David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In James Maclaurin (ed.), Rationis Defensor (2012)
Standard definitions of validity are designed to preserve truth from the premises to the conclusion. However, it seems possible to construct arguments that contain sentences in the imperative mood. Such sentences are incapable of being true or false, so the standard definitions cannot capture the validity of these imperative arguments. Bernard Williams offers an argument that imperative inference is impossible: two imperatives will always have different permissive presuppositions, so a speaker will have to change his mind before uttering a second imperative, and so imperatives cannot ever be accumulated into a set of premises. I offer four objections to Williams’ argument: (1) Permissive presuppositions are analogous to conversational implicature, and so should be ignored when formulating imperative arguments. (2) There are other valid argument forms, which Williams does not consider, that do not suffer from different permissive presuppositions. (3) There are explanations for the change in permissive presuppositions in Williams’ example other than a change of mind, so the different permissive presuppositions do not have to prevent accumulation. Finally, (4) Williams accepts enough logical relations between imperatives (contradiction and a form of negation) for a definition of a valid imperative inference to follow naturally.
|Keywords||Validity Imperatives Permissive Presuppositions|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Hannah Clark‐Younger (2014). Imperatives and the More Generalised Tarski Thesis. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (4):314-320.
Similar books and articles
Peter B. M. Vranas (2010). In Defense of Imperative Inference. Journal of Philosophical Logic 39 (1):59 - 71.
Peter B. M. Vranas (2011). New Foundations for Imperative Logic: Pure Imperative Inference. Mind 120 (478):369 - 446.
Peter B. M. Vranas (2012). New Foundations for Imperative Logic Iii: A General Definition of Argument Validity. Manuscript in Preparation.
Stephen Engstrom (2009). The Form of Practical Knowledge: A Study of the Categorical Imperative. Harvard University Press.
Randolph C. Wheeler (2008). Kantian Imperatives and Phenomenology's Original Forces: Kant's Imperatives and the Directives of Contemporary Phenomenology. Council for Research in Values and Philosophy.
Josh Parsons (2012). Cognitivism About Imperatives. Analysis 72 (1):49-54.
Josep Macià (2002). Presuposicion Y Significado Expresivo. Theoria 17 (3):499-513.
Josh Parsons (2013). Command and Consequence. Philosophical Studies 164 (1):61-92.
Rosja Mastop (2011). Imperatives as Semantic Primitives. Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (4):305-340.
Colin Klein (2012). Imperatives, Phantom Pains, and Hallucination by Presupposition. Philosophical Psychology 25 (6):917-928.
Anna Brożek (2011). Performatives and Imperatives. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 7 (2):17-34.
Jeremy Schwartz (2010). Do Hypothetical Imperatives Require Categorical Imperatives? European Journal of Philosophy 18 (1):84-107.
Added to index2012-06-19
Total downloads16 ( #225,555 of 1,796,258 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #348,558 of 1,796,258 )
How can I increase my downloads?