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AISB opportunities Bulletin Item

CALL FOR PAPERS: Special Issue of Topoi on "Epistemic modals and the epistemology of modality",

Topoi: An international Review of Philosophy, is planning to devote a 
special issue to Epistemic Modals and the Epistemology of Modality, which 
will be edited by Berit Brogaard (University of Miami) and Dimitria 
Electra Gatzia (University of Akron). The deadline for the initial 
submission is March 15, 2015. Accepted papers will be published in 2016. 
Formatting instructions for submissions can be found at:; click ?Instructions for 
Authors? on the right. All submissions for this issue should be made 
through Topoi Editorial Manager 
( Select ?S.I.: 
Epistemic modals (Brogaard/Gatzia)? as Article Type. Confirmed invited 
authors: Friedericke Moltman (University of Paris, IHPST), Joseph Roy 
Salerno (Saint Louis University), Fabrizio Cariani (Northwestern 
University), among others. Epistemic modals and the epistemology of 
modality involve the sort of possibility and necessity that we express 
with uses of terms such as ?might,? ?must,? ?could,? ?seem,? ?see,? and 
?understand? that appear to be responsive to available evidence. We 
regularly think, assert, and evaluate, statements of possibility or 
necessity such as ?John might be in his office,? ?I just saw John?s hat in 
the hallway, so, he must be in his office?, ?I could have scored higher on 
the GRE,? ?The second premise in this argument seems true,? ?I see your 
point,? or ?I understand why you are upset.?  The central issue on 
epistemic modals and the epistemology of modality concerns how we come to 
have justified beliefs or knowledge of modality. Given that epistemic 
modals are dependent on the information available in the contexts in which 
they are used, it is important to determine, among other things, the 
precise nature of the context-dependency of epistemically modalized 
sentences. Reflection on epistemic modals and the epistemology of modality 
leads to a great number of important questions, many of which overlap, in 
various fields of philosophy such as epistemology, philosophy of language, 
linguistics, aesthetics, philosophy of mind, and psycholinguistics. Such 
questions include, but are not limited to:

  * How do epistemic modals embed in conditional contexts?
  * Are epistemic modals quantifiers over possible worlds?
  * What are some of the semantic differences between epistemic modals like 
?might? and ?must?, on the one hand, and the more unusual epistemic modals 
like ?seem? and ?see?, on the other?
  * What is the state of the art regarding the dispute between semantic 
traditionalists and relativists with respect to epistemic modals?
  * Can dynamic semantics accommodate epistemic modals?
  * Do the differences between dynamic and traditional semantics make a 
difference to the truth-conditions of statements containing epistemic 
  * When ought we accept contextualist, invariantist, or relativist views 
of a particular domain of discourse with respect to epistemic modals?
  * Is successful communication best thought of in terms of the elimination 
of epistemic possibilities or in terms of something else?
  * Which linguistic and communicative phenomena pertaining to epistemic 
modality ought we explain semantically and which pragmatically?
  * What is the nature of and the relationship between linguistic structure 
and cognitive processing in relation to the issue of modal thoughts and 
  * How do we come to know modal facts? Do we have direct access to such 
facts? Could we even perceive such facts the way that some think we can 
perceive causation?
  * Are modal beliefs non-inferentially or inferentially justified, if 
justified at all?
  * If genuine modal realism is true, how could we come to know facts about 
other real worlds?
  * How ought we think about the space of epistemic possibilities that we 
delineate in perception, thought, and language?
  * What are the fundamental rules of reasoning for the case of 
  * Can counterfactuals be accounted for in the same way as indicative 
conditionals? Or is there a fundamental difference?
  * Does the semantics of counterfactuals rely on contextual background 
  * Do the truth conditions of epistemic modals concern the attitude of the 
speaker towards a proposition/content?
  The general aim of this volume is to explore questions pertaining to 
epistemic modals and the epistemology of modality.
  Papers must be in English and should not exceed 8,000 words, though there 
is no minimum length. Each submission should also include a title page 
containing contact details, a brief abstract and list of keywords for 
indexing purposes. Please direct inquiries to (Dimitria E. Gatzia).