Modal Reasoning, Quarc and Metaphysics

Modal Reasoning, Quarc and Metaphysics (MODREQUAM)

Funding agencies: FWF (Austria) and DFG (Germany)
FWF webpage:
Funding programme: Principal Investigator Projects International
Type of project: Austria-Germany bilateral project
Duration: 01.02.2024-31.01.2027

Principal Investigator for the Austrian side: Matteo Pascucci
Principal Investigator for the German side: Jonas Raab
Host institutions: CEU (Vienna) and LMU (Munich)


In ordinary reasoning we often use sentences combining quantifying expressions (such as "all", "some", "most", etc.) and modal expressions (such as "must", "can", "should", etc.). The analysis of the structure and of the interpretation of these sentences has given rise to an intense debate over the last few decades. Many proposals are nowadays available and yet there is little consensus on how to answer fundamental questions like the following:

  • What counts as an appropriate logical representation of sentences including modal expressions and quantifiers?
  • What are the semantic ingredients required to interpret such sentences?
  • Does an interpretation of such sentences commit one to claim the existence of any sort of entity (such as possible worlds, possible individuals, etc.)?

In the present project we will address these questions and related problems within an innovative formal framework that combines modal logic and the Quantified Argument Calculus. The former component offers technical tools that have been corroborated by a long tradition of studies; the latter component offers a new perspective on the relation between natural languages and formal languages.