Philosophical Studies

, Volume 164, Issue 2, pp 485–511 | Cite as

Contextualism about ‘might’ and says-that ascriptions

  • David Braun


Contextualism about ‘might’ says that the property that ‘might’ expresses varies from context to context. I argue against contextualism. I focus on problems that contextualism apparently has with attitude ascriptions in which ‘might’ appears in an embedded ‘that’-clause. I argue that contextualists can deal rather easily with many of these problems, but I also argue that serious difficulties remain with collective and quantified says-that ascriptions. Herman Cappelen and John Hawthorne atempt to deal with these remaining problems, but I argue that their attempt fails.


Contextualism Invariantism ‘‘Might’’ Epistemic modals Modals Cappelen Hawthorne Disquotation 



I presented an early version of this paper at a workshop on contextualis in the philosophy of language at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, in September 2009. Thanks to Adèle Mercier and Arthur Sullivan for organizing the workshop and inviting me to speak at it. Thanks to Richard Vallée for his comments on my talk. I also thank those who commented on my paper during the discussion period and afterwards, including Kent Bach, Michael Glanzberg, Nat Hansen, Claire Horisk, Chris Kennedy, Barry Lam, Ishani Maitra, Michael McGlone, François Recanati, and Brett Sherman. Thanks to Andy Egan and Janice Dowell for helpful conversations. Thanks to Michael McGlone for helpful written comments on an earlier version. Thanks to an anonymous referee for many helpful suggestions.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity at BuffaloBuffaloUSA

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