Epistemic Modalities and Relative Truth

Abstract

I want to discuss a puzzle about the semantics of epistemic modals, like “It might be the case that” as it occurs in “It might be the case that Goldbach’s conjecture is false.”1 I’ll argue that the puzzle cannot be adequately explained on standard accounts of the semantics of epistemic modals, and that a proper solution requires relativizing utterance truth to a context of assessment, a semantic device whose utility and coherence I have defended elsewhere for future contingents (MacFarlane..

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Author's Profile

John MacFarlane
University of California, Berkeley

Citations of this work

Epistemic Modals, Relativism and Assertion.Andy Egan - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (1):1--22.
Against Arguments From Reference.Ron Mallon, Edouard Machery, Shaun Nichols & Stephen Stich - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):332 - 356.
Lying, Speech Acts, and Commitment.Neri Marsili - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3245-3269.
CIA Leaks.Kai von Fintel & Anthony S. Gillies - 2008 - Philosophical Review 117 (1):77-98.
Epistemic Modals and Context: Experimental Data.Joshua Knobe & Seth Yalcin - 2014 - Semantics and Pragmatics 7 (10):1-21.

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References found in this work

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):452-458.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.

View all 28 references / Add more references