Philosophical Studies 162 (3):625-635 (2013)

Authors
Joshua Crabill
Southern Methodist University
Abstract
In “Epistemic Modals,” Seth Yalcin argues that what explains the deficiency of sentences containing epistemic modals of the form ‘p and it might be that not-p’ is that sentences of this sort are strictly contradictory, and thus are not instances of a Moore-paradox as has been previous suggested. Benjamin Schnieder, however, argues in his Yalcin’s explanation of these sentences’ deficiency turns out to be insufficiently general, as it cannot account for less complex but still defective sentences, such as ‘Suppose it might be raining.’ Consequently, Schnieder proposes his own, expressivist treatment of epistemic modals which he thinks can explain the deficiency of both the original sentence type as well as more complex cases of embedded sentences containing epistemic modals. In this study, I argue that although Schnieder is right to draw our attention to the explanatory failure of Yalcin’s account, we aren’t forced to adopt Schnieder’s expressivist account of epistemic modals. I defend instead a contextualist-friendly alternative which explains the deficiencies of all the relevant sentence types, while avoiding both the defects of Yalcin’s account and the intuitive costs of expressivism
Keywords Philosophy of language  Epistemic modals  Supposition  Expressivism  Contextualism  Moore paradoxes
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9785-3
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References found in this work BETA

Truth and Other Enigmas.Michael A. E. Dummett - 1978 - Harvard University Press.
Ignorance: A Case for Scepticism.Peter Unger - 1975 - Oxford University Press.
Epistemic Modals.Seth Yalcin - 2007 - Mind 116 (464):983-1026.
On Conditionals.Dorothy Edgington - 1995 - Mind 104 (414):235-329.

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Citations of this work BETA

Credence: A Belief-First Approach.Andrew Moon & Elizabeth Jackson - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (5):652–669.
A New Puzzle About Belief and Credence.Andrew Moon - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (2):272-291.
Weak Assertion.Luca Incurvati & Julian J. Schlöder - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (277):741-770.
Belief and Credence: A Defense of Dualism.Elizabeth Jackson - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Notre Dame

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