Ratio 33 (3):163-172 (2020)

Benjamin Lennertz
Colgate University
Contextualism about many expressions faces a common objection: in some discourses it appears that there is no single interpretation which can explain how a speaker is justified in making her assertion and how a hearer with different information or standards is justified in negatively evaluating what the speaker said. According to the Multiple Proposition Strategy , contextualists may attempt to explain these competing features pragmatically in terms of different propositions in play. In this paper I argue against the Multiple Proposition Strategy, first focusing on epistemic modals and then generalising the results to other expressions. I show how when purportedly contextualist terms are embedded in belief reports, we get similar problems but that the Multiple Proposition Strategy does not provide a satisfactory explanation of such cases. I suggest, therefore, that we reject the Multiple Proposition Strategy in favour of a theory that explains the unembedded and embedded cases in similar ways
Keywords contextualism  disagreement  epistemic modals  multiple proposition strategy  pragmatics
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DOI 10.1111/rati.12277
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References found in this work BETA

Epistemic Modals.Seth Yalcin - 2007 - Mind 116 (464):983-1026.
Ifs and Oughts.Niko Kolodny & John MacFarlane - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (3):115-143.
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