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Modality and language

In D. Borchert (ed.), Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Macmillan Reference. pp. 20-27 (2006)

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  1. Modal Concord: A Case Study of Dutch.J. Huitink - 2012 - Journal of Semantics 29 (3):403-437.
    The combination of a modal verb and a modal adverb as may perhaps or must certainly may receive a concord interpretation, where the two modals communicate just a single modality. The present article uncovers the main restrictions on modal concord, concentrating on the way it is exemplified in Dutch, and surveys the recent literature on modal concord. Three possible analyses will be critically compared. The first is a syntactic analysis in terms of agreement, the second a semantic analysis in terms (...)
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  • Epistemic Modality, Eavesdroppers and the Objectivity Problem.Wylie Breckenridge - manuscript
    There is an account of modal operators that is both elegant and powerful and that deserves to be called the standard account. There are, however, some epistemic uses of modal operators which seem to be counterexamples to the account – they pose what I call the objectivity problem. It is often thought that the objectivity problem can be fixed by a certain kind of modification to the standard account. I argue that this kind of modification cannot work. Then I argue (...)
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  • Abilities.Romy Jaster - forthcoming - Berlin, New York: deGruyter.
    In the book, I provide an account of what it is for an agent to have an ability. According to the Success View, abilities are all about success across possible situations. In developing and applying the view, the book elucidates the relation between abilities on the one hand and possibility, counterfactuals, and dispositions on the other; it sheds light on the distinction between general and specific abilities; it offers an understanding of degrees of abilities; it explains which role intentions and (...)
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  • Oughts and Ends.Stephen Finlay - 2009 - 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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  • 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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  • In the Mood for Being : Grammatical Mood and Modality Through Phenomenological Notions.Forsström Adam - 2016 - Dissertation, Uppsala University
    Linguistic mood is a grammatical term as well as a morphological category of the verb. Due to its often philosophical implications it is challenging to find a definition or a common understanding of the notion; it has been proven historically and linguistically difficult to analyze. In this essay I aim to cast new light upon and interpret the concept of mood in extended, philosophical manners. The argument of the essay is that the traditional approach to the notion is done in (...)
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  • Contextualism About 'Might' and Says-That Ascriptions.David Braun - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (2):485-511.
    Contextualism about ‘might’ says that the property that ‘might’ expresses varies from context to context. I argue against contextualism. I focus on problems that contextualism apparently has with attitude ascriptions in which ‘might’ appears in an embedded ‘that’-clause. I argue that contextualists can deal rather easily with many of these problems, but I also argue that serious difficulties remain with collective and quantified says-that ascriptions. Herman Cappelen and John Hawthorne atempt to deal with these remaining problems, but I argue that (...)
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  • Counterfactuals All the Way Down?Jim Woodward, Barry Loewer, John W. Carroll & Marc Lange - 2011 - Metascience 20 (1):27-52.
    Counterfactuals all the way down? Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9437-9 Authors Jim Woodward, History and Philosophy of Science, 1017 Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA Barry Loewer, Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA John W. Carroll, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-8103, USA Marc Lange, Department of Philosophy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB#3125—Caldwell Hall, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3125, USA Journal Metascience Online (...)
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