A pragmatic solution for the paradox of free choice permission

Synthese 147 (2):343 - 377 (2005)
In this paper, a pragmatic approach to the phenomenon of free choice permission is proposed. Free choice permission is explained as due to taking the speaker (i) to obey certain Gricean maxims of conversation and (ii) to be competent on the deontic options, i.e. to know the valid obligations and permissions. The approach differs from other pragmatic approaches to free choice permission in giving a formally precise description of the class of inferences that can be derived based on these two assumptions. This formalization builds on work of Halpern and Moses (1984) on the concept of ‘only knowing’, generalized by Hoek et al., (1999, 2000), and Zimmermann’s (2000) approach to competence.
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