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The Subject-Matter of Modal Sentences (Thomas Macaulay Ferguson)

The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will meet on November 1st from 4:15-6:15 (NY time) via Zoom for a talk by Thomas Macaulay Ferguson (University of Amsterdam).

Title: The Subject-Matter of Modal Sentences

Abstract: The framework of topic-sensitive intentional modal operators (TSIMs) described by Berto provides a general platform for representing agents’ intentional states of various kinds. For example, a TSIM can model doxastic states, capturing a notion that given the acceptance of antecedent information P, an agent will have a consequent belief Q. Notably, the truth conditions for TSIMs include a subject-matter filter so that the topic of the consequent Q must be “included” within that of the antecedent. To extend the account to languages with richer expressivity thus requires an expanded account of subject-matter. In this talk, I will discuss extending earlier work on the subject-matter of intensional conditionals to the special case of modal sentences whose primary operators are interpreted by possible worlds semantics.

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