We propose a dynamic hyperintensional logic of belief revision for non-omniscient agents, reducing the logical omniscience phenomena affecting standard doxastic/epistemic logic as well as AGM belief revision theory. Our agents don’t know all a priori truths; their belief states are not closed under classical logical consequence; and their belief update policies are such that logically or necessarily equivalent contents can lead to different revisions. We model both plain and conditional belief, then focus on dynamic belief revision. The key idea we (...) exploit to achieve non-omniscience focuses on topic- or subject matter-sensitivity: a feature of belief states which is gaining growing attention in the recent literature. (shrink)
An overview of hyperintensionality is provided. Hyperintensional languages have expressions with meanings that are more fine-grained than necessary equivalence. That is, the expressions may necessarily co-apply and yet be distinct in meaning. Adequately accounting for theories cast in hyperintensional languages is important in the philosophy of language; the philosophy of mind; metaphysics; and elsewhere. This entry presents a number of areas in which hyperintensionality is important; a range of approaches to theorising about hyperintensional matters; and a range of (...) debates that attention to hyperintensional constructions has generated. (shrink)
I present a possible worlds semantics for a hyperintensional belief revision operator, which reduces the logical idealization of cognitive agents affecting similar operators in doxastic and epistemic logics, as well as in standard AGM belief revision theory. belief states are not closed under classical logical consequence; revising by inconsistent information does not perforce lead to trivialization; and revision can be subject to ‘framing effects’: logically or necessarily equivalent contents can lead to different revisions. Such results are obtained without resorting to (...) non-classical logics, or to non-normal or impossible worlds semantics. The framework combines, instead, a standard semantics for propositional S5 with a simple mereology of contents. (shrink)
In this paper, we present a new semantic framework designed to capture a distinctly cognitive or epistemic notion of meaning akin to Fregean senses. Traditional Carnapian intensions are too coarse-grained for this purpose: they fail to draw semantic distinctions between sentences that, from a Fregean perspective, differ in meaning. This has led some philosophers to introduce more fine-grained hyperintensions that allow us to draw semantic distinctions among co-intensional sentences. But the hyperintensional strategy has a flip-side: it risks drawing semantic distinctions (...) between sentences that, from a Fregean perspective, do not differ in meaning. This is what we call the ‘new problem’ of hyperintensionality to distinguish it from the ‘old problem’ that faced the intensional theory. We show that our semantic framework offers a joint solution to both these problems by virtue of satisfying a version of Frege’s so-called ‘equipollence principle’ for sense individuation. Frege’s principle, we argue, not only captures the semantic intuitions that give rise to the old and the new problem of hyperintensionality, but also points the way to an independently motivated solution to both problems. (shrink)
This paper investigates propositional hyperintensionality in counterfactuals. It starts with a scenario describing two children playing on a seesaw and studies the truth-value predictions for counterfactuals by four different semantic theories. The theories in question are Kit Fine’s truthmaker semantics, Luis Alonso-Ovalle’s alternative semantics, inquisitive semantics and Paolo Santorio’s syntactic truthmaker semantics. These predictions suggest that the theories that distinguish more of a given set of intensionally equivalent sentences (Fine and Alonso-Ovalle’s) fare better than those that do not (inquisitive (...) semantics and Santorio’s). Then we investigate how inquisitive semantics and Santorio can respond to these results. They can respond to them by helping themselves to considerations from Hurford disjunctions, disjunctions whose disjuncts stand in an entailment relation to one another. I argue that considerations from Hurford disjunctions are ad hoc modifications merely to predict the expected results. I conclude that the scenarios suggest a need for more fine-grained theories of sentential meaning in general. (shrink)
Propositions play a central role in contemporary semantics. On the Russellian account, propositions are structured entities containing particulars, properties and relations. This contrasts sharply with the sets-of-possible-worlds view of propositions. I’ll discuss how to extend the sets-of-worlds view to accommodate fine-grained hyperintensional contents. When this is done in a satisfactory way, I’ll argue, it makes heavy use of entities very much like Russellian tuples. The two notions of proposition become inter-definable and inter-substitutable: they are not genuinely distinct accounts of how (...) propositions represent what they represent. Semantic theorists may move freely between the two conceptions of what propositions are. Nevertheless, the two approaches give different accounts of the metaphysical nature of propositions. I argue that the sets-of-worlds view provides an adequate account of the nature of propositions, whereas the Russellian view cannot. (shrink)
This paper argues for a particular view about in what metaphysical equivalence consists: namely, that any two metaphysical theories are metaphysically equivalent if and only if those theories are strongly hyperintensionally equivalent. It is consistent with this characterisation that said theories are weakly hyperintensionally distinct, thus affording us the resources to model the content of propositional attitudes directed towards metaphysically equivalent theories in such a way that non-ideal agents can bear different propositional attitudes towards metaphysically equivalent theories.
The standard counterexamples to David Lewis’s account of intrinsicality involve two sorts of properties: identity properties and necessary properties. Proponents of the account have attempted to deflect these counterexamples in a number of ways. This paper argues that none of these moves are legitimate. Furthermore, this paper argues that no account along the lines of Lewis’s can succeed, for an adequate account of intrinsicality must be sensitive to hyperintensional distinctions among properties.
This paper provides a rebuttal to the argument in Khudairi (2018) in `Synthese'. Khudairi provides a novel hyperintensional, ground-theoretic regimentation of the proposals in the metaphysics of consciousness. He then argues that Chalmers' (2010) intensional two-dimensional conceivability argument against physicalism is unsound, in light of the hyperintensional metaphysics of consciousness. Thus, intensional conceivability cannot be a guide to hyperintensional metaphysics. This paper demonstrates that a multi-hyperintensional version of epistemic two-dimensional semantics can be countenanced, and is sufficient for conceivability to be (...) a guide to metaphysics in the hyperintensional setting such that Chalmers' argument, hyperintensionally construed, is in fact sound. (shrink)
It is widely thought that grounding is a hyperintensional phenomenon. Unfortunately, the term ‘hyperintensionality’ has been doing double-duty, picking out two distinct phenomena. This paper clears up this conceptual confusion. We call the two resulting notions hyperintensionalityGRND and hyperintensionalityTRAD. While it is clear that grounding is hyperintensionalGRND, the interesting question is whether it is hyperintensionalTRAD. We argue that given well-accepted constraints on the logical form of grounding, to wit, that grounding is irreflexive and asymmetric, grounding is hyperintensionalTRAD only if (...) one endorses a sentential operator view of grounding. We argue that proponents of the sentential operator view will need to distinguish two importantly different kinds of hyperintensionalityTRAD—weak and strong—and we offer them a way to do so. (shrink)
This paper argues that the types of intention can be modeled both as modal operators and via a multi-hyperintensional semantics. I delineate the semantic profiles of the types of intention, and provide a precise account of how the types of intention are unified in virtue of both their operations in a single, encompassing, epistemic space, and their role in practical reasoning. I endeavor to provide reasons adducing against the proposal that the types of intention are reducible to the mental states (...) of belief and desire, where the former state is codified by subjective probability measures and the latter is codified by a utility function. I argue, instead, that each of the types of intention -- i.e., intention-in-action, intention-as-explanation, and intention-for-the-future -- has as its aim the value of an outcome of the agent's action, as derived by her partial beliefs and assignments of utility, and as codified by the value of expected utility in evidential decision theory. (shrink)
This paper aims to contribute to the analysis of the nature of mathematical modality, and to the applications of the latter to unrestricted quantification and absolute decidability. Rather than countenancing the interpretational type of mathematical modality as a primitive, I argue that the interpretational type of mathematical modality is a species of epistemic modality. I argue, then, that the framework of two-dimensional semantics ought to be applied to the mathematical setting. The framework permits of a formally precise account of the (...) priority and relation between epistemic mathematical modality and metaphysical mathematical modality. The discrepancy between the modal systems governing the parameters in the two-dimensional intensional setting provides an explanation of the difference between the metaphysical possibility of absolute decidability and our knowledge thereof. I also advance a topic-sensitive epistemic two-dimensional truthmaker semantics, if hyperintensional approaches are to be preferred to possible worlds semantics. I examine the relation between two-dimensional hyperintensional states and epistemic set theory, providing two-dimensional hyperintensional formalizations of the modal logic of ZFC, large cardinal axioms, $\Omega$-logic, and the Epistemic Church-Turing Thesis. (shrink)
This book concerns the foundations of epistemic modality. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The book demonstrates how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the epistemic status of large cardinal axioms, undecidable propositions, and abstraction principles in the philosophy of mathematics; to the modal profile of rational intuition; and (...) to the types of intention, when the latter is interpreted as a modal mental state. Chapter \textbf{2} argues for a novel type of expressivism based on the duality between the categories of coalgebras and algebras, and argues that the duality permits of the reconciliation between modal cognitivism and modal expressivism. I also develop a novel topic-sensitive truthmaker semantics for dynamic epistemic logic, and develop a novel dynamic epistemic two-dimensional hyperintensional semantics. Chapter \textbf{3} provides an abstraction principle for epistemic intensions. Chapter \textbf{4} advances a topic-sensitive two-dimensional truthmaker semantics, and provides three novel interpretations of the framework along with the epistemic and metasemantic. Chapter \textbf{5} applies the fixed points of the modal $\mu$-calculus in order to account for the iteration of epistemic states, by contrast to availing of modal axiom 4 (i.e. the KK principle). Chapter \textbf{6} advances a solution to the Julius Caesar problem based on Fine's `criterial' identity conditions which incorporate conditions on essentiality and grounding. Chapter \textbf{7} provides a ground-theoretic regimentation of the proposals in the metaphysics of consciousness and examines its bearing on the two-dimensional conceivability argument against physicalism. The topic-sensitive epistemic two-dimensional truthmaker semantics developed in chapter \textbf{4} is availed of in order for epistemic states to be a guide to metaphysical states in the hyperintensional setting. Chapters \textbf{8-12} provide cases demonstrating how the two-dimensional intensions of epistemic two-dimensional semantics solve the access problem in the epistemology of mathematics. Chapter \textbf{8} examines the modal commitments of abstractionism, in particular necessitism, and epistemic modality and the epistemology of abstraction. Chapter \textbf{9} examines the modal profile of $\Omega$-logic in set theory. Chapter \textbf{10} examines the interaction between topic-sensitive epistemic two-dimensional truthmaker semantics, the axioms of epistemic set theory, large cardinal axioms, the Epistemic Church-Turing Thesis, the modal axioms governing the modal profile of $\Omega$-logic, Orey sentences such as the Generalized Continuum Hypothesis, and absolute decidability. Chapter \textbf{11} avails of modal coalgebraic automata to interpret the defining properties of indefinite extensibility, and avails of epistemic two-dimensional semantics in order to account for the interaction of the interpretational and objective modalities thereof. Chapter \textbf{12} provides a modal logic for rational intuition and provides a hyperintensional semantics. Chapter \textbf{13} examines modal responses to the alethic paradoxes. Chapter \textbf{14} examines, finally, the modal semantics for the different types of intention and the relation of the latter to evidential decision theory. The multi-hyperintensional, topic-sensitive epistemic two-dimensional truthmaker semantics developed in chapters \textbf{2} and \textbf{4} is applied in chapters \textbf{7}, \textbf{8}, \textbf{10}, \textbf{11}, \textbf{12}, and \textbf{14}. (shrink)
Hyperintensionality – the failure of substitutivity salva veritate of intensionally equivalent expressions – is one of the most debated topics in recent philosophy of language. Being a phenomenon that affects a wide variety of different sentential contexts, a question concerning its source arises: is hyperintensionality something that can originate from actual features of the world, or it is simply some kind of representational phenomenon, which entirely depends on our conceptual faculties and preferred semantics? After a brief general introduction (...) to the topic from the semantic standpoint, in the present work I defend a view developed by Daniel Nolan, according to which hyperintensionality can be a worldly, non-representational phenomenon. I first reconstruct Nolan’s view and argument for worldly hyperintensionality, understood through the comparison with de re intensional modality. Then, I address the main criticism that has been raised against it, developing three objections. Evidence for worldly hyperintensionality is thereby presented, by focusing on a paradigmatic trigger: counterpossible conditionals. I provide two jointly sufficient criteria for a counterpossible to be a genuine instance of worldly hyperintensionality, then illustrate three case studies from scientific practices that all rely on counterpossible reasoning: reducibility in relative computability theory; scientific explanation of certain substances’ essential properties; and emergent molecular structure in chemistry. Each of them is evaluated by checking if it satisfies the criteria for worldly hyperintensionality, leading to the detection of patterns of counterpossible dependence occurring in at least some specific instances of the case studies discussed. Finally, I suggest a possible realist reading of such dependence relation, locating its relata in the world, independently from our representations. (shrink)
Our evidence can be about different subject matters. In fact, necessarily equivalent pieces of evidence can be about different subject matters. Does the hyperintensionality of ‘aboutness’ engender any hyperintensionality at the level of rational credence? In this paper, I present a case which seems to suggest that the answer is ‘yes’. In particular, I argue that our intuitive notions of independent evidence and inadmissible evidence are sensitive to aboutness in a hyperintensional way. We are thus left with a (...) paradox. While there is strong reason to think that rational credence cannot make such hyperintensional distinctions, our intuitive judgements about certain cases seem to demand that it does. (shrink)
Hyperlogic is a hyperintensional system designed to regiment metalogical claims (e.g., "Intuitionistic logic is correct" or "The law of excluded middle holds") into the object language, including within embedded environments such as attitude reports and counterfactuals. This paper is the first of a two-part series exploring the logic of hyperlogic. This part presents a minimal logic of hyperlogic and proves its completeness. It consists of two interdefined axiomatic systems: one for classical consequence (truth preservation under a classical interpretation of the (...) connectives) and one for "universal" consequence (truth preservation under any interpretation). The sequel to this paper explores stronger logics that are sound and complete over various restricted classes of models as well as languages with hyperintensional operators. (shrink)
An increasing amount of twenty-first century metaphysics is couched in explicitly hyperintensional terms. A prerequisite of hyperintensional metaphysics is that reality itself be hyperintensional: at the metaphysical level, propositions, properties, operators, and other elements of the type hierarchy, must be more fine-grained than functions from possible worlds to extensions. In this paper I develop, in the setting of type theory, a general framework for reasoning about the granularity of propositions and properties. The theory takes as primitive the notion of a (...) substitution on a proposition (property, etc.) and, among other things, uses this idea to elucidate a number of theoretically important distinctions. A class of structures are identified which can be used to model a wide range of positions about the granularity of reality; certain of these structures are seen to receive a natural treatment in the category of M-sets. (shrink)
Sentences about logic are often used to show that certain embedding expressions are hyperintensional. Yet it is not clear how to regiment “logic talk” in the object language so that it can be compositionally embedded under such expressions. In this paper, I develop a formal system called hyperlogic that is designed to do just that. I provide a hyperintensional semantics for hyperlogic that doesn’t appeal to logically impossible worlds, as traditionally understood, but instead uses a shiftable parameter that determines the (...) interpretation of the logical connectives. I argue this semantics compares favorably to the more common impossible worlds semantics, which faces difficulties interpreting propositionally quantified logic talk. (shrink)
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 (...) hyperintensional semantics that accommodates non-trivial counterpossibles. In this paper, I argue that none of these approaches can account for all the peculiar features of counteridenticals. Instead, I propose a modified version of Lewis’s counterpart theory, which rejects the necessity of identity, and show that it can explain all the peculiar features of counteridenticals in a satisfactory way. I conclude by defending the plausibility of contingent identity from objections. (shrink)
When one thinks—knows, believes, imagines—that something is the case, one’s thought has a topic: it is about something, towards which one’s mind is directed. What is the logic of thought, so understood? This book begins to explore the idea that, to answer the question, we should take topics seriously. It proposes a hyperintensional account of the propositional contents of thought, arguing that these are individuated not only by the set of possible worlds at which they are true, but also by (...) their topic: what they are about. The book then builds epistemic, doxastic, probabilistic, and conditional logics based on this view. It applies them to issues ranging from dogmatism, scepticism, and epistemic fallibilism, to imagination and suppositional reasoning, belief revision, framing effects, and the acceptability of indicative conditionals. (shrink)
Propositions are often aligned with truth-conditions. The view is mistaken, since propositions discriminate where truth conditions do not. Propositions are hyperintensional: they are sensitive to necessarily equivalent differences. I investigate an alternative view on which propositions are truthmaker conditions, understood as sets of possible truthmakers. This requires making metaphysical sense of merely possible states of affairs. The theory that emerges illuminates the semantic phenomena of samesaying, subject matter, and aboutness.
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 (...) are necessary for regimenting some logic talk. Second, it develops an alternative framework based on logical expressivism, which explains logic talk using shifting conventions. When combined with the standard S5π+ semantics for propositional quantifiers, this framework results in a well-behaved system that does not face the problems of the impossible worlds semantics. It can also be naturally extended with hybrid operators to regiment a broader range of logic talk, e.g., claims about what laws hold according to other logics. The resulting system, called hyperlogic, is therefore a better framework for modeling logic talk than previous accounts. (shrink)
Theories of content are at the centre of philosophical semantics. The most successful general theory of content takes contents to be sets of possible worlds. But such contents are very coarse-grained, for they cannot distinguish between logically equivalent contents. They draw intensional but not hyperintensional distinctions. This is often remedied by including impossible as well as possible worlds in the theory of content. Yet it is often claimed that impossible worlds are metaphysically obscure; and it is sometimes claimed that their (...) use results in a trivial theory of content. In this paper, I set out the need for impossible worlds in a theory of content; I briefly sketch a metaphysical account of their nature; I argue that worlds in general must be very fine-grained entities; and, finally, I argue that the resulting conception of impossible worlds is not a trivial one. (shrink)
In this paper we define intensional models for the classical theory of types, thus arriving at an intensional type logic ITL. Intensional models generalize Henkin's general models and have a natural definition. As a class they do not validate the axiom of Extensionality. We give a cut-free sequent calculus for type theory and show completeness of this calculus with respect to the class of intensional models via a model existence theorem. After this we turn our attention to applications. Firstly, it (...) is argued that, since ITL is truly intensional, it can be used to model ascriptions of propositional attitude without predicting logical omniscience. In order to illustrate this a small fragment of English is defined and provided with an ITL semantics. Secondly, it is shown that ITL models contain certain objects that can be identified with possible worlds. Essential elements of modal logic become available within classical type theory once the axiom of Extensionality is given up. (shrink)
The consensus among spacetime substantivalists is to respond to Leibniz's classic shift arguments, and their contemporary incarnation in the form of the hole argument, by pruning the allegedly problematic metaphysical possibilities that generate these arguments. Some substantivalists do so by directly appealing to a modal doctrine akin to anti-haecceitism. Other substantivalists do so by appealing to an underlying hyperintensional doctrine that implies some such modal doctrine. My first aim in this paper is to pose a challenge for all extant forms (...) of this consensus position. My second aim is to show what form substantivalism must take in order to uphold the consensus while addressing this challenge. The result is a novel "plenitudinous" substantivalist view, which predicts that certain modal facts about spacetime are vague or indeterminate. I then argue against this view on independent grounds, concluding that substantivalists should reject the consensus position. The paper also discusses the way forward for substantivalists in light of this conclusion. (shrink)
Accounts of propositions as sets of possible worlds have been criticized for conflating distinct impossible propositions. In response to this problem, some have proposed to introduce impossible worlds to represent distinct impossibilities, endorsing the thesis that impossible worlds must be of the same kind; this has been called the parity thesis. I show that this thesis faces problems, and propose a hybrid account which rejects it: possible worlds are taken as concrete Lewisian worlds, and impossibilities are represented as set-theoretic constructions (...) out of them. This hybrid account (1) distinguishes many intuitively distinct impossible propositions; (2) identifies impossible propositions with extensional constructions; (3) avoids resorting to primitive modality, at least so far as Lewisian modal realism does. (shrink)
I want to model a finite, fallible cognitive agent who imagines that p in the sense of mentally representing a scenario—a configuration of objects and properties—correctly described by p. I propose to capture imagination, so understood, via variably strict world quantifiers, in a modal framework including both possible and so-called impossible worlds. The latter secure lack of classical logical closure for the relevant mental states, while the variability of strictness captures how the agent imports information from actuality in the imagined (...) non-actual scenarios. Imagination turns out to be highly hyperintensional, but not logically anarchic. Section 1 sets the stage and impossible worlds are quickly introduced in Sect. 2. Section 3 proposes to model imagination via variably strict world quantifiers. Section 4 introduces the formal semantics. Section 5 argues that imagination has a minimal mereological structure validating some logical inferences. Section 6 deals with how imagination under-determines the represented contents. Section 7 proposes additional constraints on the semantics, validating further inferences. Section 8 describes some welcome invalidities. Section 9 examines the effects of importing false beliefs into the imagined scenarios. Finally, Sect. 10 hints at possible developments of the theory in the direction of two-dimensional semantics. (shrink)
You and I can differ in what we say, or believe, even though the things we say, or believe, are logically equivalent. Discussing what is said, or believed, requires notions of content which are finer-grained than sets of (metaphysically or logically) possible worlds. In this paper, I develop the approach to fine-grained content in terms of a space of possible and impossible worlds. I give a method for constructing ersatz worlds based on theory of substantial facts. I show how this (...) theory overcomes an objection to actualist constructions of ersatz worlds and argue that it naturally gives rise to useful notions of fine-grained content. (shrink)
Our topic is the theory of topics. My goal is to clarify and evaluate three competing traditions: what I call the way-based approach, the atom-based approach, and the subject-predicate approach. I develop criteria for adequacy using robust linguistic intuitions that feature prominently in the literature. Then I evaluate the extent to which various existing theories satisfy these constraints. I conclude that recent theories due to Parry, Perry, Lewis, and Yablo do not meet the constraints in total. I then introduce the (...) issue-based theory—a novel and natural entry in the atom-based tradition that meets our constraints. In a coda, I categorize a recent theory from Fine as atom-based, and contrast it to the issue-based theory, concluding that they are evenly matched, relative to our main criteria of adequacy. I offer tentative reasons to nevertheless favour the issue-based theory. (shrink)
Reductionists about dispositions must either say the natural properties are all dispositional or individuate properties hyperintensionally. Lewis stands in as an example of the sort of combination I think is incoherent: properties individuated by modal profile + categoricalism.
Kit Fine famously objected against the idea that essence can be successfully analyzed in terms of de re necessity. In response, I want to explore a novel, interesting, but controversial modal account of essence in terms of intrinsicality and grounding. In the first section, I will single out two theoretical requirements that any essentialist theory should meet—the essentialist desideratum and the essentialist challenge—in order to clarify Fine’s objections. In the second section, I will assess Denby’s improved modal account, which appeals (...) to the notion of intrinsicality, and argue that it is untenable. In the third section, I will explain how, when combined with a modal-existential criterion, a hyperintensional account of intrinsicality—in the same vein as Bader (J Philos 110(10): 525–563, 2013) and Rosen (in: Hale and Hoffman (eds) Modality: Metaphysics, logic, and epistemology, Oxford, OUP, 2010)—can help successfully address Fine’s counterexamples. In the fourth section, I will evaluate how this novel analysis of essence stands with respect to sortal, origin, and natural kinds essentialism and discuss potential objections and difficulties. (shrink)
I provide an analysis of sentences of the form ‘To be F is to be G’ in terms of exact truth-maker semantics—an approach that identifies the meanings of sentences with the states of the world directly responsible for their truth-values. Roughly, I argue that these sentences hold just in case that which makes something F is that which makes it G. This approach is hyperintensional, and possesses desirable logical and modal features. These sentences are reflexive, transitive and symmetric, and, if (...) they are true, then they are necessarily true, and it is necessary that all and only Fs are Gs. I close by defining an asymmetric and irreflexive notion of analysis in terms of the reflexive and symmetric one. (shrink)
During the last quarter of a century, a number of philosophers have become attracted to the idea that necessity can be analyzed in terms of a hyperintensional notion of essence. One challenge for proponents of this view is to give a plausible explanation of our modal knowledge. The goal of this paper is to develop a strategy for meeting this challenge. My approach rests on an account of modality that I developed in previous work, and which analyzes modal properties in (...) terms of the notion of a metaphysical law. I discuss what information about the metaphysical laws is required for modal knowledge. Moreover, I describe two ways in which we might be able to acquire this information. The first way employs inference to the best explanation. The metaphysical laws, including the essential truths, play a crucial role in causal and grounding explanations and we can gain knowledge of these laws by abductive inferences from facts of which we have perceptual or a priori knowledge. The second way of gaining information about the metaphysical laws rests on knowledge that is partly constitutive of competence with the concepts that are needed to express the relevant information. Finally, I consider how knowledge of the metaphysical laws can be used to establish modal claims, paying special attention to the much-discussed connection between conceiving and possibility. (shrink)
Possible-worlds accounts of mental or linguistic content are often criticized for being too coarse-grained. To make room for more fine-grained distinctions among contents, several authors have recently proposed extending the space of possible worlds by "impossible worlds". We argue that this strategy comes with serious costs: we would effectively have to abandon most of the features that make the possible-worlds framework attractive. More generally, we argue that while there are intuitive and theoretical considerations against overly coarse-grained notions of content, the (...) same kinds of considerations also prohibit an overly fine-grained individuation of content. An adequate notion of content, it seems, should have intermediate granularity. However, it is hard to construe a notion of content that meets these demands. Any notion of content, we suggest, must be either implausibly coarse-grained or implausibly fine-grained (or both). (shrink)
The question of ontological foundation has undergone a noteworthy revival in recent years: metaphysicians today quarrel about how exactly to understand the asymmetrical and hyperintensional relationship of grounding. One of the reasons for this revival is that the old quantificationalist meta-ontology inherited from Quine has been effectively criticised by leading philosophers favourable to a meta-ontology, the aim of which is to come to know “which facts/items ground (constitute the base of) which other facts/items”, thus to examine the relation of ontological (...) dependence between beings (e.g. chemical properties depend on physical properties, the economic situation on the behaviour of individuals etc.), i.e. to explore the hierarchical structure of reality. I shall not discuss here the relationship of grounding in itself, but make some historical-formal remarks on the properties of the ultimate ontological foundational item itself and its aporetic nature. To do so I explore various more or less exotic philosophical ecosystems in the following order: Heidegger (Seyn), Plato (ἕν), Wáng Bi (道, dào). On the way I shall propose a new interpretation both of certain hypotheses in the Parmenides and of the nature of the opposition between Wáng Bì and Guō Xiàng in regard to the logical grammar of the expression “nothing (無, wú)” (transl. J. Dudley). (shrink)
This paper challenges the soundness of the two-dimensional conceivability argument against the derivation of phenomenal truths from physical truths in light of a hyperintensional, ground-theoretic regimentation of the ontology of consciousness. The regimentation demonstrates how ontological dependencies between truths about consciousness and about physics cannot be witnessed by epistemic constraints, when the latter are recorded by the conceivability—i.e., the epistemic possibility—thereof. Generalizations and other aspects of the philosophical significance of the hyperintensional regimentation are further examined.
In "How to Define Intrinsic Properties" I offered a relational account of the intrinsic/extrinsic distinction. The basic idea is that F is an intrinsic property of an item x just in case x’s having F consists entirely in x’s having certain internal properties, where an internal property is one whose instantiation does not consist in one’s relation to any distinct items (items other than oneself and one’s proper parts). I still think that this relational analysis is largely correct, and here (...) I provide additional support for it and defend it against some objections that have been raised. In the process I aim to make the account somewhat more precise, especially by contrasting it with a grounding approach to defining the intrinsic/extrinsic distinction. (shrink)
This paper aims to provide a mathematically tractable background against which to model both modal cognitivism and modal expressivism. I argue that epistemic modal algebras, endowed with a hyperintensional, topic-sensitive epistemic two-dimensional truthmaker semantics, comprise a materially adequate fragment of the language of thought. I demonstrate, then, how modal expressivism can be regimented by modal coalgebraic automata, to which the above epistemic modal algebras are categorically dual. I examine five methods for modeling the dynamics of conceptual engineering for intensions and (...) hyperintensions. I develop a novel topic-sensitive truthmaker semantics for dynamic epistemic logic, and develop a novel dynamic epistemic two-dimensional hyperintensional semantics. I examine then the virtues unique to the modal expressivist approach here proffered in the setting of the foundations of mathematics, by contrast to competing approaches based upon both the inferentialist approach to concept-individuation and the codification of speech acts via intensional semantics. (shrink)
This essay endeavors to define the concept of indefinite extensibility in the setting of category theory. I argue that the generative property of indefinite extensibility for set-theoretic truths in the category of sets is identifiable with the elementary embeddings of large cardinal axioms. A modal coalgebraic automata's mappings are further argued to account for both reinterpretations of quantifier domains as well as the ontological expansion effected by the elementary embeddings in the category of sets. The interaction between the interpretational and (...) objective modalities of indefinite extensibility is defined via the epistemic interpretation of two-dimensional semantics. The semantics can be defined intensionally or hyperintensionally. By characterizing the modal profile of $\Omega$-logical validity, and thus the generic invariance of mathematical truth, modal coalgebraic automata are further capable of capturing the notion of definiteness for set-theoretic truths, in order to yield a non-circular definition of indefinite extensibility. (shrink)
A principle endorsed by many theories of objective chance, and practically forced on us by the standard interpretation of the Kolmogorov semantics for chance, is the principle that when a proposition P has a chance, any proposition Q that is necessarily equivalent to P will have the same chance as P. Call this principle SUB (for the substitution of necessary equivalents into chance ascriptions). I will present some problems for a theory of chance, and will argue that the best way (...) to resolve these problems is to reject SUB, and similar principles e.g. for the chances of outcomes or the chances of events. Objective chance, it turns out, carves things more finely than necessary equivalence does. (shrink)
This paper endeavors to establish foundations for the interaction between hyperintensional semantics and two-dimensional indexing. I examine the significance of the semantics, by developing three, novel interpretations of the framework. The first interpretation provides a characterization of the distinction between fundamental and derivative truths. The second interpretation demonstrates how the elements of decision theory are definable within the semantics, and provides a novel account of the interaction between probability measures and hyperintensional grounds. The third interpretation concerns the contents of the (...) types of intentional action, and the semantics is shown to resolve a puzzle concerning the role of intention in action. Topic-sensitive two-dimensional truthmaker semantics can be interpreted epistemically and metasemantically as well. (shrink)
This paper aims to provide modal foundations for mathematical platonism. I examine Hale and Wright's (2009) objections to the merits and need, in the defense of mathematical platonism and its epistemology, of the thesis of Necessitism. In response to Hale and Wright's objections to the role of epistemic and metaphysical modalities in providing justification for both the truth of abstraction principles and the success of mathematical predicate reference, I examine the Necessitist commitments of the abundant conception of properties endorsed by (...) Hale and Wright and examined in Hale (2013); and demonstrate how a two-dimensional approach to the epistemology of mathematics is consistent with Hale and Wright's notion of there being non-evidential epistemic entitlement rationally to trust that abstraction principles are true. A choice point that I flag is that between availing of intensional or hyperintensional semantics. The hyperintensional semantic approach that I advance is a topic-sensitive epistemic two-dimensional truthmaker semantics. Epistemic and metaphysical states and possibilities may thus be shown to play a constitutive role in vindicating the reality of mathematical objects and truth, and in providing a conceivability-based route to the truth of abstraction principles as well as other axioms and propositions in mathematics. (shrink)
This essay aims to provide a modal logic for rational intuition. Similarly to treatments of the property of knowledge in epistemic logic, I argue that rational intuition can be codified by a modal operator governed by the axioms of a dynamic provability logic, which embeds GL within the modal $\mu$-calculus. Via correspondence results between modal logic and the bisimulation-invariant fragment of second-order logic, a precise translation can then be provided between the notion of 'intuition-of', i.e., the cognitive phenomenal properties of (...) thoughts, and the modal operators regimenting the notion of 'intuition-that'. I argue that intuition-that can further be shown to entrain conceptual elucidation, by way of figuring as a dynamic-interpretational modality which induces the reinterpretation of both domains of quantification and the intensions and hyperintensions of mathematical concepts that are formalizable in monadic first- and second-order formal languages. Hyperintensionality is countenanced via a topic-sensitive epistemic two-dimensional truthmaker semantics. (shrink)
Standard approaches to proper names, based on Kripke's views, hold that the semantic values of expressions are (set-theoretic) functions from possible worlds to extensions and that names are rigid designators, i.e.\ that their values are \emph{constant} functions from worlds to entities. The difficulties with these approaches are well-known and in this paper we develop an alternative. Based on earlier work on a higher order logic that is \emph{truly intensional} in the sense that it does not validate the axiom scheme of (...) Extensionality, we develop a simple theory of names in which Kripke's intuitions concerning rigidity are accounted for, but the more unpalatable consequences of standard implementations of his theory are avoided. The logic uses Frege's distinction between sense and reference and while it accepts the rigidity of names it rejects the view that names have direct reference. Names have constant denotations across possible worlds, but the semantic value of a name is not determined by its denotation. (shrink)
This paper develops a theory of propositional identity which distinguishes necessarily equivalent propositions that differ in subject-matter. Rather than forming a Boolean lattice as in extensional and intensional semantic theories, the space of propositions forms a non-interlaced bilattice. After motivating a departure from tradition by way of a number of plausible principles for subject-matter, I will provide a Finean state semantics for a novel theory of propositions, presenting arguments against the convexity and nonvacuity constraints which Fine (2016, 2017a,b) introduces. I (...) will then move to compare the resulting logic of propositional identity (PI) with Correia’s (2016) logic of generalised identity (GI), as well as the first degree fragment of Angell’s (1989) logic of analytic containment (AC). The paper concludes by extending PI to include axioms and rules for a subject-matter operator, providing a much broader theory of subject-matter than the principles with which I will begin. (shrink)
This paper aims to demonstrate that the ontology of consciousness is consistent with both the modal and the metaphysical versions of Haecceitism. I examine the varieties of Haecceitism, and I specify the intended versions that the arguments will vindicate. I define the property of 'being purely qualitative', and examine its relation to the properties of phenomenal consciousness. I draw, inter alia, on Bayesian perceptual psychology, in order to specify the identity-conditions of phenomenal properties in detail. I provide two, abductive arguments (...) for the claim that the identity-conditions on some individuals are metaphysically haecceitistic, in virtue of the relations that hold between those individuals and the phenomenal properties that they instantiate. The first argument is corroborated by empirical results concerning the phenomenological effects of attention. The second argument is corroborated by empirical results from the study of color in vision science. The arguments vindicate a version of Metaphysical Haecceitism, because the individuals are shown to be typed by the phenomenal properties that they instantiate, although quantification over the individuals is an ineliminable condition on their identity and distinctness. I provide, then, a regimentation of the extant proposals in the ontology of consciousness, using the logic of hyperintensional ground, as augmented by the Bayesian probability calculus. The hyperintensional regimentation vindicates a version of Modal Haecceitism, because the probabilistic ontological dependence of the parts of worlds on other parts thereof provides an ineliminable condition on the identity and distinctness of worlds. (shrink)
Abstract Impossible fictions have lessons to teach us about linguistic representation, about mental content and concepts, and about uses of conceivability in epistemology. An adequate theory of impossible fictions may require theories of meaning that can distinguish between different impossibilities; a theory of conceptual truth that allows us to make useful sense of a variety of conceptual falsehoods; and a theory of our understanding of necessity and possibility that permits impossibilities to be conceived. After discussing these questions, strategies for resisting (...) the picture of impossible fictions presented here and in Part I are discussed. Perhaps apparently impossible fictions describe possibilities after all; or perhaps impossible fictions are all trivial; or perhaps some apparently intelligible impossible fictions are unintelligible after all. (shrink)
Prior’s arguments for and against seeing ‘ought’ as a copula and his considerations about normative negation are applied to the case of responsibility judgments. My thesis will be that responsibility judgments, even though often expressed by using the verb ‘to be’, are in fact normative judgments. This is shown by analyzing their negation, which parallels the behavior of ought negation.
The two main features of this thesis are (i) an account of contextualized (context indexed) counterfactuals, and (ii) a non-vacuist account of counterpossibles. Experience tells us that the truth of the counterfactual is contingent on what is meant by the antecedent, which in turn rests on what context is assumed to underlie its reading (intended meaning). On most conditional analyses, only the world of evaluation and the antecedent determine which worlds are relevant to determining the truth of a conditional, and (...) consequently what its truth value is. But that results in the underlying context being fixed, when evaluating distinct counterfactuals with the same antecedent on any single occasion, even when the context underlying the evaluation of each counterfactual may vary. Alternative approaches go some of the way toward resolving this inadequacy by appealing to a difference in the consequents associated with counterfactuals with the same antecedent. That is, in addition to the world of evaluation and the antecedent, the consequent contributes to the counterfactual’s evaluation. But these alternative approaches nevertheless give a single, determinate truth value to any single conditional (same antecedent and consequent), despite the possibility that this value may vary with context. My reply to these shortcomings (chapter 4) takes the form of an analysis of a language that makes appropriate explicit access to the intended context available. That is, I give an account of a contextualized counterfactual of the form ‘In context C: If it were the case that … , then it would be the case that …’. Although my proposal is largely based on Lewis’ (1973, 1981) analyses of counterfactuals (the logic VW and its ordering semantics), it does not require that any particular logic of counterfactuals should serve as its basis – rather, it is a general prescription for contextualizing a conditional language. The advantage of working with ordering semantics stems from existing results (which I apply and develop) concerning the properties of ordering frames that facilitate fashioning and implementing a notion of contextual information preservation. Analyses of counterfactuals, such as Lewis’ (1973), that cash out the truth of counterfactuals in terms of the corresponding material conditional’s truth at possible worlds result in all counterpossibles being evaluated as vacuously true. This is because antecedents of counterpossibles are not true at any possible world, by definition. Such vacuist analyses have already been identified and challenged by a number of authors. I join this critical front, and drawing on existing proposals, I develop an impossible world semantics for a non-vacuist account of counterpossibles (chapter 5), by modifying the same system and semantics that serve the basis of the contextualized account offered in chapter 4, i.e. Lewis’ (1986) ordering semantics for the logic VW. I critically evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of key conditions on the ordering of worlds on the extended domain and show that there is a sense in which all of Lewis’ analysis of mere counterfactuals can be preserved, whilst offering an analysis of counterpossibles that meets our intuitions. The first part of chapter 1 consists of an outline of the usefulness of impossible worlds across philosophical analyses and logic. That outline in conjunction with a critical evaluation of Lewis’ logical arguments in favour of vacuism in chapter 2, and his marvellous mountain argument against impossible worlds in chapter 3, serves to motivate and justify the impossible world semantics for counterpossibles proposed in chapter 5. The second part of chapter 1 discusses the limitations that various conditional logics face when tasked to give an adequate treatment of the influence of context. That introductory discussion in conjunction with an overview of conditional logics and their various semantics in chapter 2 – which includes an in-depth exposition of Stalnaker-Lewis similarity semantics for counterfactuals – serves as the motivation and conceptual basis for the contextualized account of counterfactuals proposed in chapter 4. (shrink)
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