An Acceptance Semantics for Stable Modal Knowledge

Peter HAWKE*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsConference paper (refereed)Referred Conference Paperpeer-review


We observe some puzzling linguistic data concerning ordinary knowledge ascriptions that embed an epistemic (im)possibility claim. We conclude that it is untenable to jointly endorse both classical logic and a pair of intuitively attractive theses: the thesis that knowledge ascriptions are always veridical and a ‘negative transparency’ thesis that reduces knowledge of a simple negated ‘might’ claim to an epistemic claim without modal content. We motivate a strategy for answering the trade-off: preserve veridicality and (generalized) negative transparency, while abandoning the general validity of contraposition. We survey and criticize various approaches for incorporating veridicality into domain semantics, a paradigmatic ‘information-sensitive’ framework for capturing negative transparency and, more generally, the non-classical behavior of sentences with epistemic modals. We then present a novel information-sensitive semantics that successfully executes our favored strategy: stable acceptance semantics.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings Ninetheenth conference on Theoretical Aspects of Rationality and Knowledge (TARK 2023)
EditorsRineke VERBRUGGE
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2023
Event19th Conference on Theoretical Aspects of Rationality and Knowledge, TARK 2023 - Oxford, United Kingdom
Duration: 28 Jun 202330 Jun 2023

Publication series

NameElectronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science, EPTCS
PublisherOpen Publishing Association
ISSN (Print)2075-2180


Conference19th Conference on Theoretical Aspects of Rationality and Knowledge, TARK 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Peter Hawke.


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