Will done Better: Selection Semantics, Future Credence, and Indeterminacy

Mind 127 (505):129-165 (2018)

Authors
Paolo Santorio
University of California, San Diego
Fabrizio Cariani
Northwestern University
Abstract
Statements about the future are central in everyday conversation and reasoning. How should we understand their meaning? The received view among philosophers treats will as a tense: in ‘Cynthia will pass her exam’, will shifts the reference time forward. Linguists, however, have produced substantial evidence for the view that will is a modal, on a par with must and would. The different accounts are designed to satisfy different theoretical constraints, apparently pulling in opposite directions. We show that these constraints are jointly satisfied by a novel modal account of will. On this account, will is a modal but doesn't work as a quantifier over worlds. Rather, the meaning of will involves a selection function similar to the one used by Stalnaker in his semantics for conditionals. The resulting theory yields a plausible semantics and logic for will and vindicates our intuitive views about the attitudes that rational agents should have towards future-directed contents.
Keywords future contingents  credence  future  indeterminacy  modality
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Reprint years 2018
DOI 10.1093/mind/fzw004
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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.
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Citations of this work BETA

Conditional Heresies.Fabrizio Cariani & Simon Goldstein - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
Bounded Modality.Matthew Mandelkern - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (1):1-61.
Fatalism and Future Contingents.Giacomo Andreoletti - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy:1-14.
Talking About Worlds.Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - Philosophical Perspectives 33.

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