Universiteit van Amsterdam

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Institute for Logic, Language and Computation

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26 October 2015, Guest lecture, Zsofia Zvolensky

Speaker: Zsofia Zvolensky
Title: Revisiting a Problem for Possible-Worlds Analyses of Modality
Date: Monday 26 October 2015
Time: 15:00-17:00
Location: Room F1.15, ILLC, Science Park 107, Amsterdam

Abstract

Angelika Kratzer’s benchmark modal semantics builds on the following biconditional analysis: ‘It must be that p’ is true iff in all of a certain set of possible worlds, p is true. A dozen years ago, I drew attention to a fundamental Problem with Kratzer’s semantics: it makes any instance of the schema ‘if p, then it must be that p’ a logical truth. My assessment was: to avoid the Problem, the biconditional analysis has to go. While the Problem has since received extensive attention from linguists and philosophers, few of them were convinced by my assessment. In my presentation, I will explore some of the responses to the Problem, in particular, double-modalization-based strategies—including Kratzer’s recent proposal in her (2012) book Modals and Conditionals—arguing that their application to Problem cases is ad hoc and too narrow. These considerations bring to the fore new arguments for my initial assessment: the biconditional analysis, specifically, its right-left direction, is not worth its keep.

Please note that this newsitem has been archived, and may contain outdated information or links.