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Summary Possible worlds semantics is a general approach to theories of meaning, on which meanings (or, more precisely, semantic values) are assigned to sentences in terms of the truth-values they take across all possible worlds. The intuition is that the meaning of a sentence specifies how the world would have to be for that sentence to be true (or false). This is typically made precise by identifying the semantic value of a sentence with its possible-worlds intension, a function from possible worlds to truth-values. When those values are just true and false (and are mutually exclusive), possible worlds intensions are equivalent to sets of possible worlds (the worlds at which the sentence is question is true). The approach can be generalised by treating semantic values for sub-sentential items (such as nouns and verbs) as functions from possible worlds to other entities (such as particulars, properties and relations). ‘Possible worlds semantics’ is also used in a narrower sense, to refer to formal Kripke semantics for modal (and other) logics. 
Key works Carnap 1947 and Wittgenstein et al 1922 are important precursors to possible worlds semantics. Kripke developed the formal semantics for modal logic in Kripke 1959, 1963 and for intuitionistic logic in Kripke 1963. Key works applying possible worlds semantics to natural language include Cresswell 1973Lewis 1970, Montague 1973Kratzer 1977Lewis 1986 and Lewis 1973Hintikka 1962, 1967 develops formal possible worlds semantics and applies it to epistemic concepts.
Introductions Heim & Kratzer 1998 is a very comprehensive (although difficult) introduction to possible worlds semantics and its application to natural language. Lewis 1970 is a much shorter overview. Girle 2003 and Girle 2000 are introductory textbooks on formal possible worlds semantics in modal logic. Cresswell & Hughes 1996 is a classic textbook in modal logic. Sider 2010 includes a good presentation of quantified first-order logic.
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  1. How to Be a Modal Realist.Cian Dorr - manuscript
    This paper investigates the form a modal realist analysis of possibility and necessity should take. It concludes that according to the best version of modal realism, the notion of a world plays no role in the analysis of modal claims. All contingent claims contain some de re element; the effect of modal operators on these elements is described by a counterpart theory which takes the same form whether the de re reference is to a world or to something else. This (...)
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  2. Fähigkeiten und Dispositionen (Draft).Romy Jaster - manuscript
    In diesem Aufsatz argumentiere ich für eine teleologische Fähigkeitstheorie, derzufolge Fähigkeiten Dispositionen zu zweckmäßigem Handeln sind.
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  3. Transworld Identity as a Problem for Essentialism About Kinds.Kaave Lajevardi - manuscript
    Essentialism about natural kinds involves talking about kinds across possible worlds. I argue that there is a non-trivial transworld identity problem here, which cannot be (dis)solved in the same way that Kripke treats the corresponding transworld identity problem for individuals. -/- I will briefly discuss some ideas for a solution. The upshot is scepticism concerning natural-kind essentialism.
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  4. Xeno Semantics for Ascending and Descending Truth.Kevin Scharp - manuscript
    As part of an approach to the liar paradox and the other paradoxes affecting truth, I have proposed replacing our concept of truth with two concepts: ascending truth and descending truth.1 I am not going to discuss why I think this is the best approach or how it solves the paradoxes; instead, I concentrate on the theory of ascending and descending truth. I formulate an axiomatic theory of ascending truth and descending truth (ADT) and provide a possible-worlds semantics for it (...)
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  5. 'First-Order Modal Logic', to Appear in V. Hendricks & SA Pedersen, Eds.,'40 Years of Possible Worlds', Special Issue Of.H. Arlo-Costa - forthcoming - Studia Logica.
  6. The Language of Reasons and 'Ought'.Aaron Bronfman & J. L. Dowell - forthcoming - In Daniel Star (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Reasons.
    Here we focus on two questions: What is the proper semantics for deontic modal expressions in English? And what is the connection between true deontic modal statements and normative reasons? Our contribution towards thinking about the first, which makes up the bulk of our paper, considers a representative sample of recent challenges to a Kratzer-style formal semantics for modal expressions, as well as the rival views—Fabrizio Cariani’s contrastivism, John MacFarlane’s relativism, and Mark Schroeder’s ambiguity theory—those challenges are thought to motivate. (...)
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  7. Probability for Epistemic Modalities.Simon Goldstein & Paolo Santorio - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.
    This paper develops an information sensitive theory of the semantics and probability of conditionals and statements involving epistemic modals. The theory validates a number of principles linking probability and modality, including the principle that the probability of a conditional 'If A, then C' equals the probability of C, updated with A. The theory avoids so-called triviality results, which are standardly taken to show that principles of this sort cannot be validated. To achieve this, we deny that rational agents update their (...)
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  8. A Simple Theory of Rigidity.Tristan Grøtvedt Haze - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-13.
    The notion of rigidity looms large in philosophy of language, but is beset by difficulties. This paper proposes a simple theory of rigidity, according to which an expression has a world-relative semantic property rigidly when it has that property at, or with respect to, all worlds. Just as names, and certain descriptions like 'The square root of 4', rigidly designate their referents, so too are necessary truths rigidly true, and so too does 'cat' rigidly have only animals in its extension. (...)
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  9. Contingent Composition as Identity.Giorgio Lando & Massimiliano Carrara - forthcoming - Synthese.
    When the Necessity of Identity (NI) is combined with Composition as Identity (CAI), the contingency of composition (CC) is at risk. In the extant literature, either NI is seen as the basis for a refutation of CAI or CAI is associated with a theory of modality, such that: either NI is renounced (if counterpart theory is adopted); or CC is renounced (if the theory of modal parts is adopted). In this paper, we investigate the prospects of a new variety of (...)
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  10. Outline of an Object-Based Truthmaker Semantics for Modals and Propositional Attitudes.Friederike Moltmann - forthcoming - In Dirk Kindermann, Peter Van Elswyk & Andy Egan (eds.), Unstructured Content. Oxford University Press.
    Against the background of standard possible-worlds semantics, this paper outlines a truthmaker approach to the semantics of attitude reports and modal sentences based on an ontology of attitudinal and modal objects.
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  11. Tempered Pragmatism.Ian Rumfitt - forthcoming - In Cheryl Misak & Huw Price (eds.), The Practical Turn: Pragmatism in Britain in the Long Twentieth Century. British Academy.
    This paper assesses the prospects of a pragmatist theory of content. I begin by criticising the theory presented in D.H. Mellor’s essay ‘Successful Semantics’. I then identify problems and lacunae in the pragmatist theory of meaning sketched in Chapter 13 of Dummett’s The Logical Basis of Metaphysics. The prospects are brighter, I contend, for a tempered pragmatism, in which the theory of content is permitted to draw upon irreducible notions of truth and falsity. I sketch the shape of such a (...)
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  12. Stalnaker’s Assertoric Contents.Cem Şişkolar - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-20.
    I compare Stalnaker’s early take on assertoric content with the one expressed in his recent book (2014). I discern in the latter some striking implications about the semantics of proper names and assertoric content’s relation to semantics.
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  13. Impossible Worlds, by Francesco Berto and Mark Jago. [REVIEW]Koji Tanaka - forthcoming - Mind.
    Book Review of Impossible Worlds, by Francesco Berto and Mark Jago. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019.
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  14. From Ideal Worlds to Ideality.Craig Warmke - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
    In common treatments of deontic logic, the obligatory is what's true in all deontically ideal possible worlds. In this article, I offer a new semantics for Standard Deontic Logic with Leibnizian intensions rather than possible worlds. Even though the new semantics furnishes models that resemble Venn diagrams, the semantics captures the strong soundness and completeness of Standard Deontic Logic. Since, unlike possible worlds, many Leibnizian intensions are not maximally consistent entities, we can amend the semantics to invalidate the inference rule (...)
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  15. What Might but Must Not Be.Stephen Finlay & Benjamin Lennertz - 2021 - Analysis 80 (4):647-656.
    We examine an objection to analysing the epistemic ‘might’ and ‘may’ as existential quantifiers over possibilities. Some claims that a proposition “might” be the case appear felicitous although, according to the quantifier analysis, they are necessarily false, since there are no possibilities in which the proposition is true. We explain such cases pragmatically, relying on the fact that ‘might’-sentences are standardly used to convey that the speaker takes a proposition as a serious option in reasoning. Our account explains why it (...)
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  16. Sensitivity, Safety, and Impossible Worlds.Guido Melchior - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):713-729.
    Modal knowledge accounts that are based on standards possible-worlds semantics face well-known problems when it comes to knowledge of necessities. Beliefs in necessities are trivially sensitive and safe and, therefore, trivially constitute knowledge according to these accounts. In this paper, I will first argue that existing solutions to this necessity problem, which accept standard possible-worlds semantics, are unsatisfactory. In order to solve the necessity problem, I will utilize an unorthodox account of counterfactuals, as proposed by Nolan, on which we also (...)
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  17. Impossibility and Impossible Worlds.Daniel Nolan - 2021 - In Otavio Bueno & Scott Shalkowski (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Modality. New York, USA: Routledge Press. pp. 40-48.
    Possible worlds have found many applications in contemporary philosophy: from theories of possibility and necessity, to accounts of conditionals, to theories of mental and linguistic content, to understanding supervenience relationships, to theories of properties and propositions, among many other applications. Almost as soon as possible worlds started to be used in formal theories in logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and elsewhere, theorists started to wonder whether impossible worlds should be postulated as well. In many applications, possible worlds (...)
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  18. Another Problem in Possible World Semantics.Yifeng Ding & Wesley H. Holliday - 2020 - In Nicola Olivetti & Rineke Verbrugge (eds.), Advances in Modal Logic, Vol. 13. London: College Publications.
    In "A Problem in Possible-World Semantics," David Kaplan presented a consistent and intelligible modal principle that cannot be validated by any possible world frame (in the terminology of modal logic, any neighborhood frame). However, Kaplan's problem is tempered by the fact that his principle is stated in a language with propositional quantification, so possible world semantics for the basic modal language without propositional quantifiers is not directly affected, and the fact that on careful inspection his principle does not target the (...)
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  19. Modal Fragmentalism.Samuele Iaquinto - 2020 - The Philosophical Quarterly 70 (280):570-587.
    In this paper, I will argue that there is a version of possibilism—inspired by the modal analogue of Kit Fine’s fragmentalism—that can be combined with a weakening of actualism. The reasons for analysing this view, which I call Modal Fragmentalism, are twofold. Firstly, it can enrich our understanding of the actualism/possibilism divide, by showing that, at least in principle, the adoption of possibilia does not correspond to an outright rejection of the actualist intuitions. Secondly, and more specifically, it can enrich (...)
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  20. Against Conventional Wisdom.Alexander W. Kocurek, Ethan Jerzak & Rachel Etta Rudolph - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (22):1-27.
    Conventional wisdom has it that truth is always evaluated using our actual linguistic conventions, even when considering counterfactual scenarios in which different conventions are adopted. This principle has been invoked in a number of philosophical arguments, including Kripke’s defense of the necessity of identity and Lewy’s objection to modal conventionalism. But it is false. It fails in the presence of what Einheuser (2006) calls c-monsters, or convention-shifting expressions (on analogy with Kaplan’s monsters, or context-shifting expressions). We show that c-monsters naturally (...)
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  21. Hi-individuals and Where to Find Them—Towards a Hi-world Semantics for Quantified Modal Logic.Cheng-Chih Tsai - 2020 - Acta Analytica 35 (2):165-179.
    If to be is to be the value of a bound variable, then the acknowledgment and denial of the existence of chairs amounts to a serious disagreement about the range of a quantifier. However, by resorting to the intrinsic hierarchical structure of hi-world semantics, we find that the varying of domains from worlds to worlds can actually be accommodated within a unified framework. With the introduction of a universal domain D of hi-individuals and an existence predicate E that serves as (...)
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  22. Back to the actual future.Jacek Wawer & Alex Malpass - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2193-2213.
    The purpose of the paper is to rethink the role of actuality in the branching model of possibilities. We investigate the idea that the model should be enriched with an additional factor—the so-called Thin Red Line—which is supposed to represent the single possible course of events that gets actualized in time. We believe that this idea was often misconceived which prompted some unfortunate reactions. On the one hand, it suggested problematic semantic models of future tense and and on the other, (...)
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  23. Negation on the Australian Plan.Francesco Berto & Greg Restall - 2019 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 48 (6):1119-1144.
    We present and defend the Australian Plan semantics for negation. This is a comprehensive account, suitable for a variety of different logics. It is based on two ideas. The first is that negation is an exclusion-expressing device: we utter negations to express incompatibilities. The second is that, because incompatibility is modal, negation is a modal operator as well. It can, then, be modelled as a quantifier over points in frames, restricted by accessibility relations representing compatibilities and incompatibilities between such points. (...)
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  24. Adding 4.0241 to TLP.Franz Berto - 2019 - In Gabriele M. Mras, Paul Weingartner & Bernhard Ritter (eds.), Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics: Proceedings of the 41st International Ludwig Wittgenstein Symposium. De Gruyter. pp. 415-428.
    Tractatus 4.024 inspired the dominant semantics of our time: truth-conditional semantics. Such semantics is focused on possible worlds: the content of p is the set of worlds where p is true. It has become increasingly clear that such an account is, at best, defective: we need an ‘independent factor in meaning, constrained but not determined by truth-conditions’ (Yablo 2014, p. 2), because sentences can be differently true at the same possible worlds. I suggest a missing comment which, had it been (...)
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  25. Modals Under Epistemic Tension.Guillermo Del Pinal & Brandon Waldon - 2019 - Natural Language Semantics 27 (2):135-188.
    According to Kratzer’s influential account of epistemic 'must' and 'might', these operators involve quantification over domains of possibilities determined by a modal base and an ordering source. Recently, this account has been challenged by invoking contexts of ‘epistemic tension’: i.e., cases in which an assertion that 'must p' is conjoined with the possibility that 'not p', and cases in which speakers try to downplay a previous assertion that 'must p', after finding out that 'not p'. Epistemic tensions have been invoked (...)
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  26. The Neo-Molinist Square Stands Firm: A Rejoinder to Kirk MacGregor.Elijah Hess - 2019 - Philosophia Christi 21 (2):391-406.
    In a previous issue of Philosophia Christi, Kirk MacGregor responded to an essay of mine in which I argued for a neo-Molinist account of open theism. The argument demonstrated how, given standard counterfactual semantics, one could derive an “open future square of opposition,” that is, a depiction of the logical relations that hold between future-tense statements from an open theistic standpoint. Conceding the validity of the argument, MacGregor nevertheless sought to deny its soundness by criticizing both its conclusion and the (...)
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  27. Wierenga on Theism and Counterpossibles.Fabio Lampert - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (3):693-707.
    Several theists, including Linda Zagzebski, have claimed that theism is somehow committed to nonvacuism about counterpossibles. Even though Zagzebski herself has rejected vacuism, she has offered an argument in favour of it, which Edward Wierenga has defended as providing strong support for vacuism that is independent of the orthodox semantics for counterfactuals, mainly developed by David Lewis and Robert Stalnaker. In this paper I show that argument to be sound only relative to the orthodox semantics, which entails vacuism, and give (...)
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  28. How important are truth-conditions for truth-conditional semantics?Toby Napoletano - 2019 - Linguistics and Philosophy 42 (6):541-575.
    In this paper, I argue that while truth-conditional semantics in generative linguistics provides lots of good semantic explanations, truth-conditions do not play an important role in these explanations. That is, the fact that expressions have the particular truthconditional contents they have does not even partly explain facts about semantic phenomena. Rather, explanations of semantic phenomena appeal to extra-truth-conditional properties attributed to expressions via their lexical entries. Focusing on recent truth-conditional work on gradable adjectives and degree modifiers by Kennedy and McNally, (...)
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  29. Fictional Content.Elisa Paganini - 2019 - Disputatio 11 (54):255-269.
    It is usually taken for granted that a necessary condition for knowing that P is the truth of P. It may therefore be claimed that if we assume that we gain some kind of knowledge through fiction of P*, then P* should be true—in at least a certain sense. My hypothesis is that this assumption grounds the different ways adopted by philosophers for attributing truth-conditions to fictional sentences. My claim in this work is that fictional sentences do not have truth-values (...)
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  30. On the Pragmatic Approach to Counterpossibles.Maciej Sendłak - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (2):523-532.
    Nina Emery and Christopher Hill proposed a pragmatic approach toward the debate about counterpossibles—i.e., counterfactuals with impossible antecedents. The core of this approach is to move the burden of the problem from the notion of truth value into the notion of assertion. This is meant to explain our pre-theoretical intuitions about counterpossibles while claiming that each and every counterpossible is vacuously true. The aim of this paper is to indicate a problematic aspect of this view.
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  31. Safety, the Preface Paradox and Possible Worlds Semantics.Michael J. Shaffer - 2019 - Axiomathes 29 (4):347-361.
    This paper contains an argument to the effect that possible worlds semantics renders semantic knowledge impossible, no matter what ontological interpretation is given to possible worlds. The essential contention made is that possible worlds semantic knowledge is unsafe and this is shown by a parallel with the preface paradox.
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  32. Logic Through a Leibnizian Lens.Craig Warmke - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
    Leibniz's conceptual containment theory says that singular propositions of the form a is F are true when the complete concept of being a contains the concept of being F. In this paper, I provide a new semantics for first-order logic built around this idea. The semantics resolves longstanding problems for Leibniz's theory and can represent, without possible worlds, both hyperintensional distinctions among properties and a certain kind of presumably impossible situation that standard approaches cannot represent. The semantics also captures the (...)
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  33. Still in the Mood: The Versatility of Subjunctive Markers in Modal Logic.Kai F. Wehmeier & Helge Rückert - 2019 - Topoi 38 (2):361-377.
    We investigate and compare two major approaches to enhancing the expressive capacities of modal languages, namely the addition of subjunctive markers on the one hand, and the addition of scope-bearing actuality operators, on the other. It turns out that the subjunctive marker approach is not only every bit as versatile as the actuality operator approach, but that it in fact outperforms its rival in the context of cross-world predication.
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  34. The Logic of Hope: A Defence of the Hopeful.Einar Duenger Bohn - 2018 - Religious Studies 54 (1):107-116.
  35. On Context Shifters and Compositionality in Natural Languages.Adrian Briciu - 2018 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 25 (1):2-20.
    My modest aim in this paper is to prove certain relations between some type of hyper-intensional operators, namely context shifting operators, and compositionality in natural languages. Various authors (e.g. von Fintel & Matthewson 2008; Stalnaker 2014) have argued that context-shifting operators are incompatible with compositionality. In fact, some of them understand Kaplan’s (1989) famous ban on context-shifting operators as a constraint on compositionality. Others, (e.g. Rabern 2013) take contextshifting operators to be compatible with compositionality but, unfortunately, do not provide a (...)
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  36. A Unified Analysis of the Future as Epistemic Modality.Anastasia Giannakidou and Alda Mari - 2018 - Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 36:85-129.
    We offer an analysis of future morphemes as epistemic operators. The main empirical motivation comes from the fact that future morphemes have systematic purely epistemic readings—not only in Greek and Italian, but also in Dutch, German, and English will. The existence of epistemic readings suggests that the future expressions quantify over epistemic, not metaphysical alternatives. We provide a unified analysis for epistemic and predictive readings as epistemic necessity, and the shift between the two is determined compositionally by the lower tense. (...)
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  37. An Object‐Based Truthmaker Semantics for Modals.Friederike Moltmann - 2018 - Philosophical Issues 28 (1):255-288.
    Possible worlds semantics faces a range of difficulties for at least certain types of modals, especially deontic modals with their distinction between heavy and light permissions and obligations. This paper outlines a new semantics of modals that aims to overcome some of those difficulties. The semantics is based on an a novel ontology of modal objects, entities like obligations, permissions, needs, as well as epistemic states, abilities, and essences. Moreover, it is based on truthmaking, in the sense of Fine’s recent (...)
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  38. Semantic Possibility.Wolfgang Schwarz - 2018 - In Derek Ball & Brian Rabern (eds.), The Science of Meaning. Oxford University Press. pp. 361-380.
    This paper starts out from the idea that semantics is a “special science” whose aim, like that of chemistry or ecology, is to identify systematic, high-level patterns in a fundamentally physical world. I defend an approach to this task on which sentences are associated with with sets of possible worlds (of some kind). These sets of worlds, however, are not postulated for the compositional treatment of intensional contexts; they are not meant to capture what is intuitively asserted or communicated by (...)
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  39. On Quantitative and Qualitative Parsimony.Maciej Sendłak - 2018 - Metaphilosophy 49 (1-2):153-166.
    The distinction between quantitative and qualitative parsimony is supposed to allow David Lewis to dismiss one of the charges against his modal realism: that is, the charge of bloated ontology. The aim of this paper is to undermine Lewis's response to this objection. In order to do this, a distinction between multipliable and nonmultipliable objects is introduced. Based on this it is argued that the acceptance of Lewis's response requires one to believe in modal realism in the first place—that is, (...)
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  40. A Category Semantics.Paul Symington - 2018 - In Paul Hackett (ed.), Mereologies, Ontologies, and Facets: The Categorial Structure of Reality. New York: Lexington Books. pp. 65-85.
    In this paper, I present a categorial theory of meaning which asserts that the meaning of a sentence is the function from the actualization of some potentiality or the potentiality of some actuality to the truth of the sentence. I argue that it builds on the virtues of David Lewis’s Possible World Semantics but advances beyond problems that Lewis’s theory faces with its distinctly Aristotelian turn toward actuality and potentiality.
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  41. Logically Impossible Worlds.Koji Tanaka - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Logic 15 (2):489.
    What does it mean for the laws of logic to fail? My task in this paper is to answer this question. I use the resources that Routley/Sylvan developed with his collaborators for the semantics of relevant logics to explain a world where the laws of logic fail. I claim that the non-normal worlds that Routley/Sylvan introduced are exactly such worlds. To disambiguate different kinds of impossible worlds, I call such worlds logically impossible worlds. At a logically impossible world, the laws (...)
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  42. Is Grounding a Hyperintensional Phenomenon?Michael Duncan, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2017 - Analytic Philosophy 58 (4):297-329.
    It is widely thought that grounding is a hyperintensional phenomenon. Unfortunately, the term ‘hyperintensionality’ has been doing double-duty, picking out two distinct phenomena. This paper clears up this conceptual confusion. We call the two resulting notions hyperintensionalityGRND and hyperintensionalityTRAD. While it is clear that grounding is hyperintensionalGRND, the interesting question is whether it is hyperintensionalTRAD. We argue that given well-accepted constraints on the logical form of grounding, to wit, that grounding is irreflexive and asymmetric, grounding is hyperintensionalTRAD only if one (...)
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  43. The Open Future Square of Opposition: A Defense.Elijah Hess - 2017 - Sophia 56 (4):573-587.
    This essay explores the validity of Gregory Boyd’s open theistic account of the nature of the future. In particular, it is an investigation into whether Boyd’s logical square of opposition for future contingents provides a model of reality for free will theists that can preserve both bivalence and a classical conception of omniscience. In what follows, I argue that it can.
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  44. Towards a Probabilistic Analysis for Conditionals and Unconditionals.Stefan Kaufmann - 2017 - In Mihoko Otake, Setsuya Kurahashi, Yuiko OtaKen Satoh & Daisuke Bekki (eds.), New Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence. Springer. pp. 3-14.
    The thesis that the probability of a conditional`if A, C' is the corresponding conditional probability of C, given A, enjoys wide currency among philosophers and growing empirical support in psychology. In this paper I ask how a probabilisitic account of conditionals along these lines could be extended to unconditional sentences, i.e., conditionals with interrogative antecedents. Such sentences are typically interpreted as equivalent to conjunctions of conditionals. This raises a number of challenges for a probabilistic account, chief among them the question (...)
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  45. The Contingency Problem for Neo-Conventionalism.Jonathan Livingstone-Banks - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (3):653-671.
    Traditional conventionalism about modality claims that a proposition is necessarily true iff it is true by convention. In the wake of the widespread repudiation of truth-byconvention, traditional conventionalism has fallen out of favour. However, a family of theories of modality have arisen that, whilst abandoning truth-by-convention, retain the spirit of traditional conventionalism. These ‘neo-conventionalist’ theories surpass their forebears and don’t fall victim to the criticisms inherited through truth-by-convention. However, not all criticisms levelled at traditional conventionalism target truth-by-convention. Any conventional theory (...)
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  46. Possible World Semantics and the Complex Mechanism of Reference Fixing.Alik Pelman - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (4):385-396.
    Possible world semantics considers not only what an expression actually refers to but also what it might have referred to in counterfactual circumstances. This has proven exceptionally useful both inside and outside philosophy. The way this is achieved is by using intensions. An intension of an expression is a function that assigns to each possible world the reference of the expression in that world. However, the specific intension of terms has been subject to frequent disputes. How is one to determine (...)
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  47. Contextualism About Deontic Conditionals.Aaron Bronfman & Janice Dowell, J. L. - 2016 - In Nate Charlow & Matthew Chrisman (eds.), Deontic Modality. Oxford: pp. 117-142.
    Our goal here is to help identify the contextualist’s most worthy competitor to relativism. Recently, some philosophers of language and linguists have argued that, while there are contextualist-friendly semantic theories of deontic modals that fit with the relativist’s challenge data, the best such theories are not Lewis-Kratzer-style semantic theories. If correct, this would be important: It would show that the theory that has for many years enjoyed the status of the default view of modals in English and other languages is (...)
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  48. Metanormative Theory and the Meaning of Deontic Modals.Matthew Chrisman - 2016 - In Nate Charlow & Matthew Chrisman (eds.), Deontic Modality. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 395-424.
    Philosophical debate about the meaning of normative terms has long been pulled in two directions by the apparently competing ideas: (i) ‘ought’s do not describe what is actually the case but rather prescribe possible action, thought, or feeling, (ii) all declarative sentences deserve the same general semantic treatment, e.g. in terms of compositionally specified truth conditions. In this paper, I pursue resolution of this tension by rehearsing the case for a relatively standard truth-conditionalist semantics for ‘ought’ conceived as a necessity (...)
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  49. Embedded Counterfactuals and Possible Worlds Semantics.Charles Cross - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (3):665-673.
    Stephen Barker argues that a possible worlds semantics for the counterfactual conditional of the sort proposed by Stalnaker and Lewis cannot accommodate certain examples in which determinism is true and a counterfactual Q > R is false, but where, for some P, the compound counterfactual P > (Q > R) is true. I argue that the completeness theorem for Lewis’s system VC of counterfactual logic shows that Stalnaker–Lewis semantics does accommodate Barker’s example, and I argue that its doing so should (...)
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  50. An Interpretation of McCall’s “Real Possible Worlds” and His Semantics for Counterfactuals.Alexandru Dragomir - 2016 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 3 (1):65-78.
    McCall (1984) offered a semantics of counterfactual conditionals based on “real possible worlds” that avoids using the vague notion of similarity between possible worlds. I will propose an interpretation of McCall’s counterfactuals in a formal framework based on Baltag-Moss-Solecki events and protocols. Moreover, I will argue that using this interpretation one can avoid an objection raised by Otte (1987).
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