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  1. What 'Must' and 'Can' Must and Can Mean.Angelika Kratzer - 1977 - Linguistics and Philosophy 1 (3):337--355.
    In this paper I offer an account of the meaning of must and can within the framework of possible worlds semantics. The paper consists of two parts: the first argues for a relative concept of modality underlying modal words like must and can in natural language. I give preliminary definitions of the meaning of these words which are formulated in terms of logical consequence and compatibility, respectively. The second part discusses one kind of insufficiency in the meaning definitions given in (...)
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  • Essays on Quasi-Realism.Simon Blackburn - 1997 - Philosophical Quarterly 47 (186):96-99.
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  • Common Ground.Robert Stalnaker - 2002 - Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (5-6):701-721.
  • Scorekeeping in a Language Game.David Lewis - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (3):339.
     
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  • Context Dependence, Disagreement, and Predicates of Personal Taste.Peter Lasersohn - 2005 - Linguistics and Philosophy 28 (6):643--686.
    This paper argues that truth values of sentences containing predicates of “personal taste” such as fun or tasty must be relativized to individuals. This relativization is of truth value only, and does not involve a relativization of semantic content: If you say roller coasters are fun, and I say they are not, I am negating the same content which you assert, and directly contradicting you. Nonetheless, both our utterances can be true (relative to their separate contexts). A formal semantic theory (...)
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  • Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
  • Relativist Dispositional Theories of Value: Relativist Dispositional Theories of Value.Andy Egan - 2012 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (4):557-582.
    Adopting a dispositional theory of value promises to deliver a lot of theoretical goodies. One recurring problem for dispositional theories of value, though, is a problem about nonconvergence. If being a value is being disposed to elicit response R in us, what should we say if it turns out that not everybody is disposed to have R to the same things? One horn of the problem here is a danger of the view collapsing into an error theory—of it turning out, (...)
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  • Response to Eklund.Elizabeth Barnes & J. Robert G. Williams - 2011 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 6.
    This chapter defends the account of metaphysical indeterminacy of Barnes and Williams against Eklund's objections.
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  • Spreading the Word: Groundings in the Philosophy of Language.Simon Blackburn - 1984 - Mind 94 (374):310-319.
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  • Moral Contextualism and Moral Relativism.Berit Brogaard - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (232):385 - 409.
    Moral relativism provides a compelling explanation of linguistic data involving ordinary moral expressions like 'right' and 'wrong'. But it is a very radical view. Because relativism relativizes sentence truth to contexts of assessment it forces us to revise standard linguistic theory. If, however, no competing theory explains all of the evidence, perhaps it is time for a paradigm shift. However, I argue that a version of moral contextualism can account for the same data as relativism without relativizing sentence truth to (...)
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  • Disagreement and the Semantics of Normative and Evaluative Terms.David Plunkett & Timothy Sundell - 2013 - Philosophers' Imprint 13 (23):1-37.
    In constructing semantic theories of normative and evaluative terms, philosophers have commonly deployed a certain type of disagreement -based argument. The premise of the argument observes the possibility of genuine disagreement between users of a certain normative or evaluative term, while the conclusion of the argument is that, however differently those speakers employ the term, they must mean the same thing by it. After all, if they did not, then they would not really disagree. We argue that in many of (...)
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  • Folk Moral Relativism.Hagop Sarkissian, John Park, David Tien, Jennifer Cole Wright & Joshua Knobe - 2011 - Mind and Language 26 (4):482-505.
    It has often been suggested that people's ordinary understanding of morality involves a belief in objective moral truths and a rejection of moral relativism. The results of six studies call this claim into question. Participants did offer apparently objectivist moral intuitions when considering individuals from their own culture, but they offered increasingly relativist intuitions considering individuals from increasingly different cultures or ways of life. The authors hypothesize that people do not have a fixed commitment to moral objectivism but instead tend (...)
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  • An Invariantist Theory of 'Might' Might Be Right.David Braun - 2012 - Linguistics and Philosophy 35 (6):461-489.
    Invariantism about ‘might’ says that ‘might’ semantically expresses the same modal property in every context. This paper presents and defends a version of invariantism. According to it, ‘might’ semantically expresses the same weak modal property in every context. However, speakers who utter sentences containing ‘might’ typically assert propositions concerning stronger types of modality, including epistemic modality. This theory can explain the phenomena that motivate contextualist theories of epistemic uses of ‘might’, and can be defended from objections of the sort that (...)
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  • Dispositional Theories of Value.Michael Smith, David Lewis & Mark Johnston - 1989 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 63 (1):89-174.
  • Ethical Relativism and the Problem of Incoherence.David Lyons - 1976 - Ethics 86 (2):107-121.
    Some forms of ethical relativism seem to endorse strict contradictions. Various forms of relativism are distinguished, And their vulnerability to such charges compared. Means of avoiding incoherence are considered. Relativistic justification seems either innocuous but nonrelativistic or else unintelligible. Relativistic analyses of moral judgments are implausible and seem required for no other purpose than to avoid charges of incoherence.
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  • Ordering Semantics and Premise Semantics for Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1981 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 10 (2):217-234.
  • Indexicals and Demonstratives.John Perry - 1997 - In Bob Hale & Crispin Wright (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Language. Blackwell. pp. 486--612.
    When you use the word “I” it designates you; when I use the same word, it designates me. If you use “you” talking to me, it designates me; when I use it talking to you, it designates you. “I” and “you” are indexicals. The designation of an indexical shifts from speaker to speaker, time to time, place to place. Different utterances of the same indexical designate different things, because what is designated depends not only on the meaning associated with the (...)
     
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  • Scorekeeping in a Language Game.David Lewis - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):339--359.
  • Vagueness in the World.Ken Akiba - 2004 - Noûs 38 (3):407–429.
  • Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy.Bernard Williams - 1985 - Ethics 97 (4):821-833.
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  • Back to the Open Future.Elizabeth Barnes & Ross P. Cameron - 2011 - Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):1-26.
    Many of us are tempted by the thought that the future is open, whereas the past is not. The future might unfold one way, or it might unfold another; but the past, having occurred, is now settled. In previous work we presented an account of what openness consists in: roughly, that the openness of the future is a matter of it being metaphysically indeterminate how things will turn out to be. We were previously concerned merely with presenting the view and (...)
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  • Thinking How to Live.David O. Brink - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (2):267-272.
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  • Dynamics of Epistemic Modality.Malte Willer - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (1):45-92.
    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 (...)
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  • CIA Leaks.Kai von Fintel & Anthony S. Gillies - 2008 - Philosophical Review 117 (1):77-98.
    Epistemic modals are standardly taken to be context-dependent quantifiers over possibilities. Thus sentences containing them get truth-values with respect to both a context and an index. But some insist that this relativization is not relative enough: `might'-claims, they say, only get truth-values with respect to contexts, indices, and—the new wrinkle—points of assessment (hence, CIA). Here we argue against such "relativist" semantics. We begin with a sketch of the motivation for such theories and a generic formulation of them. Then we catalogue (...)
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  • Relativism (and Expressivism) and the Problem of Disagreement.James Dreier - 2009 - Philosophical Perspectives 23 (1):79-110.
    Many philosophers, in different areas, are tempted by what variously goes under the name of Contextualism, Speaker Relativism, Indexical Relativism. (I’ll just use Indexical Relativism in this paper.) Thinking of certain problematic expressions as deriving their content from elements of the context of use solves some problems. But it faces some problems of its own, and in this paper I’m interested in one in particular, namely, the problem of disagreement. Two alternative theories, tempting for just the same kinds of expressions (...)
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  • Speaker Intentions in Context.Jeffrey C. King - 2014 - Noûs 48 (2):219-237.
  • Epistemic Modals and Indirect Weak Suggestives.Martin Montminy - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (4):583-606.
    I defend a contextualist account of bare epistemic modal claims against recent objections. I argue that in uttering a sentence of the form ‘It might be that p,’ a speaker is performing two speech acts. First, she is (directly) asserting that in view of the knowledge possessed by some relevant group, it might be that p. The content of this first speech act is accounted for by the contextualist view. But the speaker's utterance also generates an indirect speech act that (...)
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  • Supplementives, the Coordination Account, and Conflicting Intentions.Jeffrey C. King - 2013 - Philosophical Perspectives 27 (1):288-311.
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  • Faultless Disagreement.Max Kölbel - 2004 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 104 (1):53-73.
    There seem to be topics on which people can disagree without fault. For example, you and I might disagree on whether Picasso was a better artist than Matisse, without either of us being at fault. Is this a genuine possibility or just apparent? In this paper I pursue two aims: I want to provide a systematic map of available responses to this question. Simultaneously, I want to assess these responses. I start by introducing and defining the notion of a faultless (...)
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  • Multiple Actualities and Ontically Vague Identity.Robert Williams - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (230):134-154.
    Although the Evans argument against vague identity has been much discussed, proposah for blocking it have not so far satisfied general conditions which any solution ought to meet. Moreover, the relation between ontically vague identity and ontic vagueness more generally has not yet been satisfactorily addressed. I advocate a way of resisting the Evans argument which satisfies the conditions. To show how this approach can vindicate particular cases of ontically vague identity, I develop a framework for describing ontic vagueness in (...)
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  • Moral Realism: A Defence.David Merli - 2004 - Mind 113 (452):778-782.
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  • Epistemic Modals and Credal Disagreement.Torfinn Thomesen Huvenes - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):987-1011.
    Considerations involving disagreement, as well as related considerations involving correction and retraction, have played an important role in recent debates about epistemic modals. For instance, it has been argued that contextualist views about epistemic modals have problems when it comes to explaining cases of disagreement. In response to these challenges, I explore the idea that the relevant cases of disagreement may involve credal disagreement. In a case of credal disagreement, the parties have different degrees of belief or credences. There does (...)
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  • Imperatives and Modals.Paul Portner - 2007 - Natural Language Semantics 15 (4):351-383.
    Imperatives may be interpreted with many subvarieties of directive force, for example as orders, invitations, or pieces of advice. I argue that the range of meanings that imperatives can convey should be identified with the variety of interpretations that are possible for non-dynamic root modals (what I call ‘priority modals’), including deontic, bouletic, and teleological readings. This paper presents an analysis of the relationship between imperatives and priority modals in discourse which asserts that, just as declaratives contribute to the Common (...)
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  • Judge Dependence, Epistemic Modals, and Predicates of Personal Taste.Tamina Stephenson - 2007 - Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (4):487--525.
    Predicates of personal taste (fun, tasty) and epistemic modals (might, must) share a similar analytical difficulty in determining whose taste or knowledge is being expressed. Accordingly, they have parallel behavior in attitude reports and in a certain kind of disagreement. On the other hand, they differ in how freely they can be linked to a contextually salient individual, with epistemic modals being much more restricted in this respect. I propose an account of both classes using Lasersohn’s (Linguistics and Philosophy 28: (...)
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  • Single Scoreboard Semantics.Keith DeRose - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 119 (1-2):1-21.
    What happens to the "conversational score" when speakers in a conversation push the score for a context-sensitive term in different directions? In epistemology, contextualists are often construed as holding that both the skeptic ("You don't know!") and her opponent ("Oh, yes I do!") speak truthfully when they debate. This assumes a "multiple scoreboards" version of contextualism. But contextualists themselves typically opt for "single scoreboard" views on which such apparently competing claims really do conflict. This paper explores several single scoreboard options (...)
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  • After Objectivity: An Empirical Study of Moral Judgment.Shaun Nichols - 2004 - Philosophical Psychology 17 (1):3 – 26.
    This paper develops an empirical argument that the rejection of moral objectivity leaves important features of moral judgment intact. In each of five reported experiments, a number of participants endorsed a nonobjectivist claim about a canonical moral violation. In four of these experiments, participants were also given a standard measure of moral judgment, the moral/conventional task. In all four studies, participants who respond as nonobjectivists about canonical moral violations still treat such violations in typical ways on the moral/conventional task. In (...)
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  • Epistemic Modals, Relativism and Assertion.Andy Egan - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (1):1--22.
    I 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 (...)
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  • The Assessment Sensitivity of Knowledge Attributions.John MacFarlane - 2005 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 197--234.
    Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in the semantics of knowledge-attributing sentences, not just among epistemologists but among philosophers of language seeking a general understanding of linguistic context sensitivity. Despite all this critical attention, however, we are as far from consensus as ever. If we have learned anything, it is that each of the standard views—invariantism, contextualism, and sensitive invariantism—has its Achilles’ heel: a residuum of facts about our use of knowledge attributions that it can explain only with (...)
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  • Metaethical Contextualism Defended.Gunnar Björnsson & Stephen Finlay - 2010 - Ethics 121 (1):7-36.
    We defend a contextualist account of deontic judgments as relativized both to (i) information and to (ii) standards or ends, against recent objections that turn on practices of moral disagreement. Kolodny & MacFarlane argue that information-relative contextualism cannot accommodate the connection between deliberation and advice; we suggest in response that they misidentify the basic concerns of deliberating agents. For pragmatic reasons, semantic assessments of normative claims sometimes are evaluations of propositions other than those asserted. Weatherson, Schroeder and others have raised (...)
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  • Nonindexical Contextualism.John MacFarlane - 2009 - Synthese 166 (2):231-250.
    Philosophers on all sides of the contextualism debates have had an overly narrow conception of what semantic context sensitivity could be. They have conflated context sensitivity (dependence of truth or extension on features of context) with indexicality (dependence of content on features of context). As a result of this conflation, proponents of contextualism have taken arguments that establish only context sensitivity to establish indexicality, while opponents of contextualism have taken arguments against indexicality to be arguments against context sensitivity. Once these (...)
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  • The Psychology of Meta-Ethics: Exploring Objectivism.Geoffrey P. Goodwin & John M. Darley - 2008 - Cognition 106 (3):1339-1366.
  • Epistemic Modals.Seth Yalcin - 2007 - Mind 116 (464):983-1026.
    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.
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  • Troubles for New Wave Moral Semantics: The 'Open Question Argument' Revived.Terence Horgan & Mark Timmons - 1992 - Philosophical Papers 21 (3):153-175.
    (1992). TROUBLES FOR NEW WAVE MORAL SEMANTICS: THE ‘OPEN QUESTION ARGUMENT’ REVIVED. Philosophical Papers: Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 153-175. doi: 10.1080/05568649209506380.
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  • Oughts and Ends.Stephen Finlay - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 143 (3):315 - 340.
    This paper advances a reductive semantics for ‘ought’ and a naturalistic theory of normativity. It gives a unified analysis of predictive, instrumental, and categorical uses of ‘ought’: the predictive ‘ought’ is basic, and is interpreted in terms of probability. Instrumental ‘oughts’ are analyzed as predictive ‘oughts’ occurring under an ‘in order that’ modifer (the end-relational theory). The theory is then extended to categorical uses of ‘ought’: it is argued that they are special rhetorical uses of the instrumental ‘ought’. Plausible conversational (...)
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  • Modal Disagreements.Justin Khoo - 2015 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (5):511-534.
    It is often assumed that when one party felicitously rejects an assertion made by an- other party, the first party thinks that the proposition asserted by the second is false. This assumption underlies various disagreement arguments used to challenge contex- tualism about some class of expressions. As such, many contextualists have resisted these arguments on the grounds that the disagreements in question may not be over the proposition literally asserted. The result appears to be a dialectical stalemate, with no independent (...)
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  • New Wave Moral Realism Meets Moral Twin Earth.Terence Horgan & Mark Timmons - 1991 - Journal of Philosophical Research 16:447-465.
    There have been times in the history of ethical theory, especially in this century, when moral realism was down, but it was never out. The appeal of this doctrine for many moral philosophers is apparently so strong that there are always supporters in its corner who seek to resuscitate the view. The attraction is obvious: moral realism purports to provide a precious philosophical good, viz., objectivity and all that this involves, including right answers to moral questions, and the possibility of (...)
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  • New Wave Moral Realism Meets Moral Twin Earth.Terence Horgan & Mark Timmons - 1991 - Journal of Philosophical Research 16:447-465.
    There have been times in the history of ethical theory, especially in this century, when moral realism was down, but it was never out. The appeal of this doctrine for many moral philosophers is apparently so strong that there are always supporters in its corner who seek to resuscitate the view. The attraction is obvious: moral realism purports to provide a precious philosophical good, viz., objectivity and all that this involves, including right answers to moral questions, and the possibility of (...)
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  • Review of E Thics and the Limits of Philosophy.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 83 (6):351-360.
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  • Ifs and Oughts.Niko Kolodny & John MacFarlane - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (3):115-143.
    We consider a paradox involving indicative conditionals (‘ifs’) and deontic modals (‘oughts’). After considering and rejecting several standard options for resolv- ing the paradox—including rejecting various premises, positing an ambiguity or hidden contextual sensitivity, and positing a non-obvious logical form—we offer a semantics for deontic modals and indicative conditionals that resolves the paradox by making modus ponens invalid. We argue that this is a result to be welcomed on independent grounds, and we show that rejecting the general validity of modus (...)
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  • Truth Conditions and the Meanings of Ethical Terms1.Alex Silk - 2013 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 8:195.