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Peter Hawke
University of Amsterdam
  1. 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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  2.  25
    Semantic expressivism for epistemic modals.Peter Hawke & Shane Steinert-Threlkeld - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-37.
    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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  3. Knowability Relative to Information.Peter Hawke & Franz Berto - forthcoming - Mind.
    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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  4.  53
    The Fundamental Problem of Logical Omniscience.Peter Hawke, Aybüke Özgün & Francesco Berto - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-40.
    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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    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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  6. 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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  7. Can Modal Skepticism Defeat Humean Skepticism?Peter Hawke - 2017 - In Bob Fischer Felipe Leon (ed.), Modal Epistemology After Rationalism. Dordrecht: Synthese Library. 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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  8.  47
    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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  9. 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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  10. 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. Springer Verlag.
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