On Scope Relations between Quantifiers and Epistemic Modals

Journal of Semantics 27 (4):529-540 (2010)
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Abstract

This paper presents and discusses a range of counterexamples to the common view that quantifiers cannot take scope over epistemic modals. Some of the counterexamples raise problems for ‘force modifier’ theories of epistemic modals. Some of the counterexamples raise problems for Robert Stalnaker’s theory of counterfactuals, according to which a special kind of epistemic modal must be able to scope over a whole counterfactual. Finally, some of the counterexamples suggest that David Lewis must countenance ‘would’ counterfactuals in which a covert ‘would’ scopes over the whole consequent of the counterfactual, including an overt ‘might.’.

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Eric Swanson
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Citations of this work

Epistemology Formalized.Sarah Moss - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (1):1-43.
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Williamsonian modal epistemology, possibility-based.Barbara Vetter - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):766-795.

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References found in this work

Sequence of tense and temporal de re.Dorit Abusch - 1997 - Linguistics and Philosophy 20 (1):1-50.
Quantifying into Question Acts.Manfred Krifka - 2001 - Natural Language Semantics 9 (1):1-40.
Does 'probably' modify sense?Huw Price - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):396 – 408.
Probabilistic modal inferences.Peter Forrest - 1981 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 59 (1):38 – 53.

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