Home / Projects / Models, Modality and Meaning


Project leader: Stephen Read

Co-investigators: Derek Ball, Aaron Cotnoir, Ephraim Glick, Mark Thakkar

Research students: Spencer Johnston, Laura Celani, Ryo Ito, Bruno Jacinto, Poppy Mankowitz, Fenner Tanswell, Alexander Yates

Associated events

May 2015: Wyclif and the Realist Tradition in 14th-Century Logic

Nov 2012: Modal Logic in the Middle Ages

In this project, we examined the connections between semantic modelling, possible worlds semantics and the nature of logic and meaning. Questions which the project examined include the following:

  • Are proof-theoretic and model-theoretic semantics complementary in giving an account of meaning, or does one have priority over the other?
  • What are the formal connections between the notions of logical necessity, metaphysical necessity, analyticity and aprioricity?
  • Two-dimensional theories of meaning posit two different dimensions of meaning. What can be learned about the nature of logic from these theories ? For instance, is logic relative to a dimension of meaning?
  • To what extent and how is logical consequence normative for reasoning?
  • Modal logic standardly deploys a notion of possible world. Is the notion of an impossible world similarly useful?
  • What can be learned about the nature of logic from an examination of the history of the notion of logic consequence?
  • To solve the semantic paradoxes, Bradwardine proposed that meaning is closed under some notion of consequence. For what notions of consequence, if any, is this true?
    Can this phenomenon be modelled?
  • How do the logics of metaphysical necessity and context-sensitivity interact? Can their interaction shed light into other debates , such as that between the necessitist and the contingentist?