Authors
Brian Rabern
University of Edinburgh
Abstract
Quine insisted that the satisfaction of an open modalised formula by an object depends on how that object is described. Kripke’s "objectual" interpretation of quantified modal logic, whereby variables are rigid, is commonly thought to avoid these Quinean worries. Yet there remain residual Quinean worries in the epistemic case. Theorists have recently been toying with assignment-shifting treatments of epistemic contexts. On such views an epistemic operator ends up binding all the variables in its scope. One might worry that this yields the undesirable result that any attempt to "quantify in" to an epistemic environment is blocked. But a famous alternative to Kripke's semantics, namely Lewis' counterpart semantics, also faces this worry, since it also treats the boxes and diamonds as assignment-shifting devices. As I'll demonstrate, the mere fact that a variable is bound is no obstacle to binding it. This provides a helpful lesson for those modelling de re epistemic contexts with assignment sensitivity, and perhaps leads the way toward the proper treatment of binding in both metaphysical and epistemic contexts: Kripke for metaphysical modality, Lewis for epistemic modality.
Keywords modality de re  epistemic modals  quantified modal logic  assignment shifting  counterpart semantics  variable binding
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DOI 10.1080/0020174x.2018.1470568
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References found in this work BETA

On the Plurality of Worlds.William G. Lycan - 1988 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (1):42-47.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1981 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1985 - Critica 17 (49):69-71.

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Citations of this work BETA

Names Are Variables.Anders J. Schoubye - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (1):53-94.
Semantic Monsters.Brian Rabern - forthcoming - In Heimir Geirsson & Stephen Biggs (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Linguistic Reference.

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