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Summary Epistemic modals, like 'must' and 'may', are propositional operators that express various brands of epistemic necessity and possibility.  Unlike metaphysical possibility operators, which typically say something about the way the world could have been (given the nature of things), epistemic modals typically say something about the way the world may be (given what is known).  The semantics of epistemic modals is elusive.  Epistemic modal claims shift their truth values rather easily and much of the debate concerns the source of that shiftiness. Do epistemic modals deserve a truth function semantics?  Are they context sensitive like indexicals?  Why does their contribution to semantic content change when we embed them under complex sentences like conditionals and conjunctions? 
Key works Important early contextualist views about epistemic modals include Kratzer 1977 and DeRose 1991. A resurgence of interest followed relativist proposals in MacFarlane 2011 and Egan et al 2005.  Other important proposals includes von Fintel & Gillies 2011, Yalcin 2011 and Swanson 2009. Many of these papers and others appear in Egan & Weatherson 2011.
Introductions von Fintel & Gillies 2007; von Fintel unknown; Weatherson & Egan 2009.
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166 found
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  1. Confidence Reports.Fabrizio Cariani, Paolo Santorio & Alexis Wellwood - manuscript
    We advocate and develop a states-based semantics for both nominal and adjectival confidence reports, as in "Ann is confident/has confidence that it's raining", and their comparatives "Ann is more confident/has more confidence that it's raining than that it's snowing". Other examples of adjectives that can report confidence include "sure" and "certain". Our account adapts Wellwood's account of adjectival comparatives in which the adjectives denote properties of states, and measure functions are introduced compositionally. We further explore the prospects of applying these (...)
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  2. Contextualism Vs. Relativism: More Empirical Data.Markus Kneer - manuscript
    Contextualism is the view that the extension of perspectival claims (involving e.g. predicates of personal taste or epistemic modals) depends on the context of utterance. Relativism is the view that the extension of perspectival claims depends on the context of assessment. Both views make concrete, empirically testable predictions about how such claims are used by ordinary English language speakers. This chapter surveys some of the recent empirical literature on the topic and presents four new experiments (total N=724). Consistent with contextualism (...)
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  3. Epistemic Modalities and Relative Truth.John MacFarlane - manuscript
    I want to discuss a puzzle about the semantics of epistemic modals, like “It might be the case that” as it occurs in “It might be the case that Goldbach’s conjecture is false.”1 I’ll argue that the puzzle cannot be adequately explained on standard accounts of the semantics of epistemic modals, and that a proper solution requires relativizing utterance truth to a context of assessment, a semantic device whose utility and coherence I have defended elsewhere for future contingents (MacFarlane..
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  4. Credence for Epistemic Discourse.Paolo Santorio - manuscript
    Many recent theories of epistemic discourse exploit an informational notion of consequence, i.e. a notion that defines entailment as preservation of support by an information state. This paper investigates how informational consequence fits with probabilistic reasoning. I raise two problems. First, all informational inferences that are not also classical inferences are, intuitively, probabilistically invalid. Second, all these inferences can be exploited, in a systematic way, to generate triviality results. The informational theorist is left with two options, both of them radical: (...)
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  5. Is Semantics Formal?Mark Schroeder - manuscript
    In this paper I will be concerned with the question of the extent to which semantics can be thought of as a purely formal exercise, which we can engage in in a way that is neutral with respect to how our formal system is to be interpreted. I will be arguing, to the contrary, that the features of the formal systems which we use to do semantics are closely linked, in several different ways, to the interpretation that we give to (...)
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  6. Modals, Contextual Parameters, and the Modal Uniformity Hypothesis.Daniel Skibra - manuscript
    There is a common assumption in the semantics of modal auxiliaries in natural language; in utterances of MOD φ , where MOD is a modal and φ is the prejacent, context determines the particular flavor of modality expressed by the modal. Such is the standard contextualist semantics of Kratzer and related proposals. This winds up being a problem, because there is a significant class of modals which have constraints on the admissible modal flavor that are not traceable to context. For (...)
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  7. Disjunctive Permissions and Epistemic Modality.David Eferd - manuscript
    in Modal Content and Modal Knowledge: Essays on the metaphysics and epistemology of modality, Bob Hale (ed), Oxford University Press.
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  8. Assertion and Modality.Fabrizio Cariani - forthcoming - In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Assertion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This essay is an opinionated exploration of the constraints that modal discourse imposes on the theory of assertion. Primary focus is on the question whether modal discourse challenges the traditional view that all assertions have propositional content. This question is tackled largely with reference to discourse involving epistemic modals, although connections with other flavors of modality are noted along the way.
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  9. Deontic Modals and Probability: One Theory to Rule Them All?Fabrizio Cariani - forthcoming - In Nate Charlow & Matthew Chrisman (eds.), Deontic Modality. Oxford University Press.
    This paper motivates and develops a novel semantic framework for deontic modals. The framework is designed to shed light on two things: the relationship between deontic modals and substantive theories of practical rationality and the interaction of deontic modals with conditionals, epistemic modals and probability operators. I argue that, in order to model inferential connections between deontic modals and probability operators, we need more structure than is provided by classical intensional theories. In particular, we need probabilistic structure that interacts directly (...)
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  10. Probabilistic Semantics for Epistemic Modals: Normality Assumptions, Conditional Epistemic Spaces, and the Strength of `Must' and `Might'.Guillermo Del Pinal - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-42.
    The epistemic modal auxiliaries 'must' and 'might' are vehicles for expressing the force with which a proposition follows from some body of evidence or information. Standard approaches model these operators using quantificational modal logic, but probabilistic approaches are becoming increasingly influential. According to a traditional view, 'must' is a maximally strong epistemic operator and 'might' is a bare possibility one. A competing account---popular amongst proponents of a probabilisitic turn---says that, given a body of evidence, 'must p' entails that Pr(p) is (...)
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  11. This Paper Might Change Your Mind.Josh Dever & Henry Ian Schiller - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Rational decision change can happen without information change. This is a problem for standard views of decision theory, on which linguistic intervention in rational decision-making is captured in terms of information change. But the standard view gives us no way to model interventions involving expressions that only have an attentional effects on conversational contexts. How are expressions with non-informational content - like epistemic modals - used to intervene in rational decision making? We show how to model rational decision change without (...)
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  12. Does Chance Undermine Would?Alexander W. Kocurek - forthcoming - Mind.
    Counterfactual skepticism holds that most ordinary counterfactuals are false. The main argument for this view appeals to a ‘chance undermines would’ principle: if ψ would have some chance of not obtaining had φ obtained, then φ []–> ψ is false. This principle seems to follow from two fairly weak principles, viz., that ‘chance ensures could’ and that φ []–> ψ and φ <>–> ψ clash. Despite their initial plausibility, I show that these principles are independently problematic: given some modest closure (...)
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  13. Eavesdropping: What is It Good For?Jonathan Phillips & Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - Semantics and Pragmatics.
    Eavesdropping judgments (judgments about truth, retraction, and consistency across contexts) about epistemic modals have been used in recent years to argue for a radical thesis: that truth is assessment-relative. We argue that judgments for 'I think that p' pattern in strikingly similar ways to judgments for 'Might p' and 'Probably p'. We argue for this by replicating three major experiments involving the latter and adding a condition with the form 'I think that p', showing that subjects respond in the same (...)
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  14. Hard Cases for Combining Expressivism and Deflationist Truth: Conditionals and Epistemic Modals.Mark Schroeder - forthcoming - In Steven Gross & Michael Williams (eds.), (unknown). Oxford University Press.
    In this paper I will be concerned with the question as to whether expressivist theories of meaning can coherently be combined with deflationist theories of truth. After outlining what I take expressivism to be and what I take deflationism about truth to be, I’ll explain why I don’t take the general version of this question to be very hard, and why the answer is ‘yes’. Having settled that, I’ll move on to what I take to be a more pressing and (...)
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  15. Weak and Strong Necessity Modals: On Linguistic Means of Expressing "A Primitive Concept OUGHT".Alex Silk - forthcoming - In Meaning, Decision, and Norms: Themes from the Work of Allan Gibbard.
    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. (...)
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  16. Mighty Knowledge.Bob Beddor & Simon Goldstein - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy 118 (5):229-269.
    We often claim to know what might be—or probably is—the case. Modal knowledge along these lines creates a puzzle for information-sensitive semantics for epistemic modals. This paper develops a solution. We start with the idea that knowledge requires safe belief: a belief amounts to knowledge only if it could not easily have been held falsely. We then develop an interpretation of the modal operator in safety that allows it to non-trivially embed information-sensitive contents. The resulting theory avoids various paradoxes that (...)
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  17. What Might but Must Not Be.Stephen Finlay & Benjamin Lennertz - 2021 - Analysis 80 (4):647-656.
    We examine an objection to analysing the epistemic ‘might’ and ‘may’ as existential quantifiers over possibilities. Some claims that a proposition “might” be the case appear felicitous although, according to the quantifier analysis, they are necessarily false, since there are no possibilities in which the proposition is true. We explain such cases pragmatically, relying on the fact that ‘might’-sentences are standardly used to convey that the speaker takes a proposition as a serious option in reasoning. Our account explains why it (...)
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  18. Epistemic Modal Credence.Simon Goldstein - 2021 - Philosophers' Imprint 21 (26).
    Triviality results threaten plausible principles governing our credence in epistemic modal claims. This paper develops a new account of modal credence which avoids triviality. On the resulting theory, probabilities are assigned not to sets of worlds, but rather to sets of information state-world pairs. The theory avoids triviality by giving up the principle that rational credence is closed under conditionalization. A rational agent can become irrational by conditionalizing on new evidence. In place of conditionalization, the paper develops a new account (...)
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  19. An Epistemic Modal Norm of Practical Reasoning.Tim Henning - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6665-6686.
    When are you in a position to rely on p in practical reasoning? Existing accounts say that you must know that p, or be in a position to know that p, or be justified in believing that p, or be in a position to justifiably believe it, and so on. This paper argues that all of these proposals face important problems, which I call the Problems of Negative Bootstrapping and of Level Confusions. I offer a diagnosis of these problems, and (...)
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  20. Binding Bound Variables in Epistemic Contexts.Brian Rabern - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (5-6):533-563.
    ABSTRACT Quine insisted that the satisfaction of an open modalised formula by an object depends on how that object is described. Kripke's ‘objectual’ interpretation of quantified modal logic, whereby variables are rigid, is commonly thought to avoid these Quinean worries. Yet there remain residual Quinean worries for epistemic modality. Theorists have recently been toying with assignment-shifting treatments of epistemic contexts. On such views an epistemic operator ends up binding all the variables in its scope. One might worry that this yields (...)
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  21. Context and Coherence: The Logic and Grammar of Prominence.Una Stojnić - 2021 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    Natural languages are riddled with context-sensitivity. One and the same string of words can express many different meanings on occasion of use, and yet we understand one another effortlessly, on the fly. How do we do so? What fixes the meaning of context-sensitive expressions, and how are we able to recover the meaning so effortlessly? -/- This book offers a novel response: we can do so because we draw on a broad array of subtle linguistic conventions that determine the interpretation (...)
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  22. Relativism, Metasemantics, and the Future.Derek Ball - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (9-10):1036-1086.
    ABSTRACT Contemporary relativists often see their view as contributing to a semantic/post-semantic account of linguistic data about disagreement and retraction. I offer an independently motivated metasemantic account of the same data, that also handles a number of cases and empirical results that are problematic for the relativist. The key idea is that the content of assertions and beliefs is determined in part by facts about other times, including times after the assertion is made or the belief is formed. On this (...)
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  23. Fallibility for Expressivists.Bob Beddor - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (4):763-777.
    Quasi-realists face the challenge of providing a plausible analysis of acknowledgments of moral fallibility. This paper devel...
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  24. New Work For Certainty.Bob Beddor - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (8).
    This paper argues that we should assign certainty a central place in epistemology. While epistemic certainty played an important role in the history of epistemology, recent epistemology has tended to dismiss certainty as an unattainable ideal, focusing its attention on knowledge instead. I argue that this is a mistake. Attending to certainty attributions in the wild suggests that much of our everyday knowledge qualifies, in appropriate contexts, as certain. After developing a semantics for certainty ascriptions, I put certainty to explanatory (...)
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  25. Relativism and Expressivism.Bob Beddor - 2020 - In Martin Kusch (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Relativism. Routledge.
    Relativism and expressivism offer two different semantic frameworks for grappling with a similar cluster of issues. What is the difference between these two frameworks? Should they be viewed as rivals? If so, how should we choose between them? This chapter sheds light on these questions. After providing an overview of relativism and expressivism, I discuss three potential choice points: their relation to truth conditional semantics, their pictures of belief and communication, and their explanations of disagreement.
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  26. What the Future ‘Might’ Brings.David Boylan - 2020 - Mind 129 (515):809-829.
    This paper concerns a puzzle about the interaction of epistemic modals and future tense. In cases of predictable forgetfulness, speakers cannot describe their future states of mind with epistemic modals under future tense, but promising theories of epistemic modals do not predict this. In §1, I outline the puzzle. In §2, I argue that it undermines a very general approach to epistemic modals that draws a tight connection between epistemic modality and evidence. In §3, I defend the assumption that tense (...)
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  27. Grading Modal Judgement.Nate Charlow - 2020 - Mind 129 (515):769-807.
    This paper proposes a new model of graded modal judgment. It begins by problematizing the phenomenon: given plausible constraints on the logic of epistemic modality, it is impossible to model graded attitudes toward modal claims as judgments of probability targeting epistemically modal propositions. This paper considers two alternative models, on which modal operators are non-proposition-forming: (1) Moss (2015), in which graded attitudes toward modal claims are represented as judgments of probability targeting a “proxy” proposition, belief in which would underwrite belief (...)
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  28. Updating Data Semantics.Anthony S. Gillies - 2020 - Mind 129 (513):1-41.
    This paper has three main goals. First, to motivate a puzzle about how ignorance-expressing terms like maybe and if interact: they iterate, and when they do they exhibit scopelessness. Second, to argue that there is an ambiguity in our theoretical toolbox, and that exposing that opens the door to a solution to the puzzle. And third, to explore the reach of that solution. Along the way, the paper highlights a number of pleasing properties of two elegant semantic theories, explores some (...)
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  29. Rabern’s Semantics for Metaphysical and Epistemic Modalities and the Nesting Problem.Fabian Heimann - 2020 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 49 (3):497-507.
    In a recent paper, Brian Rabern suggests a semantics for languages with two kinds of modality, standard Kripkean metaphysical modality as well as epistemic modality. This semantics presents an alternative to two-dimensionalism, which was developed in the last decades. Both Rabern’s semantics and two-dimensionalism are subject to a puzzle that Chalmers and Rabern, 210–224 2014) call the nesting problem. I will investigate how Rabern’s semantics answers this puzzle.
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  30. Evaluating the Multiple Proposition Strategy.Benjamin Lennertz - 2020 - Ratio 33 (3):163-172.
    Contextualism about many expressions faces a common objection: in some discourses it appears that there is no single interpretation which can explain how a speaker is justified in making her assertion and how a hearer with different information or standards is justified in negatively evaluating what the speaker said. According to the Multiple Proposition Strategy , contextualists may attempt to explain these competing features pragmatically in terms of different propositions in play. In this paper I argue against the Multiple Proposition (...)
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  31. Dynamic Non-Classicality.Matthew Mandelkern - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (2):382-392.
    I show that standard dynamic approaches to the semantics of epistemic modals invalidate the classical laws of excluded middle and non-contradiction, as well as the law of epistemic non-contradiction. I argue that these facts pose a serious challenge.
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  32. How to Do Things with Modals.Matthew Mandelkern - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (1):115-138.
    Mind &Language, Volume 35, Issue 1, Page 115-138, February 2020.
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  33. Might Generics.Brian Rabern - 2020 - Snippets 39:8-9.
    How do generics interact with modals? This note offers one observation about an interaction with 'might' that presents a challenge for standard theories.
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  34. Talking About Appearances: The Roles of Evaluation and Experience in Disagreement.Rachel Etta Rudolph - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (1):197-217.
    Faultless disagreement and faultless retraction have been taken to motivate relativism for predicates of personal taste, like ‘tasty’. Less attention has been devoted to the question of what aspect of their meaning underlies this relativist behavior. This paper illustrates these same phenomena with a new category of expressions: appearance predicates, like ‘tastes vegan’ and ‘looks blue’. Appearance predicates and predicates of personal taste both fall into the broader category of experiential predicates. Approaching predicates of personal taste from this angle suggests (...)
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  35. Expectation Biases and Context Management with Negative Polar Questions.Alex Silk - 2020 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 49 (1):51-92.
    This paper examines distinctive discourse properties of preposed negative 'yes/no' questions (NPQs), such as 'Isn’t Jane coming too?'. Unlike with other 'yes/no' questions, using an NPQ '∼p?' invariably conveys a bias toward a particular answer, where the polarity of the bias is opposite of the polarity of the question: using the negative question '∼p?' invariably expresses that the speaker previously expected the positive answer p to be correct. A prominent approach—what I call the context-management approach, developed most extensively by Romero (...)
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  36. Some Constraints on Contextualism About Modals.Daniel Skibra - 2020 - In The Architecture of Context and Context-Sensitivity. pp. 295-315.
    The following paradigm, most closely associated with the work of Angelika Kratzer, dominates the literature on the semantics of modals: MUST is a universal quantifier over a contextually determined set of worlds, where ⌜MUST.
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  37. Embedded Attitudes.Kyle Blumberg & Ben Holguín - 2019 - Journal of Semantics 36 (3):377-406.
    This paper presents a puzzle involving embedded attitude reports. We resolve the puzzle by arguing that attitude verbs take restricted readings: in some environments the denotation of attitude verbs can be restricted by a given proposition. For example, when these verbs are embedded in the consequent of a conditional, they can be restricted by the proposition expressed by the conditional’s antecedent. We formulate and motivate two conditions on the availability of verb restrictions: a constraint that ties the content of restrictions (...)
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  38. Modals Under Epistemic Tension.Guillermo Del Pinal & Brandon Waldon - 2019 - Natural Language Semantics 27 (2):135-188.
    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 (...)
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  39. Generalized Update Semantics.Simon Goldstein - 2019 - Mind 128 (511):795-835.
    This paper explores the relationship between dynamic and truth conditional semantics for epistemic modals. It provides a generalization of a standard dynamic update semantics for modals. This new semantics derives a Kripke semantics for modals and a standard dynamic semantics for modals as special cases. The semantics allows for new characterizations of a variety of principles in modal logic, including the inconsistency of ‘p and might not p’. Finally, the semantics provides a construction procedure for transforming any truth conditional semantics (...)
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  40. Weak Assertion.Luca Incurvati & Julian J. Schlöder - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (277):741-770.
    We present an inferentialist account of the epistemic modal operator might. Our starting point is the bilateralist programme. A bilateralist explains the operator not in terms of the speech act of rejection ; we explain the operator might in terms of weak assertion, a speech act whose existence we argue for on the basis of linguistic evidence. We show that our account of might provides a solution to certain well-known puzzles about the semantics of modal vocabulary whilst retaining classical logic. (...)
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  41. New Horizons for a Theory of Epistemic Modals.Justin Khoo & Jonathan Phillips - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):309-324.
    ABSTRACTRecent debate over the semantics and pragmatics of epistemic modals has focused on intuitions about cross-contextual truth-value assessments. In this paper, we advocate a different approach to evaluating theories of epistemic modals. Our strategy focuses on judgments of the incompatibility of two different epistemic possibility claims, or two different truth value assessments of a single epistemic possibility claim. We subject the predictions of existing theories to empirical scrutiny, and argue that existing contextualist and relativist theories are unable to account for (...)
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  42. Might-Beliefs and Asymmetric Disagreement.Benjamin Lennertz - 2019 - Synthese 196 (11):4775-4805.
    What we can call asymmetric disagreement occurs when one agent is in disagreement with another, but not vice-versa. In this paper, I give an example of and develop a framework for understanding this phenomenon. One pivotal feature of my example is that one of the agents in the scenario has a belief about what might be the case—a might-belief. I show that a traditional account of might-beliefs and disagreement cannot explain the initially surprising phenomenon of asymmetric disagreement. In order to (...)
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  43. Modality and Expressibility.Matthew Mandelkern - 2019 - Review of Symbolic Logic 12 (4):768-805.
    When embedding data are used to argue against semantic theory A and in favor of semantic theory B, it is important to ask whether A could make sense of those data. It is possible to ask that question on a case-by-case basis. But suppose we could show that A can make sense of all the embedding data which B can possibly make sense of. This would, on the one hand, undermine arguments in favor of B over A on the basis (...)
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  44. Bounded Modality.Matthew Mandelkern - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (1):1-61.
    What does 'might' mean? One hypothesis is that 'It might be raining' is essentially an avowal of ignorance like 'For all I know, it's raining'. But it turns out these two constructions embed in different ways, in particular as parts of larger constructions like Wittgenstein's 'It might be raining and it's not' and Moore's 'It's raining and I don't know it', respectively. A variety of approaches have been developed to account for those differences. All approaches agree that both Moore sentences (...)
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  45. A New Puzzle About Belief and Credence.Andrew Moon - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (2):272-291.
    I present a puzzle about belief and credence, which takes the form of three independently supported views that are mutually inconsistent. The first is the view that S has a modal belief that p if and only if S has a corresponding credence that p. The second is the view that S believes that p only if S has some credence that p. The third is the view that, possibly, S believes that p without a modal belief that p. [Word (...)
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  46. Full Belief and Loose Speech.Sarah Moss - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (3):255-291.
    This paper defends an account of full belief, including an account of its relationship to credence. Along the way, I address several familiar and difficult questions about belief. Does fully believing a proposition require having maximal confidence in it? Are rational beliefs closed under entailment, or does the preface paradox show that rational agents can believe inconsistent propositions? Does whether you believe a proposition depend partly on your practical interests? My account of belief resolves the tension between conflicting answers to (...)
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  47. Chancy Modus Ponens.Sven Neth - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):632-638.
    Chancy modus ponens is the following inference scheme: ‘probably φ’, ‘if φ, then ψ’, therefore, ‘probably ψ’. I argue that Chancy modus ponens is invalid in general. I further argue that the invalidity of Chancy modus ponens sheds new light on the alleged counterexample to modus ponens presented by McGee. I close by observing that, although Chancy modus ponens is invalid in general, we can recover a restricted sense in which this scheme of inference is valid.
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  48. Anankastic Conditionals Are Still a Mystery.Milo Phillips-Brown - 2019 - Semantics and Pragmatics 12 (13):1-17.
    ‘If you want to go to Harlem, you have to take the A train’ doesn’t look special. Yet a compositional account of its meaning, and the meaning of anankastic conditionals more generally, has proven an enigma. Semanticists have responded by assigning anankastics a unique status, distinguishing them from ordinary indicative conditionals. Condoravdi & Lauer (2016) maintain instead that “anankastic conditionals are just conditionals.” I argue that Condoravdi and Lauer don’t give a general solution to a well-known problem: the problem of (...)
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  49. Content in a Dynamic Context.Una Stojnić - 2019 - Noûs 53 (2):394-432.
    The standing tradition in theorizing about meaning, since at least Frege, identifies meaning with propositions, which are, or determine, the truth-conditions of a sentence in a context. But a recent trend has advocated a departure from this tradition: in particular, it has been argued that modal claims do not express standard propositional contents. This non-propositionalism has received different implementations in expressivist semantics and certain kinds of dynamic semantics. They maintain that the key aspect of interpretation of modal claims is the (...)
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  50. Might Do Better: Flexible Relativism and the QUD.Bob Beddor & Andy Egan - 2018 - Semantics and Pragmatics 11.
    The past decade has seen a protracted debate over the semantics of epistemic modals. According to contextualists, epistemic modals quantify over the possibilities compatible with some contextually determined group’s information. Relativists often object that contextualism fails to do justice to the way we assess utterances containing epistemic modals for truth or falsity. However, recent empirical work seems to cast doubt on the relativist’s claim, suggesting that ordinary speakers’ judgments about epistemic modals are more closely in line with contextualism than relativism (...)
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