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Modality and Propositional Attitudes

$31.99 (C)

  • Date Published: March 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107449985

$ 31.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This book shows that the semantic analysis of modal notions of possibility and necessity can be used to enhance our understanding of the interpretation of reports of belief or emotional state. It introduces intuitive notation and terminology to express ideas in modern theories of modal interpretation that are normally represented in complex logical formulas, effectively updates the 1960s-era link between possible worlds and the semantics of propositional attitude ascriptions, and reconciles two disparate views of the role of events in semantic interpretation, that of Donald Davidson and that of David Lewis. It reduces a host of variable behaviors of propositional attitude ascription to an intuitive and precise distinction between ascriptions that merely express a commitment to propositional content versus ones that attribute a mental state to the holder of the propositional attitude. This leads to an explanation of the nature and effects of the language disorder of fluent aphasia.

    • Uses intuitive notation and terminology rather than complex logical formulae
    • Proposes an explanation of the nature and effects of fluent aphasia, based on a detailed examination of the linguistic output of a person with the language disorder
    • Reconciles two disparate views of the role of events in semantic interpretation
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This is the most comprehensive survey of modality - a truly wide-ranging reappraisal of this most difficult field of modern linguistics."
    Werner Abraham

    'Michael Hegarty’s book, Modality and Propositional Attitudes, provides an up-to-date and fully detailed account of the semantics of modality, providing new demonstration in support of the view argued for by Kratzer (1981, 1991) that modal statements involve quantification over possible worlds, as well as considering recent developments and answers to criticism illustrated in Kratzer (2012).' Eugenio Goria, The Linguist List (

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107449985
    • dimensions: 230 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Modality and Propositional Attitudes:
    1. Epistemic modality
    2. Root modality
    3. Bare attitude ascriptions
    4. Presupposition filtering and bouletic ascriptions
    Part II. Events and Propositional Attitudes:
    5. Events and states
    6. Full attitude ascriptions: individuating mental states through propositional content
    7. Lower interpretation of negation
    8. Events in epistemic and root modal interpretation
    9. Attitude ascription in child development and Wernicke's aphasia.

  • Author

    Michael Hegarty, Louisiana State University
    Michael Hegarty was formerly an Associate Professor in the Linguistics Program at Louisiana State University (LSU), where he was the recipient of the LSU Alumni Faculty Excellence Award in 2013. He is currently a Test Specialist at the Law School Admission Council in Newtown, Pennsylvania.

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