system is complete if and only if for any formula that is true in all models, a proof exists. A proof system is decidable if and only if any formula can be proved to be a theorem or not a theorem in a finite number of steps. All proof systems in this dissertation are sound, complete, and decidable. -/- Part of our strategy to create modular tableau systems is to delay concerns over decidability until after soundness and completeness have been established. Decidability is attained through the operations of folding and through operations on ‘tableau cascades’, which are graphs of tableaux. -/- Finally, we provide a proof-of-concept implementation of our dynamic tableau system for public announcement logic in the Clojure programming language. (shrink)
A growing conceptual and empirical literature is advancing the idea that language extends our cognitive skills. One of the most influential positions holds that language – qua material symbols – facilitates individual thought processes by virtue of its material properties (Clark, 2006a). Extending upon this model, we argue that language enhances our cognitive capabilities in a much more radical way: the skilful engagement of public material symbols facilitates evolutionarily unprecedented modes of collective perception, action and reasoning (interpersonal synergies) creating dialogically (...)extended minds. We relate our approach to other ideas about collective minds ( Gallagher, 2011, Theiner et al., 2010 and Tollefsen, 2006) and review a number of empirical studies to identify the mechanisms enabling the constitution of interpersonal cognitive systems. (shrink)
One of the most expected properties of a logical system is that it can be algebraizable, in the sense that an algebraic counterpart of the deductive machinery could be found. Since the inception of da Costa's paraconsistent calculi, an algebraic equivalent for such systems have been searched. It is known that these systems are non self-extensional (i.e., they do not satisfy the replacement property). More than this, they are not algebraizable in the sense of Blok-Pigozzi. The same negative results hold (...) for several systems of the hierarchy of paraconsistent logics known as Logics of Formal Inconsistency (LFIs). Because of this, these logics are uniquely characterized by semantics of non-deterministic kind. This paper offers a solution for two open problems in the domain of paraconsistency, in particular connected to algebraization of LFIs, by obtaining several LFIs weaker than C1, each of one is algebraizable in the standard Lindenbaum-Tarski's sense by a suitable variety of Boolean algebras extended with operators. This means that such LFIs satisfy the replacement property. The weakest LFI satisfying replacement presented here is called RmbC, which is obtained from the basic LFI called mbC. Some axiomatic extensions of RmbC are also studied, and in addition a neighborhood semantics is defined for such systems. It is shown that RmbC can be defined within the minimal bimodal non-normal logic E+E defined by the fusion of the non-normal modal logic E with itself. Finally, the framework is extended to first-order languages. RQmbC, the quantified extension of RmbC, is shown to be sound and complete w.r.t. BALFI semantics. (shrink)
We propose a generalization of Sahlqvist formulas to polyadic modallanguages by representing such languages in a combinatorial PDL style and thus, in particular, developing what we believe to be the right syntactic approach to Sahlqvist formulas at all. The class of polyadic Sahlqvist formulas PSF defined here expands essentially the so far known one. We prove first-order definability and canonicity for the class PSF.
We propose a generalization of Sahlqvist formulae to polyadic modallanguages by representing modal polyadic languages in a combinatorial style and thus, in particular, developing what we believe to be the right approach to Sahlqvist formulae at all. The class of polyadic Sahlqvist formulae PSF defined here expands essentially the so far known one. We prove first-order definability and canonicity for the class PSF.
We reconsider the pragmatic interpretation of intuitionistic logic [21] regarded as a logic of assertions and their justi cations and its relations with classical logic. We recall an extension of this approach to a logic dealing with assertions and obligations, related by a notion of causal implication [14, 45]. We focus on the extension to co-intuitionistic logic, seen as a logic of hypotheses [8, 9, 13] and on polarized bi-intuitionistic logic as a logic of assertions and conjectures: looking at the (...) S4 modal translation, we give a de nition of a system AHL of bi-intuitionistic logic that correctly represents the duality between intuitionistic and co-intuitionistic logic, correcting a mistake in previous work [7, 10]. A computational interpretation of cointuitionism as a distributed calculus of coroutines is then used to give an operational interpretation of subtraction.Work on linear co-intuitionism is then recalled, a linear calculus of co-intuitionistic coroutines is de ned and a probabilistic interpretation of linear co-intuitionism is given as in [9]. Also we remark that by extending the language of intuitionistic logic we can express the notion of expectation, an assertion that in all situations the truth of p is possible and that in a logic of expectations the law of double negation holds. Similarly, extending co-intuitionistic logic, we can express the notion of conjecture that p, de ned as a hypothesis that in some situation the truth of p is epistemically necessary. (shrink)
This paper gives an outline of truthmaker semantics for natural language against the background of standard possible-worlds semantics. It develops a truthmaker semantics for attitude reports and deontic modals based on an ontology of attitudinal and modal objects and on a semantic function of clauses as predicates of such objects. It also présents new motivations for 'object-based truthmaker semantics' from intensional transitive verbs such as ‘need’, ‘look for’, ‘own’, and ‘buy’ and gives an outline of their semantics. This paper (...) is a commissioned 'target' article, with commentaries by W. Davis, B. Arsenijevic, K. Moulton, K. Liefke, M. Kaufmann, R. Matthews, P. Portner and A. Rubinstein, P. Elliott, G. Ramchand and my reply. (shrink)
The subject of my article is the principle of characterization – the most controversial principle of Meinong’s Theory of Objects. The aim of this text is twofold. First of all, I would like to show that Russell’s well-known objection to Meinong’s Theory of Objects can be reformulated against a new modal interpretation of Meinongianism that is presented mostly by Graham Priest. Secondly, I would like to propose a strategy which gives uncontroversial restriction to the principle of characterization and which (...) allows to avoid Russell’s argument. The strategy is based on the distinction between object- and metalanguage, and it applies to modal Meinongianism as well as to other so-called Meinongian theories. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
Empiricist modal epistemologies can be attractive, but are often limited in the range of modal knowledge they manage to secure. In this paper, I argue that one such account – similarity-based modal empiricism – can be extended to also cover justification of many scientifically interesting possibility claims. Drawing on recent work on modelling in the philosophy of science, I suggest that scientific modelling is usefully seen as the creation and investigation of relevantly similar epistemic counterparts of (...) real target systems. On the basis of experiential knowledge of what is actually the case with the models, one can draw justified conclusions about what is de re possible for the target systems. (shrink)
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 (...) and Wittgenstein sentences are classically consistent. In this paper I argue against this consensus. I adduce a variety of new data which I argue can best be accounted for if we treat Wittgenstein sentences as being classically inconsistent. This creates a puzzle, since there is decisive reason to think that 'Might p' is classically consistent with 'Not p'. How can it also be that 'Might p and not p' and 'Not p and might p' are classically inconsistent? To make sense of this situation, I propose a new theory of epistemic modals and their interaction with embedding operators. This account makes sense of the subtle embedding behavior of epistemic modals, shedding new light on their meaning and, more broadly, the dynamics of information in natural language. -/- . (shrink)
We investigate an enrichment of the propositional modal language L with a "universal" modality ■ having semantics x ⊧ ■φ iff ∀y(y ⊧ φ), and a countable set of "names" - a special kind of propositional variables ranging over singleton sets of worlds. The obtained language ℒ $_{c}$ proves to have a great expressive power. It is equivalent with respect to modal definability to another enrichment ℒ(⍯) of ℒ, where ⍯ is an additional modality with the semantics x (...) ⊧ ⍯φ iff Vy(y ≠ x → y ⊧ φ). Model-theoretic characterizations of modal definability in these languages are obtained. Further we consider deductive systems in ℒ $_{c}$ . Strong completeness of the normal ℒ $_{c}$ logics is proved with respect to models in which all worlds are named. Every ℒ $_{c}$ -logic axiomatized by formulae containing only names (but not propositional variables) is proved to be strongly frame-complete. Problems concerning transfer of properties ([in]completeness, filtration, finite model property etc.) from ℒ to ℒ $_{c}$ are discussed. Finally, further perspectives for names in multimodal environment are briefly sketched. (shrink)
Williamsonian modal epistemology is characterized by two commitments: realism about modality, and anti-exceptionalism about our modal knowledge. Williamson’s own counterfactual-based modal epistemology is the best known implementation of WME, but not the only option that is available. I sketch and defend an alternative implementation which takes our knowledge of metaphysical modality to arise, not from knowledge of counterfactuals, but from our knowledge of ordinary possibility statements of the form ‘x can F’. I defend this view against a (...) criticism indicated in Williamson’s own work, and argue that it is better connected to the semantics of modal language. (shrink)
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 (...) the river. The essay argues that the act conditional analysis avoids the problems faced by existing accounts of agentive modality and shows how the act conditional analysis can be extended to an account of generic agentive modal claims. The upshot is a new vantage point on the role of agentive modal ascriptions in practical discourse: ability ascriptions serve as a kind of hypothetical guarantee, and compulsion ascriptions as a kind of nonhypothetical guarantee. (shrink)
We argue that genuine modal realism can be extended, rather than modified, so as to allow for the possibility of nothing concrete, a possibility we term ‘metaphysical nihilism’. The issue should be important to the genuine modal realist because, not only is metaphysical nihilism itself intuitively plausible, but also it is supported by an argument with pre-theoretically credible premises, namely, the subtraction argument. Given the soundness of the subtraction argument, we show that there are two ways that (...) the genuine modal realist can accommodate metaphysical nihilism: (i) by allowing for worlds containing only spatiotemporal points and (ii) by allowing for a world containing nothing but the null individual. On methodological grounds, we argue that the genuine modal realist should reject the former way but embrace the latter way. (shrink)
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 (...) the complexities of alternative theories. The second part of the story extends the basic framework to cover some complicated data about retraction and the interaction between epistemic modality and tense. A comparison between the suggestion made in this essay and current versions of the orthodoxy is provided. (shrink)
In this paper, I describe how artifacts and autobiographical memory are integrated into new systemic wholes, allowing us to remember our personal past in a more reliable and detailed manner. After discussing some empirical work on lifelogging technology, I elaborate on the dimension of autobiographical dependency, which is the degree to which we depend on an object to be able to remember a personal experience. When this dependency is strong, we integrate information in the embodied brain and in an object (...) to reconstruct an autobiographical memory. In such cases, autobiographical memory is extended or distributed. (shrink)
Modality and Anti-Metaphysics critically examines the most prominent approaches to modality among analytic philosophers in the twentieth century, including essentialism. Defending both the project of metaphysics and the essentialist position that metaphysical modality is conceptually and ontologically primitive, Stephen McLeod argues that the logical positivists did not succeed in banishing metaphysical modality from their own theoretical apparatus and he offers an original defence of metaphysics against their advocacy of its elimination. -/- Seeking to assuage the sceptical worries which underlie (...) class='Hi'>modal anti-realism, McLeod provides an original contribution to essentialist epistemology, engaging with current debates about modality and suggesting that standard essentialist approaches to some issues in the philosophies of logic and language require revision. -/- This book offers valuable insights to professional philosophers, postgraduates and advanced undergraduates interested in metaphysics, philosophy of logic or the history of twentieth-century analytic philosophy. (shrink)
Recently, there has been a shift away from traditional truth-conditional accounts of meaning towards non-truth-conditional ones, e.g., expressivism, relativism and certain forms of dynamic semantics. Fueling this trend is some puzzling behavior of modal discourse. One particularly surprising manifestation of such behavior is the alleged failure of some of the most entrenched classical rules of inference; viz., modus ponens and modus tollens. These revisionary, non-truth-conditional accounts tout these failures, and the alleged tension between the behavior of modal vocabulary (...) and classical logic, as data in support of their departure from tradition, since the revisionary semantics invalidate some of these patterns. I, instead, offer a semantics for modality with the resources to accommodate the puzzling data while preserving classical logic, thus affirming the tradition that modals express ordinary truth-conditional content. My account shows that the real lesson of the apparent counterexamples is not the one the critics draw, but rather one they missed: namely, that there are linguistic mechanisms, reflected in the logical form, that affect the interpretation of modal language in a context in a systematic and precise way, which have to be captured by any adequate semantic account of the interaction between discourse context and modal vocabulary. The semantic theory I develop specifies these mechanisms and captures precisely how they affect the interpretation of modals in a context, and do so in a way that both explains the appearance of the putative counterexamples and preserves classical logic. (shrink)
Many authors have turned their attention to the notion of constitution to determine whether the hypothesis of extended cognition (EC) is true. One common strategy is to make sense of constitution in terms of the new mechanists’ mutual manipulability account (MM). In this paper I will show that MM is insufficient. The Challenge of Trivial Extendedness arises due to the fact that mechanisms for cognitive behaviors are extended in a way that should not count as verifying EC. This (...) challenge can be met by adding a necessary condition: cognitive constituents satisfy MM and they are what I call behavior unspecific. (shrink)
According to Kratzer’s influential account of epistemic 'must' and 'might', these operators involve quantification over domains of possibilities determined by a modal base and an ordering source. Recently, this account has been challenged by invoking contexts of ‘epistemic tension’: i.e., cases in which an assertion that 'must p' is conjoined with the possibility that 'not p', and cases in which speakers try to downplay a previous assertion that 'must p', after finding out that 'not p'. Epistemic tensions have been (...) invoked from two directions. Von Fintel and Gillies (2010) propose a return to a simpler modal logic-inspired account: 'must' and 'might' still involve universal and existential quantification, but the domains of possibilities are determined solely by realistic modal bases. In contrast, Lassiter (2016), following Swanson, proposes a more revisionary account which treats 'must' and 'might' as probabilistic operators. In this paper, we present a series of experiments to obtain reliable data on the degree of acceptability of various contexts of epistemic tension. Our experiments include novel variations that, we argue, are required to make progress in this debate. We show that restricted quantificational accounts à la Kratzer fit the overall pattern of results better than either of their recent competitors. In addition, our results help us identify the key components of restricted quantificational accounts, and on that basis propose some refinements and general constraints that should be satisfied by any account of the modal auxiliaries. (shrink)
Some natural languages do not lexically distinguish between modals of possibility and modals of necessity. From the perspective of languages like English, modals in such languages appear to do double duty: they are used both where possibility modals are expected and where necessity modals are expected. The Nez Perce modal suffix o’qa offers an example of this behavior. I offer a simple account of the flexibility of the o’qa modal centered on the absence of scalar (...) implicatures. O’qa is a possibility modal that does not belong to a Horn scale; its use is never associated with a scalar implicature. Accordingly, in an upward entailing environment, φ-o’qa is appropriate whenever there are accessible φ-worlds, even if indeed all accessible worlds are φ-worlds. In a downward entailing environment, the flexibility of the o’qa modal is seen no more. Here, neither o’qa nor English possibility modals are associated with scalar implicatures, and the use of o’qa exactly parallels the use of English modals of possibility. -/- Given that o’qa is a possibility modal that does not contrast with a modal of necessity, just how do you talk about necessities in Nez Perce? Speakers translating into Nez Perce rely on a variety of techniques to paraphrase expressions of simple necessity away. Their strategies highlight an area where Nez Perce and English plausibly differ in the range of propositions they convey. The data cast doubt on any strong form of effability as a language universal. (shrink)
We need modal imagination in order to extend our conception of reality - and, in particular, of human beings - beyond our immediate experience in the indexical present; and we need to do this in order to preserve the significance of human interaction. To make this leap of imagination successfully is to achieve not only insight but also an impartial perspective on our own and others' inner states. This perspective is a necessary condition of experiencing compassion for others. This (...) is the primary thesis I will try to defend in this discussion. (shrink)
This paper develops an account of the meaning of `ought', and the distinction between weak necessity modals (`ought', `should') and strong necessity modals (`must', `have to'). I argue that there is nothing specially ``strong'' about strong necessity modals per se: uses of `Must p' predicate the (deontic/epistemic/etc.) necessity of the prejacent p of the actual world (evaluation world). The apparent ``weakness'' of weak necessity modals derives from their bracketing whether the necessity of the prejacent is verified in the actual world. (...) `Ought p' can be accepted without needing to settle that the relevant considerations (norms, expectations, etc.) that actually apply verify the necessity of p. I call the basic account a modal-past approach to the weak/strong necessity modal distinction (for reasons that become evident). Several ways of implementing the approach in the formal semantics/pragmatics are critically examined. The account systematizes a wide range of linguistic phenomena: it generalizes across flavors of modality; it elucidates a special role that weak necessity modals play in discourse and planning; it captures contrasting logical, expressive, and illocutionary properties of weak and strong necessity modals; and it sheds light on how a notion of `ought' is often expressed in other languages. These phenomena have resisted systematic explanation. In closing I briefly consider how linguistic inquiry into differences among necessity modals may improve theorizing on broader philosophical issues. (shrink)
Epistemic modals are a prominent topic in the literature on natural language semantics, with wide-ranging implications for issues in philosophy of language and philosophical logic. Considerations about the role that epistemic "might" and "must" play in discourse and reasoning have led to the development of several important alternatives to classical possible worlds semantics for natural language modal expressions. This is an opinionated overview of what I take to be some of the most exciting issues and developments in the field.
In English, discourse reference to time involves grammatical tenses interpreted as temporal anaphors. Recently, it has been argued that conditionals involve modal discourse anaphora expressed by a parallel grammatical system of anaphoric modals. Based on evidence from Kalaallisut, this paper argues that temporal and modal anaphora can be just as precise in a language that does not have either grammatical category. Instead, temporal anaphora directly targets eventualities of verbs, without mediating tenses, while modal anaphora involves anaphoric moods (...) and/or attitudinal verbs. (shrink)
A series of recent studies have explored the impact of people's judgments regarding physical law, morality, and probability. Surprisingly, such studies indicate that these three apparently unrelated types of judgments often have precisely the same impact. We argue that these findings provide evidence for a more general hypothesis about the kind of cognition people use to think about possibilities. Specifically, we suggest that this aspect of people's cognition is best understood using an idea developed within work in the formal semantics (...) tradition, namely the notion of modality. On the view we propose, people may have separate representations for physical, moral and probabilistic considerations, but they also integrate these various considerations into a unified representation of modality. (shrink)
Some contextually sensitive expressions are such that their context independent conventional meanings need to be in some way supplemented in context for the expressions to secure semantic values in those contexts. As we’ll see, it is not clear that there is a paradigm here, but ‘he’ used demonstratively is a clear example of such an expression. Call expressions of this sort supplementives in order to highlight the fact that their context independent meanings need to be supplemented in context for them (...) to have semantic values relative to the context. Many philosophers and linguists think that there is a lot of contextual sensitivity in natural language that goes well beyond the pure indexicals and supplementives like ‘he’. Constructions/expressions that are good candidates for being contextually sensitive include: quantifiers, gradable adjectives including “predicates of personal taste”, modals, conditionals, possessives and relational expressions taking implicit arguments. It would appear that in none of these cases does the expression/construction in question have a context independent meaning that when placed in context suffices to secure a semantic value for the expression/construction in the context. In each case, some sort of supplementation is required to do this. Hence, all these expressions are supplementives in my sense. For a given supplementive, the question arises as to what the mechanism is for supplementing its conventional meanings in context so as to secure a semantic value for it in context. That is, what form does the supplementation take? The question also arises as to whether different supplementives require different kinds of supplementation. Let us call an account of what, in addition to its conventional meaning, secures a semantic value for a supplementive in context a metasemantics for that supplementive. So we can put our two questions thus: what is the proper metasemantics for a given supplementive; and do all supplementives have the same metasemantics? In the present work, I sketch the metasemantics I formulated for demonstratives in earlier work. Next, I briefly consider a number of other supplementives that I think the metasemantics I propose plausibly applies to and explain why I think that. Finally, I consider the prospects for extending the account to all supplementives. In so doing, I take up arguments due to Michael Glanzberg to the effect that supplementives are governed by two different metasemantics and attempt to respond to them. (shrink)
We introduce a realist, unextravagant interpretation of quantum theory that builds on the existing physical structure of the theory and allows experiments to have definite outcomes but leaves the theory’s basic dynamical content essentially intact. Much as classical systems have specific states that evolve along definite trajectories through configuration spaces, the traditional formulation of quantum theory permits assuming that closed quantum systems have specific states that evolve unitarily along definite trajectories through Hilbert spaces, and our interpretation extends this intuitive picture (...) of states and Hilbert-space trajectories to the more realistic case of open quantum systems despite the generic development of entanglement. We provide independent justification for the partial-trace operation for density matrices, reformulate wave-function collapse in terms of an underlying interpolating dynamics, derive the Born rule from deeper principles, resolve several open questions regarding ontological stability and dynamics, address a number of familiar no-go theorems, and argue that our interpretation is ultimately compatible with Lorentz invariance. Along the way, we also investigate a number of unexplored features of quantum theory, including an interesting geometrical structure—which we call subsystem space—that we believe merits further study. We conclude with a summary, a list of criteria for future work on quantum foundations, and further research directions. We include an appendix that briefly reviews the traditional Copenhagen interpretation and the measurement problem of quantum theory, as well as the instrumentalist approach and a collection of foundational theorems not otherwise discussed in the main text. (shrink)
What kind of semantics should someone who accepts the epistemicist theory of vagueness defended in Timothy Williamson’s Vagueness (1994) give a definiteness operator? To impose some interesting constraints on acceptable answers to this question, I will assume that the object language also contains a metaphysical necessity operator and a metaphysical actuality operator. I will suggest that the answer is to be found by working within a three-dimensional model theory. I will provide sketches of two ways of extracting an epistemicist semantics (...) from that model theory, one of which I will find to be more plausible than the other. (shrink)
We study the modal logic M L r of the countable random frame, which is contained in and `approximates' the modal logic of almost sure frame validity, i.e. the logic of those modal principles which are valid with asymptotic probability 1 in a randomly chosen finite frame. We give a sound and complete axiomatization of M L r and show that it is not finitely axiomatizable. Then we describe the finite frames of that logic and show that (...) it has the finite frame property and its satisfiability problem is in EXPTIME. All these results easily extend to temporal and other multi-modal logics. Finally, we show that there are modal formulas which are almost surely valid in the finite, yet fail in the countable random frame, and hence do not follow from the extension axioms. Therefore the analog of Fagin's transfer theorem for almost sure validity in first-order logic fails for modal logic. (shrink)
Bob Hale’s distinguished record of research places him among the most important and influential contemporary analytic metaphysicians. In his deep, wide ranging, yet highly readable book Necessary Beings, Hale draws upon, but substantially integrates and extends, a good deal his past research to produce a sustained and richly textured essay on — as promised in the subtitle — ontology, modality, and the relations between them. I’ve set myself two tasks in this review: first, to provide a reasonably thorough (if not (...) exactly comprehensive) overview of the structure and content of Hale’s book and, second, to a limited extent, to engage Hale’s book philosophically. I approach these tasks more or less sequentially: Parts I and 2 of the review are primarily expository; in Part 3 I adopt a somewhat more critical stance and raise several issues concerning one of the central elements of Hale’s account, his essentialist theory of modality. (shrink)
Despite the wide acceptance of standard modal logic, there has always been a temptation to think that ordinary modal discourse may be correctly analyzed and adequately represented in terms of predicates rather than in terms of operators. The aim of the formal model outlined in this paper is to capture what I take to be the only plausible sense in which ‘possible’ and ‘necessary’ can be treated as predicates. The model is built by enriching the language of standard (...)modal logic with a quantificational apparatus that is “substitutional” rather than “objectual”, and by obtaining from the language so enriched another language in which constants for such predicates apply to singular terms that stand for propositions. (shrink)
The Knower paradox purports to place surprising a priori limitations on what we can know. According to orthodoxy, it shows that we need to abandon one of three plausible and widely-held ideas: that knowledge is factive, that we can know that knowledge is factive, and that we can use logical/mathematical reasoning to extend our knowledge via very weak single-premise closure principles. I argue that classical logic, not any of these epistemic principles, is the culprit. I develop a consistent theory validating (...) all these principles by combining Hartry Field's theory of truth with a modal enrichment developed for a different purpose by Michael Caie. The only casualty is classical logic: the theory avoids paradox by using a weaker-than-classical K3 logic. I then assess the philosophical merits of this approach. I argue that, unlike the traditional semantic paradoxes involving extensional notions like truth, its plausibility depends on the way in which sentences are referred to--whether in natural languages via direct sentential reference, or in mathematical theories via indirect sentential reference by Gödel coding. In particular, I argue that from the perspective of natural language, my non-classical treatment of knowledge as a predicate is plausible, while from the perspective of mathematical theories, its plausibility depends on unresolved questions about the limits of our idealized deductive capacities. (shrink)
A growing body of evidence suggests that cognition is embodied and grounded. Abstract concepts, though, remain a significant theoretical chal- lenge. A number of researchers have proposed that language makes an important contribution to our capacity to acquire and employ concepts, particularly abstract ones. In this essay, I critically examine this suggestion and ultimately defend a version of it. I argue that a successful account of how language augments cognition should emphasize its symbolic properties and incorporate a view of embodiment (...) that recognizes the flexible, multi- modal and task-related nature of action, emotion and perception systems. On this view, language is an ontogenetically disruptive cognitive technology that expands our conceptual reach. (shrink)
This article contains the results of a theoretical analysis of the phenomenon of natural language understanding (NLU), as a methodological problem. The combination of structural-ontological and informational-psychological approaches provided an opportunity to describe the subject matter field of NLU, as a composite function of the mind, which systemically combines the verbal and discursive structural layers. In particular, the idea of NLU is presented, on the one hand, as the relation between the discourse of a specific speech message and the meta-discourse (...) of a language, in turn, activated by the need-motivational factors. On the other hand, it is conceptualized as a process with a specific structure of information metabolism, the study of which implies the necessity to differentiate the affective (emotional) and need-motivational influences on the NLU, as well as to take into account their interaction. At the same time, the hypothesis about the influence of needs on NLU under the scenario similar to the pattern of Yerkes-Dodson is argued. And the theoretical conclusion that emotions fulfill the function of the operator of the structural features of the information metabolism of NLU is substantiated. Thus, depending on the modality of emotions in the process of NLU, it was proposed to distinguish two scenarios for the implementation of information metabolism - reduction and synthetic. The argument in favor of the conclusion about the productive and constitutive role of emotions in the process of NLU is also given. (shrink)
Well-known results due to David Makinson show that there are exactly two Post complete normal modal logics, that in both of them, the modal operator is truth-functional, and that every consistent normal modal logic can be extended to at least one of them. Lloyd Humberstone has recently shown that a natural analog of this result in congruential modal logics fails, by showing that not every congruential modal logic can be extended to one in (...) which the modal operator is truth-functional. As Humberstone notes, the issue of Post completeness in congruential modal logics is not well understood. The present article shows that in contrast to normal modal logics, the extent of the property of Post completeness among congruential modal logics depends on the background set of logics. Some basic results on the corresponding properties of Post completeness are established, in particular that although a congruential modal logic is Post complete among all modal logics if and only if its modality is truth-functional, there are continuum many modal logics Post complete among congruential modal logics. (shrink)
Partee (1973) noted anaphoric parallels between English tenses and pronouns. Since then these parallels have been analyzed in terms of type-neutral principles of discourse anaphora. Recently, Stone (1997) extended the anaphoric parallel to English modals. In this paper I extend the story to languages of other types. This evidence also shows that centering parallels are even more detailed than previously recognized. Based on this evidence, I propose a semantic representation language (Logic of Change with Centered Worlds), in which (...) the observed parallels can be formally analyzed. (shrink)
A new proof style adequate for modal logics is defined from the polynomial ring calculus. The new semantics not only expresses truth conditions of modal formulas by means of polynomials, but also permits to perform deductions through polynomial handling. This paper also investigates relationships among the PRC here defined, the algebraic semantics for modal logics, equational logics, the Dijkstra???Scholten equational-proof style, and rewriting systems. The method proposed is throughly exemplified for S 5, and can be easily (...) class='Hi'>extended to other modal logics. (shrink)
Many philosophers believe that there is a causal condition on perception, and that this condition is a conceptual truth about perception. A highly influential argument for this claim is based on intuitive responses to Gricean-style thought experiments. Do the folk share the intuitions of philosophers? Roberts et al. presented participants with two kinds of cases: Blocker cases and Non-Blocker cases. They found that a substantial minority agreed that seeing occurs in the Non-Blocker cases, and that in the Blocker cases significantly (...) less agreed that seeing occurs. They thus hypothesized that folk intuitions better align with a no blocker condition than with a causal condition. This paper continues this line of enquiry with two new experiments. The paper investigates the generality and robustness of Roberts et al.’s findings by expanding the sense modalities tested from only vision to audition and olfaction as well. The paper also uses Gricean-style thought experiments as a case study for investigating the “reflection defense” against the negative project in experimental philosophy. Our results replicate and extend Roberts et al.’s study and support their hypothesis that folk intuitions better align with a no blocker condition. They also provide an empirical reason to doubt the reflection defense. (shrink)
Attention to the conversational role of alethic terms seems to dominate, and even sometimes exhaust, many contemporary analyses of the nature of truth. Yet, because truth plays a role in judgment and assertion regardless of whether alethic terms are expressly used, such analyses cannot be comprehensive or fully adequate. A more general analysis of the nature of truth is therefore required – one which continues to explain the significance of truth independently of the role alethic terms play in discourse. We (...) undertake such an analysis in this paper; in particular, we start with certain elements from Kant and Frege, and develop a construct of truth as a normative modality of cognitive acts (e.g., thought, judgment, assertion). Using the various biconditional T-schemas to sanction the general passage from assertions to (equivalent) assertions of truth, we then suggest that an illocutionary analysis of truth can contribute to its locutionary analysis as well, including the analysis of diverse constructions involving alethic terms that have been largely overlooked in the philosophical literature. Finally, we briefly indicate the importance of distinguishing between alethic and epistemic modalities. (shrink)
I am presenting a sequent calculus that extends a nonmonotonic consequence relation over an atomic language to a logically complex language. The system is in line with two guiding philosophical ideas: (i) logical inferentialism and (ii) logical expressivism. The extension defined by the sequent rules is conservative. The conditional tracks the consequence relation and negation tracks incoherence. Besides the ordinary propositional connectives, the sequent calculus introduces a new kind of modal operator that marks implications that hold monotonically. Transitivity fails, (...) but for good reasons. Intuitionism and classical logic can easily be recovered from the system. (shrink)
I demonstrate that a "speech act" theory of meaning for imperatives is—contra a dominant position in philosophy and linguistics—theoretically desirable. A speech act-theoretic account of the meaning of an imperative !φ is characterized, broadly, by the following claims. -/- LINGUISTIC MEANING AS USE !φ’s meaning is a matter of the speech act an utterance of it conventionally functions to express—what a speaker conventionally uses it to do (its conventional discourse function, CDF). -/- IMPERATIVE USE AS PRACTICAL !φ's CDF is to (...) express a practical (non-representational) state of mind—one concerning an agent's preferences and plans, rather than her beliefs. -/- Opposed to speech act accounts is a preponderance of views which deny that a sentence's linguistic meaning is a matter of what speech act it is used to perform, or its CDF. On such accounts, meaning is, instead, a matter of "static" properties of the sentence—e.g., how it depicts the world as being (or, more neutrally, the properties of a model-theoretic object with which the semantic value of the sentence co-varies). On one version of a static account, an imperative 'shut the window!' might, for instance, depict the world as being such that the window must be shut. -/- Static accounts are traditionally motivated against speech act-theoretic accounts by appeal to supposedly irremediable explanatory deficiencies in the latter. Whatever a static account loses in saying (prima facie counterintuitively) that an imperative conventionally represents, or expresses a picture of the world, is said to be offset by its ability to explain a variety of phenomena for which speech act-theoretic accounts are said to lack good explanations (even, in many cases, the bare ability to offer something that might meet basic criteria on what a good explanation should be like). -/- I aim to turn the tables on static accounts. I do this by showing that speech act accounts are capable of giving explanations of phenomena which fans of static accounts have alleged them unable to give. Indeed, for a variety of absolutely fundamental phenomena having to do with the conventional meaning of imperatives (and other types of practical language), speech act accounts provide natural and theoretically satisfying explanations, where a representational account provides none. (shrink)
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