Mind 129 (515):809-829 (2020)

Authors
David Boylan
Texas Tech University
Abstract
This paper concerns a puzzle about the interaction of epistemic modals and future tense. In cases of predictable forgetfulness, speakers cannot describe their future states of mind with epistemic modals under future tense, but promising theories of epistemic modals do not predict this. In §1, I outline the puzzle. In §2, I argue that it undermines a very general approach to epistemic modals that draws a tight connection between epistemic modality and evidence. In §3, I defend the assumption that tense can indeed scope over epistemic modals. In §4, I outline a new way of determining the domain of quantification of epistemic modals: epistemic modals quantify over the worlds compatible with the information accumulated within a certain interval. Information loss can change which interval is relevant for determining the domain. In §5, I defend the view from some objections. In §6, I explore the connections between my view of epistemic modality and circumstantial modality.
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DOI 10.1093/mind/fzz037
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References found in this work BETA

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.
Probabilistic Knowledge.Sarah Moss - 2016 - Oxford University Press.
Modal Science.Timothy Williamson - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):453-492.
What 'Must' and 'Can' Must and Can Mean.Angelika Kratzer - 1977 - Linguistics and Philosophy 1 (3):337--355.
Nonfactualism About Epistemic Modality.Seth Yalcin - 2011 - In Andy Egan & B. Weatherson (eds.), Epistemic Modality. Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Bounded Modality.Matthew Mandelkern - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (1):1-61.

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