Handling rejection

Derek BAKER*, Jack WOODS

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


This paper has two related goals. First, we develop an expressivist account of negation which, in the spirit of Alan Gibbard, treats disagreement as semantically primitive. Our second goal is to make progress toward a unified expressivist treatment of modality. Metaethical expressivists must be expressivists about deontic modal claims. But then metaethical expressivists must either extend their expressivism to include epistemic and alethic modals, or else accept a semantics for modal expressions that is radically disjunctive. We propose that expressivists look to Amie Thomasson’s work for a general strategy for offering a unified expressivist account of modality. Modals in general, we propose, are devices for expressing metalinguistic commitments within the object language, with deontic, epistemic, and metaphysical modals all expressing different kinds of metalinguistic commitments.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research appearing in this paper was substantially funded by a General Research Fund grant from the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong SAR, China (Grant Number LU13601218). We would like to thank the audience at the 2016 Lingnan Expressivism Conference at Lingnan University, Hong Kong, for helpful comments, suggestions, questions and criticism. We would also like to thank the two anonymous referees of this paper for the same.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.


  • Amie Thomasson
  • Deontic modals
  • Disagreement
  • Epistemic modals
  • Expressivism
  • Frege–Geach
  • Inferentialism
  • Negation


Dive into the research topics of 'Handling rejection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • Handling Rejection

    BAKER, D. C. & WOODS, J., 7 Jun 2016.

    Research output: Other Conference ContributionsConference Paper (other)Other Conference Paper

Cite this