Might-beliefs and asymmetric disagreement

Synthese (forthcoming)
Authors
Benjamin Lennertz
Colgate University
Abstract
What we can call asymmetric disagreement occurs when one agent is in disagreement with another, but not vice-versa. In this paper, I give an example of and develop a framework for understanding this phenomenon. One pivotal feature of my example is that one of the agents in the scenario has a belief about what might be the case—a might-belief. I show that a traditional account of might-beliefs and disagreement cannot explain the initially surprising phenomenon of asymmetric disagreement. In order to provide an explanation, I develop a dynamic account of might-beliefs and a corresponding account of disagreement. I close by exploring a choice point for our account—showing that the simple dynamic account has some controversial (though, perhaps, true) consequences. I explore how revisionary notions of validity, inconsistency, and disagreement can allow us to avoid these consequences if we wish.
Keywords Disagreement  Epistemic Modals  Dynamic Semantics  Consistency  Validity  Belief
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-018-1688-9
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References found in this work BETA

Epistemic Modals.Seth Yalcin - 2007 - Mind 116 (464):983-1026.
Epistemic Modals, Relativism and Assertion.Andy Egan - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (1):1--22.
Epistemic Modals Are Assessment-Sensitive.John MacFarlane - 2011 - In Andy Egan & B. Weatherson (eds.), Epistemic Modality. Oxford University Press.
Conversational Impliciture.Kent Bach - 1994 - Mind and Language 9 (2):124-162.

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