LLS Colloquium: Sean Walsh

March 6, 2019
Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 3:30pm
347 Unviersity Hall
UH

"Modeling Contingently Existing Propositions (and Other Intensions)"

Abstract: The traditional Montagovian framework for the analysis of intensional language uses constant domain models. However, in other areas of philosophy which employ modal logic, it is much more common to use variable domain models which permit various forms of contingent existence. Part of the difficulty in integrating the Montagovian framework with the variable domain setting is due to its higher-order nature. One facet of this is just the trivial issue that a function from actually existing individuals to actually existing individuals is not a function from possibly existing individuals to possibly existing individuals. Hence, there is no obvious outer domain for the contingently existing higher-order entities to reside in, in contrast to the case of standard first-order quantified modal logic. In this work we outline a semantics on which the outer higher-order domain is pieced together from the varying inner domains. We then test this framework out on the traditional Stalnakerian view about contingently existing propositions. This is joint work with Greg Lauro (UC Irvine, LPS).

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