Objectively Relevant Possibilities in the Semantics of Modal Connectives
Christopher Gauker (University of Salzburg), Christopher Gauker (University of Salzburg)

April 12, 2021, 11:00am - 1:00pm

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  • Slovak Academic Information Agency


University of Vienna
Slovak Academy of Sciences
University of Warsaw

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The Slovak-Austrian Philosophy of Language Network (https://danzeman.weebly.com/slovak-austrian-cooperation.html) announces an online talk by Professor Christopher Gauker (University of Salzburg), entitled "Objectively Relevant Possibilities in the Semantics of Modal Connectives". The talk is on Monday, APRIL 12 at 11.00 CEST, as part of the regular seminar of the Department of Analytic Philosophy, Slovak Academy of Sciences. Please write to [email protected] or [email protected] if you want to participate.

Here is the abstract of the talk:

It is well accepted that modal sentences in natural language, about what might be or what must be, must always be evaluated relative to a contextually determined domain of possibilities.  In this presentation I will argue for two theses.  The first is that, order to capture the logic of these modal connectives, we need to define these contexts not as simple sets of worlds but as as nested sets of sets of worlds.  This allows us to capture the sense in which a sentence like “It is raining but it might not be” is inconsistent.  My second thesis is that in order to account for communication by means of sentences containing these modal connectives, we need to suppose that the domain of possibilities is not an information state but rather a set of objectively relevant possibilities. I will try to explain what an objectively relevant possibility is.

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April 12, 2021, 10:30am CET

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