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Modals and ConditionalsNew and Revised Perspectives$
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Angelika Kratzer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199234684

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199234684.001.0001

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Facts: Particulars or Information Units? *

Facts: Particulars or Information Units? *

(p.161) Chapter 6 Facts: Particulars or Information Units?*
Modals and Conditionals

Angelika Kratzer

Oxford University Press

The chapter documents the role of facts in producing Gettier puzzles for factive constructions. Gettier puzzles are typically discussed with knowledge ascriptions, but Gettier puzzles can be constructed for mere belief ascriptions, for content ascriptions without mental attitudes, and for counterfactuals. On the proposed account, Gettier puzzles appear with knowledge ascriptions if the propositional content of the belief is described correctly, but that content happens to be exemplified by a fact that the believer has no belief about. A correct description of the propositional content of the belief picks out the wrong result. Analogous mismatches between propositions and exemplifying facts are sources of trouble for counterfactual reasoning as well. In counterfactual reasoning, just as in knowledge ascriptions, exemplifying facts of true propositions matter. This chapter suggests that lumping can be dispensed with if the accidental facts in premise sets are projected at the right level of specificity from the outset.

Keywords:   premise semantics, exemplification, counterfactuals, knowledge ascriptions, factivity, Gettier puzzles, lumping

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