Results for 'modals'

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  1. Epistemic Modals.Seth Yalcin - 2007 - Mind 116 (464):983-1026.
    Epistemic modal operators give rise to something very like, but also very unlike, Moore's paradox. I set out the puzzling phenomena, explain why a standard relational semantics for these operators cannot handle them, and recommend an alternative semantics. A pragmatics appropriate to the semantics is developed and interactions between the semantics, the pragmatics, and the definition of consequence are investigated. The semantics is then extended to probability operators. Some problems and prospects for probabilistic representations of content and context are explored.
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  2. Epistemic Modals Are Assessment-Sensitive.John MacFarlane - 2011 - In Andy Egan & Brian Weatherson (eds.), Epistemic Modality. Oxford University Press.
    By “epistemic modals,” I mean epistemic uses of modal words: adverbs like “necessarily,” “possibly,” and “probably,” adjectives like “necessary,” “possible,” and “probable,” and auxiliaries like “might,” “may,” “must,” and “could.” It is hard to say exactly what makes a word modal, or what makes a use of a modal epistemic, without begging the questions that will be our concern below, but some examples should get the idea across. If I say “Goldbach’s conjecture might be true, and it might be (...)
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  3. Epistemic Modals, Relativism and Assertion.Andy Egan - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (1):1--22.
    I think that there are good reasons to adopt a relativist semantics for epistemic modal claims such as ``the treasure might be under the palm tree'', according to which such utterances determine a truth value relative to something finer-grained than just a world (or a <world, time> pair). Anyone who is inclined to relativise truth to more than just worlds and times faces a problem about assertion. It's easy to be puzzled about just what purpose would be served by assertions (...)
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  4. Epistemic Modals in Context.Andy Egan, John Hawthorne & Brian Weatherson - 2005 - In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Contextualism in Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 131-170.
    A very simple contextualist treatment of a sentence containing an epistemic modal, e.g. a might be F, is that it is true iff for all the contextually salient community knows, a is F. It is widely agreed that the simple theory will not work in some cases, but the counterexamples produced so far seem amenable to a more complicated contextualist theory. We argue, however, that no contextualist theory can capture the evaluations speakers naturally make of sentences containing epistemic modals. (...)
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  5. Agentive Modals.Matthew Mandelkern, Ginger Schultheis & David Boylan - 2017 - Philosophical Review 126 (3):301-343.
    This essay proposes a new theory of agentive modals: ability modals and their duals, compulsion modals. After criticizing existing approaches—the existential quantificational analysis, the universal quantificational analysis, and the conditional analysis—it presents a new account that builds on both the existential and conditional analyses. On this account, the act conditional analysis, a sentence like ‘John can swim across the river’ says that there is some practically available action that is such that if John tries to do it, (...)
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  6. Deontic Modals and Probability: One Theory to Rule Them All?Fabrizio Cariani - forthcoming - In Nate Charlow & Matthew Chrisman (eds.), Deontic Modality. Oxford University Press.
    This paper motivates and develops a novel semantic framework for deontic modals. The framework is designed to shed light on two things: the relationship between deontic modals and substantive theories of practical rationality and the interaction of deontic modals with conditionals, epistemic modals and probability operators. I argue that, in order to model inferential connections between deontic modals and probability operators, we need more structure than is provided by classical intensional theories. In particular, we need (...)
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  7. Epistemic Modals and Context: Experimental Data.Joshua Knobe & Seth Yalcin - 2014 - Semantics and Pragmatics 7 (10):1-21.
    Recently, a number of theorists (MacFarlane (2003, 2011), Egan et al. (2005), Egan (2007), Stephenson (2007a,b)) have argued that an adequate semantics and pragmatics for epistemic modals calls for some technical notion of relativist truth and/or relativist content. Much of this work has relied on an empirical thesis about speaker judgments, namely that competent speakers tend to judge a present-tense bare epistemic possibility claim true only if the prejacent is compatible with their information. Relativists have in particular appealed to (...)
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  8.  59
    Modals as Distributive Indefinites.Hotze Rullmann, Lisa Matthewson & Henry Davis - 2008 - Natural Language Semantics 16 (4):317-357.
    Modals in St’át’imcets (Lillooet Salish) show two differences from their counterparts in English. First, they have variable quantificational force, systematically allowing both possibility and necessity interpretations; and second, they lexically restrict the conversational background, distinguishing for example between deontic and (several kinds of) epistemic modality. We provide an analysis of the St’át’imcets modals according to which they are akin to specific indefinites in the nominal domain. They introduce choice function variables which select a subset of the accessible worlds. (...)
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  9. Conditionals, Modals, and Hypothetical Syllogism.Lee Walters - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (1):90-97.
    Moti Mizrahi (2013) presents some novel counterexamples to Hypothetical Syllogism (HS) for indicative conditionals. I show that they are not compelling as they neglect the complicated ways in which conditionals and modals interact. I then briefly outline why HS should nevertheless be rejected.
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  10. Epistemic Modals and Informational Consequence.Moritz Schulz - 2010 - Synthese 174 (3):385 - 395.
    Recently, Yalcin (Epistemic modals. Mind, 116 , 983–1026, 2007) put forward a novel account of epistemic modals. It is based on the observation that sentences of the form ‘ & Might ’ do not embed under ‘suppose’ and ‘if’. Yalcin concludes that such sentences must be contradictory and develops a notion of informational consequence which validates this idea. I will show that informational consequence is inadequate as an account of the logic of epistemic modals: it cannot deal (...)
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  11. Modals with a Taste of the Deontic.Zoltán Gendler Szabó & Joshua Knobe - 2013 - Semantics and Pragmatics 6 (1):1-42.
    The aim of this paper is to present an explanation for the impact of normative considerations on people’s assessment of certain seemingly purely descriptive matters. The explanation is based on two main claims. First, a large category of expressions are tacitly modal: they are contextually equivalent to modal proxies. Second, the interpretation of predominantly circumstantial or teleological modals is subject to certain constraints which make certain possibilities salient at the expense of others.
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  12.  70
    Epistemic Modals and Credal Disagreement.Torfinn Thomesen Huvenes - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):987-1011.
    Considerations involving disagreement, as well as related considerations involving correction and retraction, have played an important role in recent debates about epistemic modals. For instance, it has been argued that contextualist views about epistemic modals have problems when it comes to explaining cases of disagreement. In response to these challenges, I explore the idea that the relevant cases of disagreement may involve credal disagreement. In a case of credal disagreement, the parties have different degrees of belief or credences. (...)
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  13.  47
    Deontic Modals.Matthew Chrisman - 2015 - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  14.  11
    Deontic Modals.Jennifer Carr - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 194-210.
    This chapter provides a selective survey of prominent theories of the semantics of deontic modals in logic and natural language. We focus on Kratzer’s (1977; 1981; 1991) semantics and extensions to this analysis. Kratzer’s semantics has been far and away the most influential theory of deontic modals, which provide a base case for the interpretation of normative language in general. Understanding the logic and truth-conditions of normative language is one of the core areas of metaethics. It informs our (...)
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  15. Judge Dependence, Epistemic Modals, and Predicates of Personal Taste.Tamina Stephenson - 2007 - Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (4):487--525.
    Predicates of personal taste (fun, tasty) and epistemic modals (might, must) share a similar analytical difficulty in determining whose taste or knowledge is being expressed. Accordingly, they have parallel behavior in attitude reports and in a certain kind of disagreement. On the other hand, they differ in how freely they can be linked to a contextually salient individual, with epistemic modals being much more restricted in this respect. I propose an account of both classes using Lasersohn’s (Linguistics and (...)
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  16. Modals and Modal Epistemology.Jonathan Ichikawa - 2016 - In Amy Kind & Peter Kung (eds.), Knowledge Through Imagination. Oxford University Press. pp. 124-144.
    I distinguish (§1) two projects in modal epistemology—one about how we come to know modal truths, and one about why we have the ability so to come to know. The latter, I suggest, (§§2–3) is amenable to an evolutionary treatment in terms of general capacities developed to evaluate quotidian modal claims. I compare (§4) this approach to a recent suggestion in a similar spirit by Christopher Hill and Timothy Williamson, emphasizing counterfactual conditionals instead of quotidian modals; I argue that (...)
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  17. Embedding Epistemic Modals.Cian Dorr & John Hawthorne - 2013 - Mind 122 (488):867-914.
    Seth Yalcin has pointed out some puzzling facts about the behaviour of epistemic modals in certain embedded contexts. For example, conditionals that begin ‘If it is raining and it might not be raining, … ’ sound unacceptable, unlike conditionals that begin ‘If it is raining and I don’t know it, … ’. These facts pose a prima facie problem for an orthodox treatment of epistemic modals as expressing propositions about the knowledge of some contextually specified individual or group. (...)
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  18. Weak and Strong Necessity Modals: On Linguistic Means of Expressing "A Primitive Concept OUGHT".Alex Silk - forthcoming - In Meaning, Decision, and Norms: Themes from the Work of Allan Gibbard.
    This paper develops an account of the meaning of `ought', and the distinction between weak necessity modals (`ought', `should') and strong necessity modals (`must', `have to'). I argue that there is nothing specially ``strong'' about strong necessity modals per se: uses of `Must p' predicate the (deontic/epistemic/etc.) necessity of the prejacent p of the actual world (evaluation world). The apparent ``weakness'' of weak necessity modals derives from their bracketing whether the necessity of the prejacent is verified (...)
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  19. Epistemic Modals and Correct Disagreement.Richard Dietz - 2008 - In G. Carpintero & M. Koelbel (eds.), Relative Truth. Oxford University Press. pp. 239--264.
  20. Modals Under Epistemic Tension.Guillermo Del Pinal & Brandon Waldon - 2019 - Natural Language Semantics 27 (2):135-188.
    According to Kratzer’s influential account of epistemic 'must' and 'might', these operators involve quantification over domains of possibilities determined by a modal base and an ordering source. Recently, this account has been challenged by invoking contexts of ‘epistemic tension’: i.e., cases in which an assertion that 'must p' is conjoined with the possibility that 'not p', and cases in which speakers try to downplay a previous assertion that 'must p', after finding out that 'not p'. Epistemic tensions have been invoked (...)
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  21. Flexible Contextualism About Deontic Modals: A Puzzle About Information-Sensitivity.J. L. Dowell - 2013 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 56 (2-3):149-178.
    According to a recent challenge to Kratzer's canonical contextualist semantics for deontic modal expressions, no contextualist view can make sense of cases in which such a modal must be information-sensitive in some way. Here I show how Kratzer's semantics is compatible with readings of the targeted sentences that fit with the data. I then outline a general account of how contexts select parameter values for modal expressions and show, in terms of that account, how the needed, contextualist-friendly readings might plausibly (...)
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  22.  24
    Deontic Modals and Hyperintensionality.Federico L. G. Faroldi - 2019 - Logic Journal of the IGPL 27 (4):387-410.
    In this paper I argue that deontic modals are hyperintensional, i.e. logically equivalent contents cannot be substituted in their scope. I give two arguments, one deductive and the other abductive. First, I show that the contrary thesis leads to falsity; second, I argue that a hyperintensional theory of deontic modals fares better than its rivals in terms of elegance, theoretical simplicity and explanatory power. I then propose a philosophical analysis of this thesis and outline some consequences. In Section (...)
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  23. Imperatives and Modals.Paul Portner - 2007 - Natural Language Semantics 15 (4):351-383.
    Imperatives may be interpreted with many subvarieties of directive force, for example as orders, invitations, or pieces of advice. I argue that the range of meanings that imperatives can convey should be identified with the variety of interpretations that are possible for non-dynamic root modals (what I call ‘priority modals’), including deontic, bouletic, and teleological readings. This paper presents an analysis of the relationship between imperatives and priority modals in discourse which asserts that, just as declaratives contribute (...)
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  24.  69
    Epistemic Modals and Sensitivity to Contextually‐Salient Partitions.Andy Demfree Yu - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):134-146.
    Expressivists and relativists about epistemic modals often motivate their view by arguing against contextualist treatments of certain cases. However, I argue that even expressivists and relativists should consider being a kind of contextualist. Specifically, data involving mixed disjunctions motivate taking epistemic modals to be sensitive to contextually-salient partitions, and thus context-sensitive.
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  25.  34
    Epistemic Modals and Indirect Weak Suggestives.Martin Montminy - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (4):583-606.
    I defend a contextualist account of bare epistemic modal claims against recent objections. I argue that in uttering a sentence of the form ‘It might be that p,’ a speaker is performing two speech acts. First, she is (directly) asserting that in view of the knowledge possessed by some relevant group, it might be that p. The content of this first speech act is accounted for by the contextualist view. But the speaker's utterance also generates an indirect speech act that (...)
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  26. 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.
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  27. Free Choice, Modals, and Imperatives.Maria Aloni - 2007 - Natural Language Semantics 15 (1):65-94.
    The article proposes an analysis of imperatives and possibility and necessity statements that (i) explains their differences with respect to the licensing of free choice any and (ii) accounts for the related phenomena of free choice disjunction in imperatives, permissions, and statements. Any and or are analyzed as operators introducing sets of alternative propositions. Free choice licensing operators are treated as quantifiers over these sets. In this way their interpretation can be sensitive to the alternatives any and or introduce in (...)
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  28.  53
    Semantic expressivism for epistemic modals.Peter Hawke & Shane Steinert-Threlkeld - 2021 - 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 (...)
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  29. Contrastive Semantics for Deontic Modals.Justin Snedegar - 2012 - In Martijn Blaauw (ed.), Contrastivism in Philosophy: New Perspectives. Routledge.
    This paper argues for contrastivism about the deontic modals, 'ought', 'must', and 'may'. A simple contrastivist semantics that predicts the desired entailment relations among these modals is offered.
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  30.  1
    Modals under epistemic tension.Guillermo Del Pinal & Brandon Waldon - 2019 - Natural Language Semantics 27 (2):135-188.
    According to Kratzer’s influential account of epistemic must and might, these operators involve quantification over domains of possibilities determined by a modal base and an ordering source. Recently, this account has been challenged by invoking contexts of ‘epistemic tension’: i.e., cases in which an assertion that must\ is conjoined with the possibility that \, and cases in which speakers try to downplay a previous assertion that must\, after finding out that \. Epistemic tensions have been invoked from two directions. Von (...)
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  31. Expressivism Concerning Epistemic Modals.Benjamin Schnieder - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (240):601-615.
    I develop a new argument for an expressivist account of epistemic modals, which starts from a puzzle about epistemic modals which Seth Yalcin recently presented. I reject Yalcin's own solution to the puzzle, and give a better explanation based on expressivism concerning epistemic modals. I also address two alleged problems for expressivism: do embeddings of epistemic modals pose a serious threat to expressivism, and how can expressivism account for disagreements about statements containing epistemic modals?
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  32. Epistemic Modals and Common Ground.Ezra Cook - 2013 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 56 (2-3):179-209.
    This paper considers some questions related to the determination of epistemic modal domains. Specifically, given situations in which groups of agents have epistemic states that bear on a modal domain, how is the domain best restricted? This is a metasemantic project, in which I combine a standard semantics for epistemic modals, as developed by Kratzer, with a standard story about conversational dynamics, as developed by Stalnaker. I show how a standard framework for epistemic logic can model their interaction. I (...)
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    Deontic Modals: Why Abandon the Classical Semantics?John Horty - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (4):424-460.
    I begin by reviewing classical semantics and the problems presented by normative conflicts. After a brief detour through default logic, I establish some connections between the treatment of conflicts in each of these two approaches, classical and default, and then move on to consider some further issues: priorities among norms, or reasons, conditional oughts, and reasons about reasons.
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  34. Epistemic Modals and Epistemic Modality.Brian Weatherson & Andy Egan - 2009 - In Andy Egan & Brian Weatherson (eds.), Epistemic Modality. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 1-18.
    There is a lot that we don’t know. That means that there are a lot of possibilities that are, epistemically speaking, open. For instance, we don’t know whether it rained in Seattle yesterday. So, for us at least, there is an epistemic possibility where it rained in Seattle yesterday, and one where it did not. It’s tempting to give a very simple analysis of epistemic possibility: • A possibility is an epistemic possibility if we do not know that it does (...)
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    Evidential Modals at the Semantic-Argumentative Interface: Appearance Verbs as Indicators of Defeasible Argumentation.Elena Musi - 2014 - Informal Logic 34 (4):417-442.
    This contribution aims at providing an argumentative method to account for epistemic modality and evidentiality. I claim that these two linguistic categories can work as semantic components of defeasible argumentative schemes based on classification processes. This kind of approximate reasoning is, in fact, frequently indicated by appearance verbs which signal that the inferred standpoint is conceived by the speaker as uncertain due to the deceiving nature of perceptual data. Drawing from an analysis at the semantic-argumentative interface, the way in which (...)
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  36. Triviality Results For Probabilistic Modals.Goldstein Simon - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (1):188-222.
    In recent years, a number of theorists have claimed that beliefs about probability are transparent. To believe probably p is simply to have a high credence that p. In this paper, I prove a variety of triviality results for theses like the above. I show that such claims are inconsistent with the thesis that probabilistic modal sentences have propositions or sets of worlds as their meaning. Then I consider the extent to which a dynamic semantics for probabilistic modals can (...)
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  37. A Flexible Contextualist Account of Epistemic Modals.Janice Dowell, J. L. - 2011 - Philosophers' Imprint 11:1-25.
    On Kratzer’s canonical account, modal expressions (like “might” and “must”) are represented semantically as quantifiers over possibilities. Such expressions are themselves neutral; they make a single contribution to determining the propositions expressed across a wide range of uses. What modulates the modality of the proposition expressed—as bouletic, epistemic, deontic, etc.—is context.2 This ain’t the canon for nothing. Its power lies in its ability to figure in a simple and highly unified explanation of a fairly wide range of language use. Recently, (...)
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  38. Morals and Modals.Simon Blackburn - 1986 - In Essays in Quasi-Realism. Oxford University Press.
     
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  39.  52
    Entertaining Alternatives: Disjunctions as Modals.Bart Geurts - 2005 - Natural Language Semantics 13 (4):383-410.
  40.  12
    Structuralist Modals and the Combination of Logics.Arnold Koslow - 2011 - Logic Journal of the IGPL 19 (4):584-597.
    The original motivation of D. Gabbay’s concept of Fibring concerned the combination of logics, and initially it involved the syntactic introduction of modals into formulations of intuitionistic logic in which modals are syntactically absent. We show, using the notion of structural modals that there are many modals of intuitionism, and logics for subjunctive and epistemic conditionals which are not syntactically evident in our best formulations of them. We discuss some cases when the attempt to make them (...)
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  41. Tense and Modals.Tim Stowell - unknown
    The class of true modal verbs in English is usually understood to include auxiliary verbs conveying possibility and necessity (including predictive future) that lack non-finite morphological forms; from a syntactic perspective, these verbs occur only in finite clauses (as opposed to infinitives or gerunds). Nevertheless the true modals do not inflect for third-person singular agreement, unlike normal present-tense verbs. When they are negated, true modals always precede the negative particle not, regardless of their understood scope relative to negation, (...)
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  42. More on Epistemic Modals.Seth Yalcin - 2009 - Mind 118 (471):785-793.
    I respond to comments by David Barnett and Roy Sorensen on my paper ‘Epistemic Modals’.
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  43.  62
    Closure and Epistemic Modals.Justin Bledin & Tamar Lando - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (1):3-22.
    According to a popular closure principle for epistemic justification, if one is justified in believing each of the premises in set Φ and one comes to believe that ψ on the basis of competently deducing ψ from Φ—while retaining justified beliefs in the premises—then one is justified in believing that ψ. This principle is prima facie compelling; it seems to capture the sense in which competent deduction is an epistemically secure means to extend belief. However, even the single-premise version of (...)
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  44. Plurals and Modals.Øystein Linnebo - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):654-676.
    Consider one of several things. Is the one thing necessarily one of the several? This key question in the modal logic of plurals is clarified. Some defenses of an affirmative answer are developed and compared. Various remarks are made about the broader philosophical significance of the question.
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    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 (...)
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  46. An Object‐Based Truthmaker Semantics for Modals.Friederike Moltmann - 2018 - Philosophical Issues 28 (1):255-288.
    Possible worlds semantics faces a range of difficulties for at least certain types of modals, especially deontic modals with their distinction between heavy and light permissions and obligations. This paper outlines a new semantics of modals that aims to overcome some of those difficulties. The semantics is based on an a novel ontology of modal objects, entities like obligations, permissions, needs, as well as epistemic states, abilities, and essences. Moreover, it is based on truthmaking, in the sense (...)
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  47. Evidence Sensitivity in Weak Necessity Deontic Modals.Alex Silk - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (4):691-723.
    Kolodny and MacFarlane have made a pioneering contribution to our understanding of how the interpretation of deontic modals can be sensitive to evidence and information. But integrating the discussion of information-sensitivity into the standard Kratzerian framework for modals suggests ways of capturing the relevant data without treating deontic modals as “informational modals” in their sense. I show that though one such way of capturing the data within the standard semantics fails, an alternative does not. Nevertheless I (...)
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  48. New Horizons for a Theory of Epistemic Modals.Justin Khoo & Jonathan Phillips - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):309-324.
    ABSTRACTRecent debate over the semantics and pragmatics of epistemic modals has focused on intuitions about cross-contextual truth-value assessments. In this paper, we advocate a different approach to evaluating theories of epistemic modals. Our strategy focuses on judgments of the incompatibility of two different epistemic possibility claims, or two different truth value assessments of a single epistemic possibility claim. We subject the predictions of existing theories to empirical scrutiny, and argue that existing contextualist and relativist theories are unable to (...)
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  49. Eavesdroppers and Epistemic Modals.John Hawthorne - 2007 - Philosophical Issues 17 (1):92-101.
  50.  20
    Contextual Modals.Horacio Arlo-Costa & William Taysom - unknown
    In a series of recent articles Angelika Kratzer has argued that the standard account of modality along Kripkean lines is inadequate in order to represent context-dependent modals. In particular she argues that the standard account is unable to deliver a non-trivial account of modality capable of overcoming inconsistencies of the underlying conversational background.
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