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6 giugno 2018: Francesco Berto: Topic-Sensitive Intentional Modals

Francesco Berto

Seminar – Philosophy of language and logic


Francesco Berto (Department of Philosophy, University of St Andrews, and the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC), University of Amsterdam)

Topic-Sensitive Intentional Modals


6 giugno 2018, ore 16:30-18:30

Sala Enzo Paci – Direzione del Dipartimento di filosofia – Università degli Studi di Milano.



A Topic-Sensitive Intentional Modal (TSIM) is a two-place, variably strict modal with an aboutness or topicality constraint, of the form ‘Xφψ’ (read: ‘Given φ, the agent X’s that ψ’, X being some mental state or act). 

TSIMs do nice things for mainstream and formal epistemology, belief revision theory, and mental simulation theory. 

I present a basic formal semantics for TSIMs and explore three readings of ‘Xφψ’ one gets by imposing different constraints on their truth clauses: 

(1) as expressing knowability relative to information (‘Given total information φ, one is in the position to know that ψ’), inspired by Dretske’s insight that what one can know depends on the available (empirical) information; 

(2) as a mental simulation operator (’In mental simulation starting with input φ, one imagines that ψ’) capturing features of mainstream mental simulation theories, like that of Nichols and Stich; 

(3) as a hyperintensional belief revision operator (‘After (statically) revising by φ, one believes that ψ’), reducing the idealization of cognitive agents one finds in doxastic logics and standard AGM. 

I close by mentioning developments of TSIM theory currently in progress.


For information: elisa.paganini@unimi.it

06 giugno 2018
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