Nathan Salmón will be delivering our last departmental colloquium of the quarter, entitled "From Modality to Millianism".
Abstract: A new argument is offered which proceeds through epistemic possibility (for all S knows, p), cutting a trail from modality to Millianism, the controversial thesis that the semantic content of a proper name is simply its bearer. New definitions are provided for various epistemic modal notions. An unexpected theorem about epistemic necessity is proved. A proposition p can be epistemically necessary for a knowing subject S even though p is a posteriori and S does not know p. The identity relation is well-behaved in metaphysically possible worlds but can go rogue in epistemically possible worlds. Whereas it can be epistemically possible for someone S that Lewis Carroll is not Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, this is not epistemically possible in the manner that anti-Millianism requires.