Simple Contextualism about Epistemic Modals Is Incorrect

Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (4):252-262 (2014)
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Abstract

I argue against a simple contextualist account of epistemic modals. My argument, like the argument on which it is based , charges that simple contextualism cannot explain all of the conversational data about uses of epistemic modals. My argument improves on its predecessor by insulating itself from recent contextualist attempts by Janice Dowell and Igor Yanovich to get around that argument. In particular, I use linguistic data to show that an utterance of an epistemic modal sentence can be warranted, while an utterance of its suggested simple contextualist paraphrase is not

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Benjamin Lennertz
Colgate University

References found in this work

The Logical Basis of Metaphysics.Michael Dummett - 1991 - Harvard University Press.
Epistemic Modals.Seth Yalcin - 2007 - Mind 116 (464):983-1026.
Index, Context, and Content.David K. Lewis - 1980 - In Stig Kanger & Sven Öhman (eds.), Philosophy and Grammar. Reidel. pp. 79-100.

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