Topoi 36 (1):131-140 (2015)

Authors
David Sackris
Arapahoe Community College
Abstract
I propose and defend an account on which the semantic content of propositions expressed by utterances making use of modals epistemically is constant; i.e., invariant. Although such proposals are typically considered non-starters, I aim to show that combining such a semantics with a performative account in which such utterances perform two speech acts is quite promising. I argue that a performative account, when combined with an invariant semantic content theory, does a good job of accounting for ordinary intuitions in some of the standard test cases discussed in the literature. I further show that the contextualist has a little noticed problem with how a single speaker is able to consider the same epistemic possibility proposition over time. An invariant position has no such problem, and I argue that this counts strongly in its favor.
Keywords Philosophy of language  epistemic modals  contextualism
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Reprint years 2015, 2017
DOI 10.1007/s11245-015-9341-4
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References found in this work BETA

Philosophical Papers.J. L. Austin - 1961 - Oxford University Press.
Relativism and Monadic Truth.Herman Cappelen & John Hawthorne - 2009 - Oxford University Press UK.
Epistemic Modals.Seth Yalcin - 2007 - Mind 116 (464):983-1026.

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