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Relative Truth$
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Manuel García-Carpintero and Max Kölbel

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199234950

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199234950.001.0001

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Epistemic Modals and Correct Disagreement

Epistemic Modals and Correct Disagreement

(p.239) 11 Epistemic Modals and Correct Disagreement
Relative Truth

Richard Dietz (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Epistemic modals are devices for marking the epistemic possibility/necessity of an underlying proposition. For example, an utterance of ‘It might be raining now in Sydney’ is true just in case the proposition that it is raining in Sydney at the utterance time is possible in view of what is known in the relevant epistemic situation; or so the standard truth-conditional approach to epistemic modals suggests. According to relativists about epistemic modals, the epistemic situation that is relevant to the truth-valuation of a given epistemic modal statement may vary with occasions of its assessment. This chapter shows that the standard relativist account of epistemic modals is wrong, not only in letter but also in spirit. Furthermore, it is suggested that a puzzle which has been invoked in support of relativism about epistemic modals can be dissolved in non-relativist terms.

Keywords:   epistemic modals, disagreement, truth-relativism, contextualism

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