Triviality results for probabilistic modals

Journal article

Goldstein, Simon 2019. Triviality results for probabilistic modals. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. 99 (1), pp. 188 - 222.
AuthorsGoldstein, Simon

In recent years, a number of theorists have claimed that beliefs about probability are transparent. To believe probably p is simply to have a high credence that p. In this paper, I prove a variety of triviality results for theses like the above. I show that such claims are inconsistent with the thesis that probabilistic modal sentences have propositions or sets of worlds as their meaning. Then I consider the extent to which a dynamic semantics for probabilistic modals can capture theses connecting belief, certainty, credence, and probability. I show that although a dynamic semantics for probabilistic modals does allow one to validate such theses, it can only do so at a cost. I prove that such theses can only be valid if probabilistic modals do not satisfy the axioms of the probability calculus.

JournalPhilosophy and Phenomenological Research
Journal citation99 (1), pp. 188 - 222
PublisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Page range188 - 222
Research GroupDianoia Institute of Philosophy
Place of publicationUnited States of America
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