Philosophical Studies 133 (1):1--22 (2007)
AbstractI think that there are good reasons to adopt a relativist semantics for epistemic modal claims such as ``the treasure might be under the palm tree'', according to which such utterances determine a truth value relative to something finer-grained than just a world (or a <world, time> pair). Anyone who is inclined to relativise truth to more than just worlds and times faces a problem about assertion. It's easy to be puzzled about just what purpose would be served by assertions of this kind, and how to understand what we'd be up to in our use of sentences like ``the treasure might be under the palm tree'', if they have such peculiar truth conditions. After providing a very quick argument to motivate a relativist view of epistemic modals, I bring out and attempt to resolve this problem in making sense of the role of assertions with relativist truth conditions. Solving this problem should be helpful in two ways: first, it eliminates an apparently forceful objection to relativism, and second, spelling out the relativist account of assertion and communication will help to make clear just what the relativist position is, exactly, and why it's interesting.
Similar books and articles
Judge Dependence, Epistemic Modals, and Predicates of Personal Taste.Tamina Stephenson - 2007 - Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (4):487--525.
The Trivial Argument for Epistemic Value Pluralism. Or How I Learned to Stop Caring About Truth.Berit Brogaard - 2008 - In Adrian Haddock, Alan Millar & D. Pritchard (eds.), Epistemic Value. Oxford University Press.
Truth-Relativism, Norm-Relativism, and Assertion.Patrick Greenough - 2011 - In Jessica Brown & Herman Cappelen (eds.), Assertion: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press.
Context, Relevant Parts and (Lack of) Disagreement Over Taste. [REVIEW]Peter Lasersohn - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (3):433-439.
“Is Relativism Self-Defeating?”.Harold Zellner - 1995 - Journal of Philosophical Research 20:287-295.
Scepticism, Relativism and the Argument From the Criterion.Howard Sankey - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):182-190.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
Assessment Sensitivity: Relative Truth and its Applications.John MacFarlane - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
References found in this work
Assertion.Robert Stalnaker - 1978 - In Maite Ezcurdia & Robert J. Stainton (eds.), The Semantics-Pragmatics Boundary in Philosophy. Broadview Press. pp. 179.