Journal of Philosophical Logic

, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 121–146 | Cite as

The Application of Constraint Semantics to the Language of Subjective Uncertainty



This paper develops a compositional, type-driven constraint semantic theory for a fragment of the language of subjective uncertainty. In the particular application explored here, the interpretation function of constraint semantics yields not propositions but constraints on credal states as the semantic values of declarative sentences. Constraints are richer than propositions in that constraints can straightforwardly represent assessments of the probability that the world is one way rather than another. The richness of constraints helps us model communicative acts in essentially the same way that we model agents’ credences. Moreover, supplementing familiar truth-conditional theories of epistemic modals with constraint semantics helps capture contrasts between strong necessity and possibility modals, on the one hand, and weak necessity modals, on the other.


Non-truth-conditional theories of meaning Compositionality Credence Assertion Epistemic modals Constraint semantics 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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