Modal Language and Truth

Kai Wehmeier

10 Apr, 2pm-3:30pm, LH 306

Orthodox approaches to formal semantics for modal operator languages, following Kripke and Kaplan, supplement the familiar compositional semantics embodied in the recursive definition of truth-at-a-world by a “postsemantics” that consists in identifying truth simpliciter with truth at the actual world. I will propose an alternative, Tarski-inspired approach that makes do without any appeal to a postsemantics. This Tarskian approach, I will argue, is superior to the orthodoxy on both empirical and methodological grounds, and has some remarkable philosophical consequences.