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Benjamin Lennertz
Colgate University
  1.  63
    Noncognitivism and the Frege‐Geach Problem in Formal Epistemology.Benjamin Lennertz - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (1):184-208.
    This paper makes explicit the way in which many theorists of the epistemology of uncertainty, or formal epistemologists, are committed to a version of noncognitivism—one about thoughts that something is likely. It does so by drawing an analogy with metaethical noncognitivism. I explore the degree to which the motivations for both views are similar and how both views have to grapple with the Frege‐Geach Problem about complex thoughts. The major upshot of recognizing this noncognitivism is that it presents challenges and (...)
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  2.  44
    Quantificational Credences.Benjamin Lennertz - 2015 - Philosophers' Imprint 15.
    In addition to full beliefs, agents have attitudes of varying confidence, or credences. For instance, I do not believe that the Boston Red Sox will win the American League East this year, but I am at least a little bit confident that they will – i.e. I have a positive credence that they will. It is also common to think that agents have conditional credences. For instance, I am very confident – i.e. have a conditional credence of very-likely strength – (...)
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  3. A Dutch Book Theorem for Quantificational Credences.Benjamin Lennertz - 2017 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4.
    In this paper, I present an argument for a rational norm involving a kind of credal attitude called a quantificational credence – the kind of attitude we can report by saying that Lucy thinks that each record in Schroeder’s collection is 5% likely to be scratched. I prove a result called a Dutch Book Theorem, which constitutes conditional support for the norm. Though Dutch Book Theorems exist for norms on ordinary and conditional credences, there is controversy about the epistemic significance (...)
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  4. Simple Contextualism About Epistemic Modals Is Incorrect.Benjamin Lennertz - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (4):252-262.
    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 (...)
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  5.  71
    Taking 'Might'‐Communication Seriously.Benjamin Lennertz - 2014 - Analytic Philosophy 55 (2):176-198.
    In this paper, I show that, given seemingly plausible assumptions about the epistemic ‘might’ and conditionals, we cannot explain why in some circumstances it is appropriate to utter conditional ‘might’-sentences, like “If Angelica has crumbs in her pocket, then she might be the thief” and not the corresponding simple ones, like “Angelica might be the thief.” So, one of our assumptions must be incorrect. I argue that the root of the problem is an umbrella thesis about the pragmatics of ‘might’-communication (...)
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  6.  45
    Might-Beliefs and Asymmetric Disagreement.Benjamin Lennertz - 2019 - Synthese 196 (11):4775-4805.
    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 (...)
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  7.  34
    Probabilistic Consistency Norms and Quantificational Credences.Benjamin Lennertz - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6).
    In addition to beliefs, people have attitudes of confidence called credences. Combinations of credences, like combinations of beliefs, can be inconsistent. It is common to use tools from probability theory to understand the normative relationships between a person’s credences. More precisely, it is common to think that something is a consistency norm on a person’s credal state if and only if it is a simple transformation of a truth of probability. Though it is common to challenge the right-to-left direction of (...)
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  8.  51
    What Might but Must Not Be.Stephen Finlay & Benjamin Lennertz - 2021 - Analysis 80 (4):647-656.
    We examine an objection to analysing the epistemic ‘might’ and ‘may’ as existential quantifiers over possibilities. Some claims that a proposition “might” be the case appear felicitous although, according to the quantifier analysis, they are necessarily false, since there are no possibilities in which the proposition is true. We explain such cases pragmatically, relying on the fact that ‘might’-sentences are standardly used to convey that the speaker takes a proposition as a serious option in reasoning. Our account explains why it (...)
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  9.  24
    Linguistic Disobedience.David Miguel Gray & Benjamin Lennertz - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (21):1-16.
    There has recently been a flurry of activity in the philosophy of language on how to best account for the unique features of epithets. One of these features is that epithets can be appropriated (that is, the offense-grounding potential of a term can be removed). We argue that attempts to appropriate an epithet fundamentally involve a violation of language-governing rules. We suggest that the other conditions that make something an attempt at appropriation are the same conditions that characterize acts of (...)
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  10.  13
    Evaluating the Multiple Proposition Strategy.Benjamin Lennertz - 2020 - Ratio 33 (3):163-172.
    Contextualism about many expressions faces a common objection: in some discourses it appears that there is no single interpretation which can explain how a speaker is justified in making her assertion and how a hearer with different information or standards is justified in negatively evaluating what the speaker said. According to the Multiple Proposition Strategy , contextualists may attempt to explain these competing features pragmatically in terms of different propositions in play. In this paper I argue against the Multiple Proposition (...)
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  11.  24
    Probabilistic Antecedents and Conditional Attitudes.Benjamin Lennertz - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (1):62-79.
    I generalize the notion of a conditional attitude by bringing together two topics of inquiry. One is the ordinary inquiry into conditional attitudes. The other topic is the inquiry into the attitude of thinking that a proposition is likely, or having a high credence in a proposition. For instance, what is it to intend to go to the game if it is likely that Kershaw pitches? Being likely that Kershaw pitches is the condition of the attitude. Given a natural position (...)
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