David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Andy Egan & B. Weatherson (eds.), Epistemic Modality. Oxford University Press (2009)
By “epistemic modals,” I mean epistemic uses of modal words: adverbs like “necessarily,” “possibly,” and “probably,” adjectives like “necessary,” “possible,” and “probable,” and auxiliaries like “might,” “may,” “must,” and “could.” It is hard to say exactly what makes a word modal, or what makes a use of a modal epistemic, without begging the questions that will be our concern below, but some examples should get the idea across. If I say “Goldbach’s conjecture might be true, and it might be false,” I am not endorsing the Cartesian view that God could have made the truths of arithmetic come out differently. I make the claim not because I believe in the metaphysical contingency of mathematics, but because I know that Goldbach’s conjecture has not yet been proved or refuted. Similarly, if I say “Joe can’t be running,” I am not saying that Joe’s constitution prohibits him from running, or that Joe is essentially a non-runner, or that Joe isn’t allowed to run. My basis for making the claim may be nothing more than that I see Joe’s running shoes hanging on a hook.
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Citations of this work BETA
Jonathan Schaffer & Zoltan Gendler Szabo (2013). Epistemic Comparativism: A Contextualist Semantics for Knowledge Ascriptions. Philosophical Studies (2):1-53.
Carl Baker (2012). Indexical Contextualism and the Challenges From Disagreement. Philosophical Studies 157 (1):107-123.
Dylan Dodd (2011). Against Fallibilism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):665 - 685.
Max Kölbel (2009). The Evidence for Relativism. Synthese 166 (2):375-395.
Christopher Hom (2012). A Puzzle About Pejoratives. Philosophical Studies 159 (3):383-405.
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