I argue against a simple contextualist account of epistemic modals. My argument, like theargument on which it is based (von Fintel and Gillies 2011 and MacFarlane 2011), charges thatsimple contextualism cannot explain all of the conversational data about uses of epistemicmodals. My argument improves on its predecessor by insulating itself from recent contextualistattempts by Janice Dowell (2011) and Igor Yanovich (2014) to get around that argument. Inparticular, I use linguistic data to show that an utterance of an epistemic modal sentence can bewarranted, while an utterance of its suggested simple contextualist paraphrase is not.


Epistemology | Philosophy

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