16 found
Order:
See also
Malte Willer
University of Chicago
  1. Dynamics of Epistemic Modality.Malte Willer - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (1):45-92.
    A dynamic semantics for epistemically modalized sentences is an attractive alternative to the orthodox view that our best theory of meaning ascribes to such sentences truth-conditions relative to what is known. This essay demonstrates that a dynamic theory about might and must offers elegant explanations of a range of puzzling observations about epistemic modals. The first part of the story offers a unifying treatment of disputes about epistemic modality and disputes about matters of fact while at the same time avoiding (...)
    Direct download (8 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   90 citations  
  2.  55
    Assertion, expression, experience.Christopher Kennedy & Malte Willer - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (7):821-857.
    ABSTRACT It has been frequently observed in the literature that assertions of plain sentences containing predicates like fun and frightening give rise to an acquaintance inference: they imply that the speaker has first-hand knowledge of the item under consideration. The goal of this paper is to develop and defend a broadly expressivist explanation of this phenomenon: acquaintance inferences arise because plain sentences containing subjective predicates are designed to express distinguished kinds of attitudes that differ from beliefs in that they can (...)
    No categories
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   7 citations  
  3. Two puzzles about ability can.Malte Willer - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (3):551-586.
    The received wisdom on ability modals is that they differ from their epistemic and deontic cousins in what inferences they license and better receive a universal or conditional analysis instead of an existential one. The goal of this paper is to sharpen the empirical picture about the semantics of ability modals, and to propose an analysis that explains what makes the can of ability so special but that also preserves the crucial idea that all uses of can share a common (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   7 citations  
  4.  47
    Familiarity inferences, subjective attitudes and counterstance contingency: towards a pragmatic theory of subjective meaning.Christopher Kennedy & Malte Willer - 2022 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (6):1395-1445.
    Subjective predicates have two interpretive and distributional characteristics that have resisted a comprehensive analysis. First, the use of a subjective predicate to describe an object is in general felicitous only when the speaker has a particular kind of familiarity with relevant features of the object; characterizing an object as _tasty,_ for example, implies that the speaker has experience of its taste. Second, subjective predicates differ from objective predicates in their distribution under certain types of propositional attitude verbs. The goal of (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   5 citations  
  5.  89
    Simplifying with Free Choice.Malte Willer - 2018 - Topoi 37 (3):379-392.
    This paper offers a unified semantic explanation of two observations that prove to be problematic for classical analyses of modals, conditionals, and disjunctions: the fact that disjunctions scoping under possibility modals give rise to the free choice effect and the fact that counterfactuals license simplification of disjunctive antecedents. It shows that the data are well explained by a dynamic semantic analysis of modals and conditionals that uses ideas from the inquisitive semantic tradition in its treatment of disjunction. The analysis explains (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   17 citations  
  6. A Remark on Iffy Oughts.Malte Willer - 2012 - Journal of Philosophy 109 (7):449-461.
    Every adequate semantics for conditionals and deontic ought must offer a solution to the miners paradox about conditional obligations. Kolodny and MacFarlane have recently argued that such a semantics must reject the validity of modus ponens. I demonstrate that rejecting the validity of modus ponens is inessential for an adequate solution to the paradox.
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   22 citations  
  7. Dynamic Thoughts on Ifs and Oughts.Malte Willer - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14:1-30.
    A dynamic semantics for iffy oughts offers an attractive alternative to the folklore that Chisholm's paradox enforces an unhappy choice between the intuitive inference rules of factual and deontic detachment. The first part of the story told here shows how a dynamic theory about ifs and oughts gives rise to a nonmonotonic perspective on deontic discourse and reasoning that elegantly removes the air of paradox from Chisholm's puzzle without sacrificing any of the two detachment principles. The second part of the (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   15 citations  
  8.  72
    Lessons from Sobel sequences.Malte Willer - 2017 - Semantics and Pragmatics 10 (4):1-57.
    Folklore has it that Sobel sequences favor a variably strict analysis of conditionals over its plainly strict alternative. While recent discussions for or against the lore have focussed on Sobel sequences involving counterfactuals, this paper draws attention to the fact that indicative Sobel sequences are just as felicitous as are their counterfactual cousins. The fact, or so I shall argue here, disrupts the folklore: given minimal assumptions about the semantics and pragmatics of indicative conditionals, a textbook variably strict analysis fails (...)
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   15 citations  
  9. An Update on Epistemic Modals.Malte Willer - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (6):835–849.
    Epistemic modals are a prominent topic in the literature on natural language semantics, with wide-ranging implications for issues in philosophy of language and philosophical logic. Considerations about the role that epistemic "might" and "must" play in discourse and reasoning have led to the development of several important alternatives to classical possible worlds semantics for natural language modal expressions. This is an opinionated overview of what I take to be some of the most exciting issues and developments in the field.
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   7 citations  
  10. New surprises for the Ramsey Test.Malte Willer - 2010 - Synthese 176 (2):291 - 309.
    In contemporary discussions of the Ramsey Test for conditionals, it is commonly held that (i) supposing the antecedent of a conditional is adopting a potential state of full belief, and (ii) Modus Ponens is a valid rule of inference. I argue on the basis of Thomason Conditionals (such as ' If Sally is deceiving, I do not believe it') and Moore's Paradox that both claims are wrong. I then develop a double-indexed Update Semantics for conditionals which takes these two results (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   11 citations  
  11. Advice for Noncognitivists.Malte Willer - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):174–207.
    Metaethical noncognitivists have trouble arriving at a respectable semantic theory for moral language. The goal of this article is to make substantial progress toward demonstrating that these problems may be overcome. Replacing the predominant expressivist semantic agenda in metaethics with a dynamic perspective on meaning and communication allows noncognitivists to provide a satisfying analysis of negation and other constructions that have been argued to be problematic for metaethical noncognitivism, including disjunctions. The resulting proposal preserves some of the key insights from (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  12.  1
    Advice for Noncognitivists.Malte Willer - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (262):174-207.
    Metaethical noncognitivists have trouble arriving at a respectable semantic theory for moral language. The goal of this article is to make substantial progress toward demonstrating that these problems may be overcome. Replacing the predominant expressivist semantic agenda in metaethics with a dynamic perspective on meaning and communication allows noncognitivists to provide a satisfying analysis of negation and other constructions that have been argued to be problematic for metaethical noncognitivism, including disjunctions. The resulting proposal preserves some of the key insights from (...)
    No categories
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  13. Realizing what might be.Malte Willer - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 153 (3):365 - 375.
    Schulz has shown that the suppositional view of indicative conditionals leads to a corresponding view of epistemic modals. But his case backfires: the resulting theory of epistemic modals gets the facts wrong, and so we end up with a good argument against the suppositional view. I show how and why a dynamic view of indicative conditionals leads to a better theory of epistemic modals.
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  14.  12
    Dynamic semantics versus dynamic propositionalism.Malte Willer - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Una Stojnić's Context and Coherence: The Logic and Grammar of Prominence offers a series of interesting criticisms of the classical dynamic paradigm in natural language semantics and offers a sophisticated alternative outlook, one that does recognize a dynamic, context change inducing dimension of meaning but at the same preserves the idea that (declarative) utterances express propositions in context. The purpose of this note is to set the record straight: existing dynamic analyses of modals and conditionals compare favorably with Stojnić's dynamic (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  15.  85
    Deontic Logic and Normative Systems.Olivier Roy, Allard Tamminga & Malte Willer (eds.) - 2016 - London, UK: College Publications.
    The biennial DEON conferences are designed to promote interdisciplinary cooperation amongst scholars interested in linking the formal-logical study of normative concepts and normative systems with computer science, artificial intelligence, linguistics, philosophy, organization theory and law. In addition to these general themes, DEON 2016 encouraged a special focus on the topic "Reasons, Argumentation and Justification.".
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  16.  41
    Epistemic Modality. [REVIEW]Malte Willer - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (4):641-647.
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark