Knowing whether A or B

Abstract

The paper examines the logic and semantics of knowledge attributions of the form “s knows whether A or B”. We analyze these constructions in an epistemic logic with alternative questions, and propose an account of the context-sensitivity of the corresponding sentences and of their presuppositions.

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Acknowledgements

We thank E. Chemla, H. van Ditmarsch, F. Roelofsen, B. Spector, and P. Schlenker for critical comments and helpful suggestions, as well as two anonymous reviewers. We also thank W. van der Hoek for his editorial assistance. Part of the research reported here was financially supported by the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).

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Correspondence to Maria Aloni or Paul Égré or Tikitu de Jager.

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Open Access This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0), which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

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Aloni, M., Égré, P. & de Jager, T. Knowing whether A or B. Synthese 190, 2595–2621 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-009-9646-1

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Keywords

  • Knowledge
  • Alternative questions
  • Contextualism
  • Awareness
  • Relevant alternatives
  • Attention
  • Presupposition
  • Accommodation