17 found
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  1. Knowability Relative to Information.Peter Hawke & Franz Berto - 2021 - Mind 130 (517):1-33.
    We present a formal semantics for epistemic logic, capturing the notion of knowability relative to information (KRI). Like Dretske, we move from the platitude that what an agent can know depends on her (empirical) information. We treat operators of the form K_AB (‘B is knowable on the basis of information A’) as variably strict quantifiers over worlds with a topic- or aboutness- preservation constraint. Variable strictness models the non-monotonicity of knowledge acquisition while allowing knowledge to be intrinsically stable. Aboutness-preservation models (...)
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  2. Topics of Thought. The Logic of Knowledge, Belief, Imagination.Franz Berto, Peter Hawke & Aybüke Özgün - 2022 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    When one thinks—knows, believes, imagines—that something is the case, one’s thought has a topic: it is about something, towards which one’s mind is directed. What is the logic of thought, so understood? This book begins to explore the idea that, to answer the question, we should take topics seriously. It proposes a hyperintensional account of the propositional contents of thought, arguing that these are individuated not only by the set of possible worlds at which they are true, but also by (...)
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  3. The Fundamental Problem of Logical Omniscience.Peter Hawke, Aybüke Özgün & Francesco Berto - 2020 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 49 (4):727-766.
    We propose a solution to the problem of logical omniscience in what we take to be its fundamental version: as concerning arbitrary agents and the knowledge attitude per se. Our logic of knowledge is a spin-off from a general theory of thick content, whereby the content of a sentence has two components: an intension, taking care of truth conditions; and a topic, taking care of subject matter. We present a list of plausible logical validities and invalidities for the logic of (...)
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  4. Theories of Aboutness.Peter Hawke - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (4):697-723.
    Our topic is the theory of topics. My goal is to clarify and evaluate three competing traditions: what I call the way-based approach, the atom-based approach, and the subject-predicate approach. I develop criteria for adequacy using robust linguistic intuitions that feature prominently in the literature. Then I evaluate the extent to which various existing theories satisfy these constraints. I conclude that recent theories due to Parry, Perry, Lewis, and Yablo do not meet the constraints in total. I then introduce the (...)
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  5. Truthmaker Semantics for Epistemic Logic.Peter Hawke & Aybüke Özgün - 2023 - In Federico L. G. Faroldi & Frederik Van De Putte (eds.), Kit Fine on Truthmakers, Relevance, and Non-classical Logic. Springer Verlag. pp. 295-335.
    We explore some possibilities for developing epistemic logic using truthmaker semantics. We identify three possible targets of analysis for the epistemic logician. We then list some candidate epistemic principles and review the arguments that render some controversial. We then present the classic Hintikkan approach to epistemic logic and note—as per the ‘problem of logical omniscience’—that it validates all of the aforementioned principles, controversial or otherwise. We then lay out a truthmaker framework in the style of Kit Fine and present six (...)
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  6. Semantic expressivism for epistemic modals.Peter Hawke & Shane Steinert-Threlkeld - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (2):475-511.
    Expressivists about epistemic modals deny that ‘Jane might be late’ canonically serves to express the speaker’s acceptance of a certain propositional content. Instead, they hold that it expresses a lack of acceptance. Prominent expressivists embrace pragmatic expressivism: the doxastic property expressed by a declarative is not helpfully identified with that sentence’s compositional semantic value. Against this, we defend semantic expressivism about epistemic modals: the semantic value of a declarative from this domain is the property of doxastic attitudes it canonically serves (...)
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  7. Truth, Topicality, and Transparency: One-Component Versus Two-Component Semantics.Peter Hawke, Levin Hornischer & Franz Berto - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy.
    When do two sentences say the same thing, that is, express the same content? We defend two-component (2C) semantics: the view that propositional contents comprise (at least) two irreducibly distinct constituents, (1) truth-conditions, and (2) subject-matter. We contrast 2C with one-component (1C) semantics, focusing on the view that subject-matter is reducible to truth- conditions. We identify exponents of this view and argue in favor of 2C. An appendix proposes a general formal template for propositional 2C semantics.
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  8. Questions, topics and restricted closure.Peter Hawke - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (10):2759-2784.
    Single-premise epistemic closure is the principle that: if one is in an evidential position to know that P where P entails Q, then one is in an evidential position to know that Q. In this paper, I defend the viability of opposition to closure. A key task for such an opponent is to precisely formulate a restricted closure principle that remains true to the motivations for abandoning unrestricted closure but does not endorse particularly egregious instances of closure violation. I focus (...)
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  9. Van Inwagen’s modal skepticism.Peter Hawke - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 153 (3):351-364.
    In this paper, the author defends Peter van Inwagen’s modal skepticism. Van Inwagen accepts that we have much basic, everyday modal knowledge, but denies that we have the capacity to justify philosophically interesting modal claims that are far removed from this basic knowledge. The author also defends the argument by means of which van Inwagen supports his modal skepticism, offering a rebuttal to an objection along the lines of that proposed by Geirrson. Van Inwagen argues that Stephen Yablo’s recent and (...)
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    Informational dynamics of epistemic possibility modals.Peter Hawke & Shane Steinert-Threlkeld - 2018 - Synthese 195 (10):4309-4342.
    We investigate, in a logical setting, the expressivist proposal that assertion primarily functions to express and coordinate doxastic states and that ‘might’ fundamentally expresses lack of belief. We provide a formal model of an agent’s doxastic state and novel assertability conditions for an associated formal language. We thereby prove that an arbitrary assertion always succeeds in expressing a well-defined doxastic state, and propose a fully general and intuitive update operation as a model of an agent coming to accept an arbitrary (...)
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  11. Stable Acceptance for Mighty Knowledge.Peter Hawke - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Drawing on the puzzling behavior of ordinary knowledge ascriptions that embed an epistemic (im)possibility claim, we tentatively conclude that it is untenable to jointly endorse (i) an unfettered classical logic for epistemic language, (ii) the general veridicality of knowledge ascription, and (iii) an intuitive ‘negative transparency’ thesis that reduces knowledge of a simple negated ‘might’ claim to an epistemic claim without modal content. We motivate a strategic trade-off: preserve veridicality and (generalized) negative transparency, while abandoning the general validity of contraposition. (...)
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  12. Modal Knowledge For Expressivists.Peter Hawke - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic.
    What does ‘Smith knows that it might be raining’ mean? Expressivism here faces a challenge, as its basic forms entail a pernicious type of transparency, according to which ‘Smith knows that it might be raining’ is equivalent to ‘it is consistent with everything that Smith knows that it is raining’ or ‘Smith doesn’t know that it isn’t raining’. Pernicious transparency has direct counterexamples and undermines vanilla principles of epistemic logic, such as that knowledge entails true belief and that something can (...)
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  13. Are Gettier cases disturbing?Peter Hawke & Tom Schoonen - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (5):1503-1527.
    We examine a prominent naturalistic line on the method of cases, exemplified by Timothy Williamson and Edouard Machery: MoC is given a fallibilist and non-exceptionalist treatment, accommodating moderate modal skepticism. But Gettier cases are in dispute: Williamson takes them to induce substantive philosophical knowledge; Machery claims that the ambitious use of MoC should be abandoned entirely. We defend an intermediate position. We offer an internal critique of Macherian pessimism about Gettier cases. Most crucially, we argue that Gettier cases needn’t exhibit (...)
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  14. Can Modal Skepticism Defeat Humean Skepticism?Peter Hawke - 2016 - In Bob Fischer & Felipe Leon (eds.), Modal Epistemology After Rationalism. Cham: Springer. pp. 281-308.
    My topic is moderate modal skepticism in the spirit of Peter van Inwagen. Here understood, this is a conservative version of modal empiricism that severely limits the extent to which an ordinary agent can reasonably believe “exotic” possibility claims. I offer a novel argument in support of this brand of skepticism: modal skepticism grounds an attractive (and novel) reply to Humean skepticism. Thus, I propose that modal skepticism be accepted on the basis of its theoretical utility as a tool for (...)
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  15. Relevant Alternatives and Missed Clues: Redux.Peter Hawke - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    I construe Relevant Alternatives Theory (RAT) as an abstract combination of anti-skepticism and epistemic modesty, then re-evaluate the challenge posed to it by the missed clue counter-examples of Schaffer [2001]. The import of this challenge has been underestimated, as Schaffer’s specific argument invites distracting objections. I offer a novel formalization of RAT, accommodating a suitably wide class of concrete theories of knowledge. Then, I introduce abstract missed clue cases and prove that every RA theory, as formalized, admits such a case. (...)
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  16.  39
    Relevant Alternatives in Epistemology and Logic.Peter Hawke - 2016 - In Ángel Nepomuceno Fernández, Olga Pombo Martins & Juan Redmond (eds.), Epistemology, Knowledge and the Impact of Interaction. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Verlag.
    The goal of the current paper is to provide an introduction to and survey of the diverse landscape of relevant alternatives theories of knowledge. Emphasis is placed throughout both on the abstractness of the relevant alternatives approach and its amenability to formalization through logical techniques. We present some of the important motivations for adopting the relevant alternatives approach; briefly explore the connections and contrasts between the relevant alternatives approach and related developments in logic, epistemology and philosophy of science; provide a (...)
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  17. The Logic of Joint Ability in Two-Player Tacit Games.Peter Hawke - 2017 - Review of Symbolic Logic 10 (3):481-508.
    Logics of joint strategic ability have recently received attention, with arguably the most influential being those in a family that includes Coalition Logic (CL) and Alternating-time Temporal Logic (ATL). Notably, both CL and ATL bypass the epistemic issues that underpin Schelling-type coordination problems, by apparently relying on the meta-level assumption of (perfectly reliable) communication between cooperating rational agents. Yet such epistemic issues arise naturally in settings relevant to ATL and CL: these logics are standardly interpreted on structures where agents move (...)
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