There is a rich canon of work on the meaning of imperative sentences, e.g. "Dance!", in philosophy and much recent research in linguistics has made its own exciting advances. However, in this paper I argue that three observations about English imperatives are problematic for approaches from both traditions. In response, I offer a new analysis according to which the meaning of an imperative is identified with the characteristic effect its uses have on the agents’ attitudes. More specifically: an imperative’s (...) meaning consists in its potential to change what the agents’ mutually take to be preferred for the purposes of the conversation. Preferences already have a well-established theoretical role in decision theory and artificial intelligence where they are central to understanding how rational agents decide what to do. Connecting them with the semantics of imperatives and formal models of language use therefore achieves a welcome theoretical unity. This unity pays dividends in bridging the gap between a semantics for imperatives and an explanation of how imperatives can (and can’t) be used to guide what we do. In particular, it provides a new and more precise articulation of Grice’s insight that language use can be illuminated by viewing it as an interaction between cooperative, rational agents. I will conclude with some brief remarks about how this approach can relate imperatives and modals, and how it can capture the diverse uses to which imperatives are put. (shrink)
In this paper I will develop a view about the semantics of imperatives, which I term Modal Noncognitivism, on which imperatives might be said to have truth conditions (dispositionally, anyway), but on which it does not make sense to see them as expressing propositions (hence does not make sense to ascribe to them truth or falsity). This view stands against “Cognitivist” accounts of the semantics of imperatives, on which imperatives are claimed to express propositions, which are (...) then enlisted in explanations of the relevant logico-semantic phenomena. It also stands against the major competitors to Cognitivist accounts—all of which are non-truth-conditional and, as a result, fail to provide satisfying explanations of the fundamental semantic characteristics of imperatives (or so I argue). The view of imperatives I defend here improves on various treatments of imperatives on the market in giving an empirically and theoretically adequate account of their semantics and logic. It yields explanations of a wide range of semantic and logical phenomena about imperatives—explanations that are, I argue, at least as satisfying as the sorts of explanations of semantic and logical phenomena familiar from truth-conditional semantics. But it accomplishes this while defending the notion—which is, I argue, substantially correct—that imperatives could not have propositions, or truth conditions, as their meanings. (shrink)
I show how, contrary to recent claims, so-called embedded imperatives are better analyzed in terms of mixed quotation. To this end I extend the presuppositional analysis of mixed quotation to include quotations of constructions.
We use imperatives to refute a naïve analysis of update potentials (force-operators attaching to sentences), arguing for a dynamic analysis of imperative force as restrictable, directed, and embeddable. We propose a dynamic, non-modal analysis of conditional imperatives, as a counterpoint to static, modal analyses. Our analysis retains Kratzer's analysis of if-clauses as restrictors of some operator, but avoids typing it as a generalized quantifier over worlds (against her), instead as a dynamic force operator. Arguments for a restrictor treatment (...) (but against a quantificational treatment) are mustered, and we propose a novel analysis of update on conditional imperatives (and an independently motivated revision of the standard ordering-semantics for root modals that makes use of it). Finally, we argue that imperative force is embeddable under an operation much like dynamic conjunction. (shrink)
Imperatives occur ubiquitously in natural languages. They produce forces which change the addressee’s cognitive state and regulate her actions accordingly. In real life we often receive conflicting orders, typically, issued by various authorities with different ranks. A new update semantics is proposed in this paper to formalize this idea. The general properties of this semantics, as well as its background ideas are discussed extensively. In addition, we compare our framework with other approaches of deontic logics in the context of (...) normative conflicts. (shrink)
The theory of imperatives is philosophically relevant since in building it — some of the long standing problems need to be addressed, and presumably some new ones are waiting to be discovered. The relevance of the theory of imperatives for philosophical research is remarkable, but usually recognized only within the ﬁeld of practical philosophy. Nevertheless, the emphasis can be put on problems of theoretical philosophy. Proper understanding of imperatives is likely to raise doubts about some of our (...) deeply entrenched and tacit presumptions. In philosophy of language it is the presumption that declaratives provide the paradigm for sentence form; in philosophy of science it is the belief that theory construction is independent from the language practice, in logic it is the conviction that logical meaning relations are constituted out of logical terminology, in ontology it is the view that language use is free from ontological commitments. The list is not exhaustive; it includes only those presumptions that this paper concerns. (shrink)
The sixth volume of the series contains the first results of research done by three members of the team of researchers realizing the international project Theory of Imperatives and Its Applications, supported by the Foundation for Polish Science: Anna Brożek and Jacek Jadacki from Warsaw University, and Berislav Žarnić from Split University (Croatia). One of the texts – being a kind of the theoretical manifesto – was kindly commented by two scholars: Magdalena Danielewiczowa, a linguist from Warsaw University, and (...) Ryszard Kleszcz, a philosopher from Łódź University. The volume contains also a paper of Andrzej Bogusławski, an outstanding linguist from Warsaw University, and contributions by Bartosz Brożek from Jagiellonian University and Robert Trypuz from Catholic University of Lublin. (shrink)
Abstract: Recently, the idea that every hypothetical imperative must somehow be 'backed up' by a prior categorical imperative has gained a certain influence among Kant interpreters and ethicists influenced by Kant. Since instrumentalism is the position that holds that hypothetical imperatives can by themselves and without the aid of categorical imperatives explain all valid forms of practical reasoning, the influential idea amounts to a rejection of instrumentalism as internally incoherent. This paper argues against this prevailing view both as (...) an interpretation of Kant and as philosophical understanding of practical reason. In particular, it will be argued that many of the arguments that claim to show that hypothetical imperatives must be backed up by categorical imperatives mistakenly assume that the form of practical reasoning must itself occur as a premise within the reasoning. An alternative to this assumption will be offered. I will conclude that while instrumentalism may well be false, there is no reason to believe it is incoherent. (shrink)
The last few decades have given rise to the study of practical reason as a legitimate subfield of philosophy in its own right, concerned with the nature of practical rationality, its relationship to theoretical rationality, and the explanatory relationship between reasons, rationality, and agency in general. Among the most central of the topics whose blossoming study has shaped this field, is the nature and structure of instrumental rationality, the topic to which Kant has to date made perhaps the largest contribution, (...) under the heading of his treatment of hypothetical imperatives. (shrink)
Cognitivism about imperatives is the thesis that sentences in the imperative mood are truth-apt: have truth values and truth conditions. This allows cognitivists to give a simple and powerful account of consequence relations between imperatives. I argue that this account of imperative consequence has counterexamples that cast doubt on cognitivism itself.
Suppose that a sign at the entrance of a hotel reads: “Don’t enter these premises unless you are accompanied by a registered guest”. You see someone who is about to enter, and you tell her: “Don’t enter these premises if you are an unaccompanied registered guest”. She asks why, and you reply: “It follows from what the sign says”. It seems that you made a valid inference from an imperative premise to an imperative conclusion. But it also seems that (...) class='Hi'>imperatives cannot be true or false, so what does it mean to say that your inference is valid? It cannot mean that the truth of its premise guarantees the truth of its conclusion. One is thus faced with what is known as “Jørgensen’s dilemma” (Ross 1941: 55-6): it seems that imperative logic cannot exist because logic deals only with entities that, unlike imperatives, can be true or false, but it also seems that imperative logic must exist. It must exist not only because inferences with imperatives can be valid, but also because imperatives (like “Enter” and “Don’t enter”) can be inconsistent with each other, and also because one can apply logical operations to imperatives: “Don’t enter” is the negation of “Enter”, and “Sing or dance” is the disjunction of “Sing” and “Dance”. A standard reaction to this dilemma consists in basing imperative logic on analogues of truth and falsity. For example, the imperative “Don’t enter” is satisfied if you don’t enter and is violated if you enter, and one might say that an inference from an imperative premise to an imperative conclusion is valid exactly if the satisfaction (rather than the truth) of the premise guarantees the satisfaction of the conclusion. But before getting into the details, more needs to be said on what exactly imperatives are. (shrink)
I argue that rationalists need not adopt Kant’s method for determining what one has reason to do, where by “Kant’s method” I mean the view that normative guidance comes only from directives imposed on the agent by the agent’s own will. I focus on Kant’s argument for “imperatives of skill,” one sort of hypothetical imperative. I argue, against Korsgaard, that Kant’s argument is neither better nor significantly different than the sort of argument non-Kantian rationalists offer. I close by arguing (...) that Korsgaard is wrong to think that her question “why should I care about performing the means to my ends?” is a serious worry. (shrink)
This paper concerns the formal semantic analysis of imperative sentences. It is argued that such an analysis cannot be deferred to the semantics of propositions, under any of the three commonly adopted strategies: the performative analysis, the sentence radical approach to propositions, and the (nondeclarative) mood-as-operator approach. Whereas the first two are conceptually problematic, the third faces empirical problems: various complex imperatives should be analysed in terms of semantic operators over simple imperatives. One particularly striking case is the (...) Dutch pluperfect imperative. It is argued that this construction should be analysed as a genuine counterfactual imperative. On the constructive side, in the last part of the paper a formal semantic analysis of imperatives is presented, in the framework of Update Semantics. On this analysis, imperatives are sui generis semantic entities, on a par with propositions. The analysis also includes an account of the counterfactual imperatives. (shrink)
Kant's Imperatives -- Imperatives in Kant's metaphysics of morals -- Imperatives in the critique of judgment -- The role of reason and freedom in Kant's doctrine -- Contemporary phenomenology's response to Kant's Imperatives -- Imperatives in Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of perception -- Merleau-Ponty and Kant's Imperatives -- Imperative style and levels -- Imperatives in Levinas's doctrines of sensibility and alterity -- Sensation and sensibility -- Alterity, infinity, exteriority, and asymmetry -- Alterity and language -- (...) Privileged heteronomy versus autonomy -- Alphonso Lingis : between categorical and hypothetical imperatives -- Lingis as kantian phenomenologist : imperative necessity -- Force and form -- Kant's typology : illustrations of imperative force -- Lingis's critique of Kant -- Lingis's critique of phenomenology via the imperative -- Elemental and sublime imperatives -- Conclusion: Subjectivity and subjection. (shrink)
I focus on the broadly instrumentalist view that all genuine practical imperatives are hypothetical imperatives and all genuine practical deliberation is deliberation from existing motivations. After indicating why I see instrumentalism as highly plausible, I argue that the most popular version of instrumentalism, according to which genuine practical imperatives can take desires as their starting point, is problematic. I then provide a limited defense of what I see as a more radical but also more compelling version of (...) instrumentalism. According to the position I defend, genuine practical deliberation and genuine practical imperatives take as their starting point the agent's intentions and only the agent's intentions. (shrink)
Recently there has been some interest in studying the explanation of meaning by using signaling games. I shall argue that the meaning of signals in signaling games remains sufficiently unclear to motivate further investigation. In particular, the possibility of distinguishing imperatives and indicatives at a fundamental level will be explored. Thereby I am trying to preserve the generality of the signaling games framework while bringing it closer to human languages. A number of convergence results for the evolutionary dynamics of (...) our models will be proved. (shrink)
The issue of worker alienation in the context of business ethics is critically examined. From a normative perspective, it is assumed that the minimal ethical requirement in business should include accountability for adverse consequences of management practice for workers in organizations. Using this standard, managerial actions that are responsible for worker alienation are considered unethical. The nature of work alienation and the organizational conditions responsible for it are outlined. Several dealienation measures in the form of empowerment strategies for management are (...) presented as ethical imperatives. (shrink)
This paper aims to establish three major theses: (1) Not only declarative sentences, but also interrogatives and imperatives, may be classified as true or as false. (2) Declarative, imperative, and interrogative utterances may also be classified as honest or as dishonest. (3) Whether an utterance is honest or dishonest is logically independent of whether it is true or is false. The establishment of the above theses follows upon the adoption of a principle for identifying what is meant by any (...) sentence, declarative, interrogative, or imperative. The analysis aims to show that meaning is to be attributed to the uttered or written sentence-token, rather to the thereby exhibited sentence-type. Further, the meaning of the sentential token is to be identified with a purpose of the speaker, that the speaker would reveal to the addressee by uttering the sentence. The to be revealed purpose is analysed into two components: an ultimate concern (that the addressee stand in such and such a relation--e.g., of believing, or informing the speaker about, or making it true that) and an ultimate topic of concern (the state of affairs, i.e., proposition, relative to which the speaker would have the addressee stand in the specified relation). Sentential utterances "signify" different purposes by "expressing" different ultimate concerns and "indicating" different ultimate topics of concern. Variations in expressed concern are correlated with variations in sentential form, such as declarative, interrogative and imperative. Variations in indicated topic of concern are correlated with variations in the subject and predicate of the uttered sentence. Thus, for example, utterances of "Johnny will jump in the lake," "Will Johnny jump in the lake?" and "Johnny, go jump in the lake!" all indicate one and the same ultimate topic of concern but express different ultimate concerns with this topic. A sentential utterance is true or false according as its indicated topic of concern is true or false. Hence, declaratives, interrogatives and imperatives may all be classified as true or as false. But honesty or dishonesty is a function (explained in the paper) of the expressed concern, rather than of the topic of concern. Hence, although utterances of all sentential forms are honest or dishonest, their honesty or dishonesty is logically independent of their truth or falsity. (shrink)
Several authors have recently argued that the content of pains (and bodily sensations more generally) is imperative rather than descriptive. I show that such an account can help resolve competing intuitions about phantom limb pain. As imperatives, phantom pains are neither true nor false. However, phantom limb pains presuppose falsehoods, in the same way that any imperative which demands something impossible presupposes a falsehood. Phantom pains, like many chronic pains, are thus commands that cannot be satisfied. I conclude by (...) showing that some of the negative psychological consequences of chronic pain are a direct consequence of their imperative nature. (shrink)
This paper makes the case for conceptualizing news as a contested commodity. It offers an unprecedented application of commodification theory to the problem of the sustainability of a free press in a democracy. When the news media are expected to be purveyors of the public interest while pursuing profits for their corporate owners, the result often is a clash of capitalist and journalistic imperatives. The amoral values of the market system conflict with the moral agency of a free press, (...) and the two are inherently incompatible. This study presents a synthesis of otherwise divergent theoretical perspectives to examine the free press-free market paradox from a new vista. The author concludes regulatory reforms are needed to insulate the press from the predatory expansion of a free market system that permeates every aspect of social life, including the production of news. “American mainstream media have become the watchdog and guardian of the corporate bottom line instead of the vanguard of democracy and the public interest…. Driven by profit maximization … Instead of protecting against abuses of government power by keeping the public adequately informed, they have become complicit in destabilizing and undermining American democracy.” —Elliot D. Cohen (2005a, p. 17). (shrink)
Abstract This paper argues that both technological determinism (the development of technology is uniquely determined by internal laws) and technological voluntarism (technological change can be externally directed and regulated by the wants and free choice of human beings) are one?sided and partly mistaken. The determinists are right in the sense that technology has a power to influence our values and behaviour, and thereby appear to direct ?technological imperatives? to us. However, such commands are always conditional on some value premises; (...) the voluntarists are thus right in pointing out that we need not obey such imperatives. The principle ?Can implies Ought? (all technological possibilities should be realized) is therefore invalid. (shrink)
It is claimed that 'Do x!' means 'Then you will do x'. Answering a "Why?" question concerning the former may take either of two forms, viz., 'Because --' or 'If you wish to --'. The second answer completes the truncated hypothetical. "Ought" sentences are treated as a species of imperatives involving universality in the "if" clause ('If anyone wished to --'). Moral "ought" sentences involve a double universality, viz., the one mentioned above and universality connecting the action with social (...) harmony (e.g., "If everyone were to do x, then there would be social harmony'). (shrink)
Abstract This paper offers a critique of Christine Korsgaard?s interpretation of Kantian instrumental reason. Korsgaard understands Kantian hypothetical imperatives to share a common normative source with the categorical imperative ? namely self-legislating, human rational agency. However, her reading of Kantian hypothetical imperatives is problematic for three reasons. Firstly, Korsgaard?s agent-centred approach renders incoherent Kant?s analytic-synthetic division. Secondly, by minimising the dualistic framework of Kant?s practical philosophy the dialectical character of practical rationality is lost: norms of instrumental reasoning therefore (...) become confused with those of moral reasoning. Thirdly, this in turn curtails the distinct critical authority of pure practical rationality over instrumental choice. The paper argues that we need to understand the normativity of instrumental rationality through the lens of Kant?s dualisms. An alternative interpretation is offered which highlights how the norms of hypothetical imperatives appeal to standards of theoretical cognition and practical efficiency rather than the self-legislative demands of pure practical reason. (shrink)
This discussion adjudicates a dispute between Larry Laudan and Gerald Doppelt over the nature of methodological rules. Laudan holds that all methodological rules are hypothetical imperatives, while Doppelt argues that a subset of those rules, basic methodological standards, are not hypothetical imperatives. I argue that neither writer offers a satisfactory account of methodological rules and that their reliance on the hypothetical/nonhypothetical distinction does not advance our understanding of methodological rules. I propose that we dispense with this dubious distinction (...) and develop an alternative account of scientific norms. (shrink)
Imperatives may be interpreted with many subvarieties of directive force, for example as orders, invitations, or pieces of advice. I argue that the range of meanings that imperatives can convey should be identiﬁed with the variety of interpretations that are possible for non-dynamic root modals (what I call ‘priority modals’), including deontic, bouletic, and teleological readings. This paper presents an analysis of the relationship between imperatives and priority modals in discourse which asserts that, just as declaratives contribute (...) to the Common Ground and thus provide information relevant to the interpretation of epistemic modals in subsequent discourse, imperatives contribute to another component of the discourse context, the addressee’s To-Do List, which serves as a contextual resource for the interpretation of priority modals. This analysis predicts that the interpretation of imperatives and modals in discourse is constrained in surprising ways; these predictions are borne out. (shrink)
Kant taught us that there are two kinds of norms: Categorical imperatives that one ought to follow regardless of one's personal aims and circumstances, and hypothetical imperatives that direct us to employ the means towards our chosen ends. Kant's distinction separates two approaches to normative epistemology. On the one hand, we have principles of "inductive rationality", typically supported by considerations such as intuitive plausibility, conformity with exemplary practice, and internal consistency. On the other hand, we may assess rules (...) for forming belief by how well they attain the objectives that motivate inquiry; in Levi's words, "the ends of inquiry control the legitimacy of inferences" [Levi 67, p. 241]. A doctrinaire attitude would ignore one of these perspectives in favour of the other; a balanced approach is to develop both and compare [cf. Helmann 97, Sec.2]. There are three possible relationships between hypothetical and categorical imperatives for empirical inquiry. (shrink)
This short essay attempts to challenge some of widely held philosophical assumptions on the nature of the relationship between logic, language and reality. In Section 1 the hegemony of theoretical logic is being questioned; Section 2 proposes a hypothesis on socially mediated semantics; Section 3 addresses the problem of ontology of logical sentential moods.
Pain, crucially, is unpleasant and motivational. It can be awful; and it drives us to action, e.g. to take our weight off a sprained ankle. But what is the relationship between pain and those two features? And in virtue of what does pain have them? Addressing these questions, Colin Klein and Richard J. Hall have recently developed the idea that pains are, at least partly, experiential commands—to stop placing your weight on your ankle, for example. In this paper, I reject (...) their accounts. Against Klein, I use dissociation cases to argue that possession of ‘imperative content’ cannot wholly constitute pain. Against them both, I further claim that possession of such content cannot even constitute pain’s unpleasant, motivational aspect. For, even if it were possible to specify the relevant imperative content—which is far from clear—the idea of a command cannot bear the explanatory weight Klein and Hall place on it. (shrink)
Kant has argued that moral requirements are categorical. Kant's claim has been challenged by some contemporary philosophers; this article defends Kant's doctrine. I argue that Kant's claim captures the unique feature of moral requirements. The main arguments against Kant's claim focus on one condition that a categorical imperative must meet: to be independent of desires. I argue that there is another important, but often ignored, condition that a categorical imperative must meet, and this second condition is crucial to understanding why (...) moral requirements are not hypothetical. I also argue that the claim that moral requirements are not categorical because they depend on desires for motivation is beside the point. The issue of whether moral requirements are categorical is not an issue about whether moral desires or feelings are necessary for moral motivation but are rather an issue about the ground of moral desires or moral feelings. Moral requirements are categorical because they are requirements of reason, and reason makes moral desires or feelings possible. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss the role played by the 'categorical imperative' in the thought of Jean-Luc Nancy. I argue that, while this is a theme of major importance in Nancy's work, its overall significance is not immediately evident: on the surface, Nancy appears to be affirming the abstract exigency of the imperative while at the same time depriving it of any possible concrete force. I maintain, however, that a close reading of this theme in terms of other crucial themes (...) in Nancy's writing (namely: 'interruption' and the Heideggerian notion of 'Being-with' [Mitsein, être-avec]) reveals that Nancy's imperative does have concrete implications; indeed, it demands that we rethink the relation between responsibility and the concrete as such. Key Words: communication • community • Jacques Derrida • Martin Heidegger • imperative • Jean-Luc Nancy • responsibility. (shrink)
Maura Tumulty has raised two objections to my imperative account of pain.1 First, she argues that there is a disanalogy between pains and other imperative sensations like itch, hunger, and thirst. Suppose (with Hall) one thinks that an itch says “Scratch here!”2 Scratch the itch, and it dutifully disappears. Not so with pain. The pain of a broken ankle has the content ‘Do not put weight on that ankle!’ Yet the coddled ankle still throbs: obeying the imperative does not extinguish (...) it. Second, Tumulty argues that the imperative account cannot handle certain pains, particularly pains of the deep viscera. On my account, pains proscribe against taking action with the painful body part. Yet some pains are associated with body parts over which we have no control. Kidney stones cause intense pain, but I cannot (voluntarily) control my kidney. What action, then, could that pain possibly proscribe? Lacking such a story, it is hard to say (as I do) that pains are exhausted by their imperative content. (shrink)
Rabindra Kanungo''s position that alienation at work can be eliminated within capitalism is critically evaluated. My argument is that Kanungo only emphasizes the psychological aspect of Marx''s view of alienation. The failure to include the ontological element of alienation results in the confused position that alienation can be eliminated while workers are still being separated from their work by capital. The role that the right to private property plays in the maintenance of this separation is also seen to be a (...) part of Marx''s conception of alienation that is missing from Kanungo''s analysis. The clarification of Marx''s conception of alienation results in the position that organizations within capitalism cannot live up to the moral imperative to be socially responsible in removing alienation at work. (shrink)
Disjoint imperative sentences like ( Nimm die ) Hände hoch, oder ich schiesse! , literally ( take your ) hands up, or I’ll shoot! intuitively present the addressee with all her alternatives for action. The speaker informs that all future worlds, as far as the speaker can forsee, are such that the addressee raises her hands or gets killed. I propose a semantic/pragmatic analysis for sentences in the imperative mood that adopts this exhausitve description of future alternatives as a semantic (...) backbone. Different contextual instantiations of alternatives capture a wide range of uses of sentences in imperative mood, as well as coordinations of imperative and declarative sentences, in a uniform way. (shrink)
Production methods for food from U.K. livestock industries (milk, dairy products, meat, eggs, fibre) are undergoing substantial change as a result of the need to respond to environmental and animal welfare awareness of purchasing customers, and to espouse the principles of environmental protection. There appears to be a strong will on the part of livestock farmers to satisfy the environmental imperative, led by the need to maintain market share and by existing and impending legislation. There has been support forthcoming in (...) the form of Government-sponsored scientific research and technological development to provide the necessary framework for new environmentally sensitive practices. The agricultural community has itself made substantial responses to market demand through the inception of Farm Assured Quality Assurance Schemes. These appear to have a more sustainable future than the extremes of organic farming and free-range practices. Pollution of agricultural land with nitrate and phosphate by intensive livestock industries is a greater problem in some parts of continental Europe than it is in the U.K. The distribution of livestock out of intensive units and into mixed farming systems, would require substantial restructuring of the industry. Many of the animal welfare requirements which have been forwarded as a part of the environmental agenda for agriculture have been voluntarily accepted by livestock producers. However, some major aspects, such as alternative housing systems for pigs and poultry, remain unresolved. Analysis of the science and technology support for the environmental imperative, especially from Government sources, would suggest that, although dramatically increased in recent years, environmentally orientated research remains a relatively small proportion of the whole. Whilst a movement away from governmental funding of volume production appears to be justifiable, there has not been an equivalent balancing of effort toward funding for product quality, sustainability, environmental protection and animal welfare. Nevertheless, the university education system is producing a generation of more environmentally aware agricultural science graduates who are opting to pursue Government-sponsored environmentally orientated postgraduate research programs. (shrink)
Like many languages, Korean has a special form of negation that is used in imperative clauses (see (1)c), to the exclusion of the usual clausal negation in (1)b: (1) a. ka-la b. *ka-ci anh-ala c. ka-ci mal-ala go-Imp go-Comp Neg-Imp go-Comp Neg-Imp ‘Don’t go!’ ‘Don’t go!’ ‘Go!’ Sadock and Zwicky (1985) noted that negation in imperative(-like) clauses shows special morpho-syntax in many languages, a fact documented in more detail by Zanuttini (1997) or Han (2000). In this paper I will consider (...) the semantic properties of Korean clauses that use the negative form mal-, and suggest a more indirect relationship to the morpho-syntax than has been assumed in previous work.∗ In section 2 I present the basic account of clausal semantics in the HPSG framework of Ginzburg and Sag (2000), and then in section 3 I return to a fuller consideration of data like that in (1). (shrink)
Wide-scopers argue that the detachment of intuitively false ‘ought’ claims from hypothetical imperatives is blocked because ‘ought’ takes wide, as opposed to narrow, scope. I present two arguments against this view. The first questions the premise that natural language conditionals are true just in case the antecedent is false. The second shows that intuitively false ‘ought’s can still be detached even WITH wide-scope readings. This weakens the motivation for wide-scoping.
I resolve the major challenge to an Expressivist theory of the meaning of normative discourse: the Frege–Geach Problem. Drawing on considerations from the semantics of directive language (e.g., imperatives), I argue that, although certain forms of Expressivism (like Gibbard’s) do run into at least one version of the Problem, it is reasonably clear that there is a version of Expressivism that does not.
Recent economic and political advances in developing countries on the African continent and South East Asia are threatened by the rising death and morbidity rates of HIV/AIDS. In the first part of this paper we explain the reasons for the absence of affordable access to essential AIDS medication. In the second part we take a closer look at some of the pivotal frameworks relevant for this situation and undertake an ethical analysis of these frameworks. In the third part we discuss (...) a few of the proposed solutions to the problem and conclude with an argument in support of our preferred course of action. In this article we argue for compulsory licensing of essential AIDS medications in the current conditions of public health emergency. We argue on broadly consequentialist grounds that compulsory licensing is preferable both morally and pragmatically to the alternatives, notably the currently offered price cuts and drug donation schemes. (shrink)
``The diversity of cultures in this world isreally important. It's the richness that wehave which, in fact, will save us from beingcaught up in one big idea''.Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the Web)addressing the 10th International World WideWeb Conference, Hong Kong.
When a conflict of duties arises, a resolution is often sought by use of an ordering of priority or importance. This paper examines how such a conflict resolution works, compares mechanisms that have been proposed in the literature, and gives preference to one developed by Brewka and Nebel. I distinguish between two cases – that some conflicts may remain unresolved, and that a priority ordering can be determined that resolves all – and provide semantics and axiomatic systems for accordingly defined (...) dyadic deontic operators. (shrink)
This essay argues strongly that racism in the United States hurts thefuture of all children. To eradicate this pernicious mindset inits institutional forms requires that we understand that race,as an idea that shapes social organization in this country,is a unique historical product dating from the colonial periodof the southern colonies of mainland British North America.Further, the mythology about American history, as it is taughtin school, excuses and legitimates continued inequality,oppression, and racism today. This essay traces the historyof class oppression from (...) the 17th century, when the institutionof slavery was invented as a means of securing the unpaidchattel bonded labor of Anglo-Europeans, to the emergenceof unfree labor as a form of racial oppression, and subsequently the institutionalization of racial slavery inthe 18th century. Racial slavery, which elevated whitesupremacy and privilege, was still not synonymous with themodern form of pseudo-scientific racism that emerged as adefense of slavery in the antebellum period and its aftermathin the Civil War and Reconstruction. Racism and the legacyof white privilege is still used as a means of social controlto mask class relations and to thereby control and diminishcollective social action that potentially would occurin the absence of the color line. Knowledge of race as anhistorical construct created by human beings in particularcircumstances raises the possibility that race, racism, and its effects can also be changed by human beings acting in opposition to the conditions that artificially separate us. (shrink)