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Profile: Seth Yalcin (University of California, Berkeley)
Profile: Seth Yalcin (University of California, Berkeley)
  1. Daniel Rothschild & Seth Yalcin, On the Dynamics of Conversation.
    On one familiar and traditional picture, linguistic communication is a matter of the expression and transmission of a proposition across a common ground, with the proposition determined as a function of its semantic value. What general properties of a system of linguistic communication indicate whether or not it can, even in principle, be modeled along these traditional lines? This is a fundamental question in natural language semantics and pragmatics, and one relevant to a full understanding and assessment of non-traditional models (...)
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  2. Seth Yalcin, Comments on MacFarlane.
    I don’t propose to harp on the question of whether MacFarlane has the data right. Let us just assume, for the sake of argument, that he does. Let us further assume that his interpretation of the data is correct—i.e., that these judgments are assessments of the the whole clause and not simply of the prejacent. Granting all this—maybe a lot—we need a semantics for epistemic modals that will make sense of the judgments in this case, and in relevantly similar cases. (...)
     
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  3. Joshua Knobe & Seth Yalcin (forthcoming). Epistemic Modals and Context: Experimental Data. Semantics and Pragmatics.
    Recently, a number of theorists (MacFarlane (2003, 2011), Egan et al. (2005), Egan (2007), Stephenson (2007a,b)) have argued that an adequate semantics and pragmatics for epistemic modals calls for some technical notion of relativist truth and/or relativist content. Much of this work has relied on an empirical thesis about speaker judgments, namely that competent speakers tend to judge a present-tense bare epistemic possibility claim true only if the prejacent is compatible with their information. Relativists have in particular appealed to judgments (...)
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  4. Seth Yalcin (forthcoming). Context Probabilism. In M. Aloni (ed.), 18th Amsterdam Colloquium. Springer.
    We investigate a basic probabilistic dynamic semantics for a fragment containing conditionals, probability operators, modals, and attitude verbs, with the aim of shedding light on the prospects for adding probabilistic structure to models of the conversational common ground.
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  5. Seth Yalcin (2012). A Counterexample to Modus Tollens. Journal of Philosophical Logic 41 (6):1001-1024.
    This paper defends a counterexample to Modus Tollens, and uses it to draw some conclusions about the logic and semantics of indicative conditionals and probability operators in natural language. Along the way we investigate some of the interactions of these expressions with 'knows', and we call into question the thesis that all knowledge ascriptions have truth-conditions.
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  6. Seth Yalcin (2012). Bayesian Expressivism. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 112 (2pt2):123-160.
    I develop a conception of expressivism according to which it is chiefly a pragmatic thesis about some fragment of discourse, one imposing certain constraints on semantics. The first half of the paper uses credal expressivism about the language of probability as a stalking-horse for this purpose. The second half turns to the question of how one might frame an analogous form of expressivism about the language of deontic modality. Here I offer a preliminary comparison of two expressivist lines. The first, (...)
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  7. Seth Yalcin (2012). Comments on Mark Schroeder, Being For. [REVIEW] Central APA.
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  8. Seth Yalcin (2011). Nonfactualism About Epistemic Modality. In Andy Egan & B. Weatherson (eds.), Epistemic Modality. Oxford University Press.
    When I tell you that it’s raining, I describe a way the world is—viz., rainy. I say something whose truth turns on how things are with the weather in the world. Likewise when I tell you that the weatherman thinks that it’s raining. Here the truth of what I say turns on how things are with the weatherman’s state of mind in the world. Likewise when I tell you that I think that it’s raining. Here the truth of what I (...)
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  9. Seth Yalcin (2010). Probability Operators. Philosophy Compass 5 (11):916-37.
    This is a study in the meaning of natural language probability operators, sentential operators such as probably and likely. We ask what sort of formal structure is required to model the logic and semantics of these operators. Along the way we investigate their deep connections to indicative conditionals and epistemic modals, probe their scalar structure, observe their sensitivity to contex- tually salient contrasts, and explore some of their scopal idiosyncrasies.
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  10. Seth Yalcin (2009). More on Epistemic Modals. Mind 118 (471):785-793.
    I respond to comments by David Barnett and Roy Sorensen on my paper ‘Epistemic Modals’.
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  11. Seth Yalcin (2007). Epistemic Modals. 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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