Graduate studies at Western
Mind 120 (478):369 - 446 (2011)
|Abstract||Imperatives cannot be true, but they can be obeyed or binding: `Surrender!' is obeyed if you surrender and is binding if you have a reason to surrender. A pure declarative argument — whose premisses and conclusion are declaratives — is valid exactly if, necessarily, its conclusion is true if the conjunction of its premisses is true; similarly, I suggest, a pure imperative argument — whose premisses and conclusion are imperatives — is obedience-valid (alternatively: bindingness-valid) exactly if, necessarily, its conclusion is obeyed (alternatively: binding) if the conjunction of its premisses is. I argue that there are two kinds of bindingness, and that a vacillation between two corresponding variants of bindingness-validity largely explains conflicting intuitions concerning the validity of some pure imperative arguments. I prove that for each of those two variants of bindingness-validity there is an equivalent variant of obedience-validity. Finally, I address alternative accounts of pure imperative inference|
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