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An Unorthodox Solution to the Hintikka-Kripke Problem (Matías Bulnes)

The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will meet on November 18th from 4:15-6:15 in room 7314 of the CUNY Graduate Center for a talk by Matías Bulnes (CUNY).

Title: An Unorthodox Solution to the Hintikka-Kripke Problem

Abstract: The Hintikka-Kripke problem consists in reconciling Hintikka’s semantics for doxastic operators and Kripke’s semantics for alethic operators. The problem arises from their treatment of identity. While the necessity of identities was one of the main innovations of Kripke’s semantics, Hintikka needs identities to be contingent to explain the opacity of doxastic operators. Yet alethic and doxastic operators are combined effortlessly in everyday discourse. In the talk, I will first discuss various attempts at reconciliation within the orthodoxy about opacity, and raise objections to them. Then, I will propose an unorthodox idea: rather than thinking of doxastic operators as introducing new possible worlds with different identities, think of them as introducing new logical spaces with different domains of objects. This achieves reconciliation by circumscribing the necessity of identities to the logical space of each agent. To assess this idea viz-a-viz its competitors, we will have to reexamine some fundamental concepts of the problem of opacity, such as the concepts of language and semantics.

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