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  1. Rationalization and the Ross Paradox.Benj Hellie - 2016 - In Nate Charlow & Matthew Chrisman (eds.), Deontic Modality. Oxford University Press. pp. 283--323.
    'Post this letter!' does not entail 'Post this letter or drink up my wine!' (the Ross Paradox) because one can be in a state with the content of the former without being in a state with the content of the latter; in turn, because the latter can rationalize drinking up my wine but the former cannot; in turn, because practical rationalization flows toward one's present situation, in contrast with the flow of theoretical rationalization from one's present situation. Formally, this is (...)
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  • Nonfactual Know-How and the Boundaries of Semantics.Paolo Santorio - 2016 - Philosophical Review 125 (1):35-82.
    Know-how and expressivism are usually regarded as disjoint topics, belonging to distant areas of philosophy. This paper argues that, despite obvious differences, the two debates have important similarities. In particular, semantic and conceptual tools developed by expressivists can be exported to the know-how debate. On the one hand, some of the expressivists' semantic resources can be used to deflect Stanley and Williamson's influential argument for factualism about know-how: the claim that knowing how to do something consists in knowing a fact. (...)
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  • Imperatives, Logic Of.Peter B. M. Vranas - 2013 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), International Encyclopedia of Ethics, vol. 5. Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 2575-2585.
    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 imperatives (...)
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  • New Foundations for Imperative Logic Iii: A General Definition of Argument Validity.Peter B. M. Vranas - 2012 - Manuscript in Preparation.
    Besides pure declarative arguments, whose premises and conclusions are declaratives (“you sinned shamelessly; so you sinned”), and pure imperative arguments, whose premises and conclusions are imperatives (“repent quickly; so repent”), there are mixed-premise arguments, whose premises include both imperatives and declaratives (“if you sinned, repent; you sinned; so repent”), and cross-species arguments, whose premises are declaratives and whose conclusions are imperatives (“you must repent; so repent”) or vice versa (“repent; so you can repent”). I propose a general definition of argument (...)
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  • Dynamic Expressivism About Deontic Modality.William B. Starr - 2016 - In Nate Charlow Matthew Chrisman (ed.), Deontic Modality. Oxford University Press. pp. 355-394.
  • Imperatives and the More Generalised Tarski Thesis.Hannah Clark-Younger - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (4):314-320.
    J.C. Beall and Greg Restall's Generalised Tarski Thesis is a generalisation of the seemingly diverse conceptions of logical consequence. However, even their apparently general account of consequence makes necessary truth-preservation a necessary condition. Sentences in the imperative mood pose a problem for any truth-preservationist account of consequence, because imperatives are not truth-apt but seem to be capable of standing in the relation of logical consequence. In this paper, I show that an imperative logic can be formulated that solves the problem (...)
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  • The Meaning of Imperatives.Nate Charlow - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (8):540-555.
    This article surveys a range of current views on the semantics of imperatives, presenting them as more or less conservative with respect to the Truth-Conditional Paradigm in semantics. It describes and critiques views at either extreme of this spectrum: accounts on which the meaning of an imperative is a modal truth-condition, as well as various accounts that attempt to explain imperative meaning without making use of truth-conditions. It briefly describes and encourages further work on a family of views lying somewhere (...)
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  • Free Choice is a Form of Dependence.Magdalena Kaufmann - 2016 - Natural Language Semantics 24 (3):247-290.
    This paper refutes the widespread view that disjunctions of imperatives invariably grant free choice between the actions named by their disjuncts. Like other disjunctions they can also express a correlation with some factual distinction, but as with modalized declaratives used for non-assertive speech acts this needs to be indicated explicitly. A compositional analysis of one such indicator, depending on, constitutes the point of departure for a uniform analysis of disjunctions across clause types. Disjunctions are analyzed as sets of propositional alternatives (...)
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  • A Lewisian Taxonomy for Deontic Logic.Vladimír Svoboda - 2018 - Synthese 195 (7):3241-3266.
    Philosophers like G.H. von Wright and D. Makinson have pointed to serious challenges regarding the foundations of deontic logic. In this paper, I suggest that to deal successfully with these challenges a reconsideration of the research program of the discipline is useful. Some problems that have troubled this particular field of logical study for decades may disappear or appear more tractable if we view them from the perspective of a language game introduced by D. Lewis involving three characters: the Master, (...)
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  • The Problem with the Frege–Geach Problem.Nate Charlow - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (3):635-665.
    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.
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  • Obligation and Aspect.Benj Hellie - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (4):398-449.
    ‘Fred must open the door’ concerns Fred’s obligations. This obligative meaning is turned off by adding aspect: ‘Fred must have opened/be opening/have been opening the door’ are one and all epistemic. Why? In a nutshell: obligative ’must’ operates on procedural contents of imperative sentences, epistemic ‘must’ on propositional contents of declarative sentences; and adding aspect converts procedural into propositional content.
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  • New Foundations for Imperative Logic III: A General Definition of Argument Validity.Peter Vranas - 2016 - Synthese 193 (6):1703-1753.
    Besides pure declarative arguments, whose premises and conclusions are declaratives, and pure imperative arguments, whose premises and conclusions are imperatives, there are mixed-premise arguments, whose premises include both imperatives and declaratives, and cross-species arguments, whose premises are declaratives and whose conclusions are imperatives or vice versa. I propose a general definition of argument validity: an argument is valid exactly if, necessarily, every fact that sustains its premises also sustains its conclusion, where a fact sustains an imperative exactly if it favors (...)
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  • Decision-Theoretic Relativity in Deontic Modality.Nate Charlow - 2018 - Linguistics and Philosophy 41 (3):251-287.
    This paper explores the idea that a semantics for ‘ought’ should be neutral between different ways of deciding what an agent ought to do in a situation. While the idea is, I argue, well-motivated, taking it seriously leads to surprising, even paradoxical, problems for theorizing about the meaning of ‘ought’. This paper describes and defends one strategy—a form of Expressivism for the modal ‘ought’—for navigating these problems.
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  • Clause-Type, Force, and Normative Judgment in the Semantics of Imperatives.Nate Charlow - forthcoming - In Daniel Fogal Daniel Harris & Matt Moss (eds.), New Work on Speech Acts. Oxford University Press.
    I argue that imperatives express contents that are both cognitively and semantically related to, but nevertheless distinct from, modal propositions. Imperatives, on this analysis, semantically encode features of planning that are modally specified. Uttering an imperative amounts to tokening this feature in discourse, and thereby proffering it for adoption by the audience. This analysis deals smoothly with the problems afflicting Portner's Dynamic Pragmatic account and Kaufmann's Modal account. It also suggests an appealing reorientation of clause-type theorizing, in which the cognitive (...)
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  • Metanormative Theory and the Meaning of Deontic Modals.Matthew Chrisman - 2016 - In Nate Charlow & Matthew Chrisman (eds.), Deontic Modality. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 395-424.
    Philosophical debate about the meaning of normative terms has long been pulled in two directions by the apparently competing ideas: (i) ‘ought’s do not describe what is actually the case but rather prescribe possible action, thought, or feeling, (ii) all declarative sentences deserve the same general semantic treatment, e.g. in terms of compositionally specified truth conditions. In this paper, I pursue resolution of this tension by rehearsing the case for a relatively standard truth-conditionalist semantics for ‘ought’ conceived as a necessity (...)
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  • Imperative Conditionals.Josh Parsons - unknown
    An imperative conditional is a conditional in the imperative mood (by analogy with “indicative conditional”, “subjunctive conditional”). What, in general, is the meaning and the illocutionary effect of an imperative conditional? I survey four answers: the answer that imperative conditionals are commands to the effect that an indicative conditional be true; two versions of the answer that imperative conditionals express irreducibly conditional commands; and finally, the answer that imperative conditionals express a kind of hybrid speech act between command and assertion.
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  • Speech Acts: The Contemporary Theoretical Landscape.Daniel W. Harris, Daniel Fogal & Matt Moss - forthcoming - In Daniel Fogal, Matt Moss & Daniel Harris (eds.), New Work on Speech Acts. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    What makes it the case that an utterance constitutes an illocutionary act of a given kind? This is the central question of speech-act theory. Answers to it—i.e., theories of speech acts—have proliferated. Our main goal in this chapter is to clarify the logical space into which these different theories fit. -/- We begin, in Section 1, by dividing theories of speech acts into five families, each distinguished from the others by its account of the key ingredients in illocutionary acts. Are (...)
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  • A Preference Semantics for Imperatives.William B. Starr - manuscript
    Imperative sentences like Dance! do not seem to represent the world. Recent modal analyses challenge this idea, but its intuitive and historical appeal remain strong. This paper presents three new challenges for a non-representational analysis, showing that the obstacles facing it are even steeper than previously appreciated. I will argue that the only way for the non-representationalist to meet these three challenges is to adopt a dynamic semantics. Such a dynamic semantics is proposed here: imperatives introduce preferences between alternatives. This (...)
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  • Decision Theory: Yes! Truth Conditions: No!Nate Charlow - 2016 - In Nate Charlow Matthew Chrisman (ed.), Deontic Modality. Oxford University Press.
    This essay makes the case for, in the phrase of Angelika Kratzer, packing the fruits of the study of rational decision-making into our semantics for deontic modals—specifically, for parametrizing the truth-condition of a deontic modal to things like decision problems and decision theories. Then it knocks it down. While the fundamental relation of the semantic theory must relate deontic modals to things like decision problems and theories, this semantic relation cannot be intelligibly understood as representing the conditions under which a (...)
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  • The Meaning of 'Ought': Beyond Descriptivism and Expressivism in Metaethics.Matthew Chrisman - 2016 - Oxford University Press USA.
    The word 'ought' is one of the core normative terms, but it is also a modal word. In this book Matthew Chrisman develops a careful account of the semantics of 'ought' as a modal operator, and uses this to motivate a novel inferentialist account of why ought-sentences have the meaning that they have. This is a metanormative account that agrees with traditional descriptivist theories in metaethics that specifying the truth-conditions of normative sentences is a central part of the explanation of (...)
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  • Prospects for an Expressivist Theory of Meaning.Nate Charlow - 2015 - Philosophers' Imprint 15:1-43.
    Advocates of Expressivism about basically any kind of language are best-served by abandoning a traditional content-centric approach to semantic theorizing, in favor of an update-centric or dynamic approach (or so this paper argues). The type of dynamic approach developed here — in contrast to the content-centric approach — is argued to yield canonical, if not strictly classical, "explanations" of the core semantic properties of the connectives. (The cases on which I focus most here are negation and disjunction.) I end the (...)
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  • X—Knowing What One Ought to Do.Matthew Chrisman - 2015 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 115 (2pt2):167-186.
    This paper considers two competing pictures of knowledge of what one ought to do—one which assimilates this to other propositional knowledge conceived as partial ‘locational’ knowledge of where one is in a space of possibilities, the other which distinguishes this from other propositional knowledge by construing it as partial ‘directional’ knowledge of what to do in particular circumstances. I argue that the apparent tension can be lessened by better understanding the contextualized modal-cum-prescriptive nature of ‘ought’ and enriching our conception of (...)
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  • Conditional Preferences and Practical Conditionals.Nate Charlow - 2013 - Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (6):463-511.
    I argue that taking the Practical Conditionals Thesis seriously demands a new understanding of the semantics of such conditionals. Practical Conditionals Thesis: A practical conditional [if A][ought] expresses B’s conditional preferability given A Paul Weirich has argued that the conditional utility of a state of affairs B on A is to be identified as the degree to which it is desired under indicative supposition that A. Similarly, exploiting the PCT, I will argue that the proper analysis of indicative practical conditionals (...)
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  • Triviality For Restrictor Conditionals.Nate Charlow - 2016 - Noûs 50 (3):533-564.
    I present two Triviality results for Kratzer's standard “restrictor” analysis of indicative conditionals. I both refine and undermine the common claim that problems of Triviality do not arise for Kratzer conditionals since they are not strictly conditionals at all.
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