Epistemic modals, relativism and assertion

Philosophical Studies 133 (1):1--22 (2007)
Abstract
I think that there are good reasons to adopt a relativist semantics for epistemic modal claims such as ``the treasure might be under the palm tree'', according to which such utterances determine a truth value relative to something finer-grained than just a world (or a <world, time> pair). Anyone who is inclined to relativise truth to more than just worlds and times faces a problem about assertion. It's easy to be puzzled about just what purpose would be served by assertions of this kind, and how to understand what we'd be up to in our use of sentences like ``the treasure might be under the palm tree'', if they have such peculiar truth conditions. After providing a very quick argument to motivate a relativist view of epistemic modals, I bring out and attempt to resolve this problem in making sense of the role of assertions with relativist truth conditions. Solving this problem should be helpful in two ways: first, it eliminates an apparently forceful objection to relativism, and second, spelling out the relativist account of assertion and communication will help to make clear just what the relativist position is, exactly, and why it's interesting.
Keywords philpapers: relativism about truth
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-006-9003-x
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 27,658
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
The Problem of the Essential Indexical.John Perry - 1979 - Noûs 13 (December):3-21.
Attitudes de Dicto and de Se.David Lewis - 1979 - Philosophical Review 88 (4):513-543.
Epistemic Possibilities.Keith DeRose - 1991 - Philosophical Review 100 (4):581-605.
Assertion.Robert Stalnaker - 1978 - Syntax and Semantics (New York Academic Press) 9:315-332.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Relativism and Disagreement.John MacFarlane - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 132 (1):17-31.
Disagreements About Taste.Timothy Sundell - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 155 (2):267-288.
The Problem with the Frege–Geach Problem.Nate Charlow - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (3):635-665.

View all 65 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Scepticism, Relativism and the Argument From the Criterion.Howard Sankey - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):182-190.
“Is Relativism Self-Defeating?”.Harold Zellner - 1995 - Journal of Philosophical Research 20:287-295.
Truth-Relativism, Norm-Relativism, and Assertion.Patrick Greenough - 2011 - In Brown J. & Cappelen H. (eds.), Assertion: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press.
CIA Leaks.Kai von Fintel & Anthony S. Gillies - 2008 - Philosophical Review 117 (1):77-98.
The Trivial Argument for Epistemic Value Pluralism. Or How I Learned to Stop Caring About Truth.Berit Brogaard - 2008 - In Adrian Haddock, Alan Millar & D. Pritchard (eds.), Epistemic Value. Oxford University Press.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

260 ( #12,820 of 2,169,723 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

9 ( #35,146 of 2,169,723 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums