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

Joshua Crabill
Southern Methodist University
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
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9785-3
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 72,634
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Truth and Other Enigmas.Michael Dummett - 1978 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press.
Ignorance: A Case for Scepticism.Peter K. Unger - 1975 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.

View all 29 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

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

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Expressivism Concerning Epistemic Modals.Benjamin Schnieder - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (240):601-615.
More on Epistemic Modals.Seth Yalcin - 2009 - Mind 118 (471):785-793.
Fallibilism and the Flexibility of Epistemic Modals.Charity Anderson - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (3):597-606.
Embedding Epistemic Modals.Cian Dorr & John Hawthorne - 2013 - Mind 122 (488):867-914.
Epistemic Modals in Context.Andy Egan, John Hawthorne & Brian Weatherson - 2005 - In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Contextualism in Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 131-170.
Hard Cases for Combining Expressivism and Deflationist Truth: Conditionals and Epistemic Modals.Mark Schroeder - forthcoming - In Steven Gross & Michael Williams (eds.), (unknown). Oxford University Press.
Wondering What Might Be.Moritz Schulz - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 149 (3):367 - 386.
Epistemic Containment.Kai von Fintel & Sabine Iatridou - 2003 - Linguistic Inquiry 34:173-98.
Realizing What Might Be.Malte Willer - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 153 (3):365 - 375.
Probability Operators.Seth Yalcin - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (11):916-37.


Added to PP index

Total views
150 ( #80,274 of 2,533,674 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #389,210 of 2,533,674 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes