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  1. Two Puzzles About Ability Can.Malte Willer - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (3):551-586.
    The received wisdom on ability modals is that they differ from their epistemic and deontic cousins in what inferences they license and better receive a universal or conditional analysis instead of an existential one. The goal of this paper is to sharpen the empirical picture about the semantics of ability modals, and to propose an analysis that explains what makes the can of ability so special but that also preserves the crucial idea that all uses of can share a common (...)
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  • “Ought” and Intensionality.Junhyo Lee - forthcoming - Synthese:1-23.
    The syntactic structure of the deontic “ought” has been much debated in philosophy and linguistics. Schroeder argues that the deontic “ought” is syntactically ambiguous in the sense that it can be associated with either a control or raising construction. He distinguishes between deliberative and evaluative “ought”s and argues that the deliberative “ought” is control while the evaluative “ought” is raising. However, if there is a control sense of “ought,” it implies that there is a sense of “ought” in which the (...)
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  • Compositional Semantics and Normative ‘Ought’.Joanna Klimczyk - 2021 - Axiomathes 31 (3):381-399.
    According to the paradigm view in linguistics and philosophical semantics, it is lexical semantics plus the principle of compositionality that allows us to compute the meaning of an arbitrary sentence. The job of LS is to assign meaning to individual expressions, whereas PC says how to combine these individual meanings into larger ones. In this paper I argue that the pair LS + PC fails to account for the discourse-relevant meaning of normative ‘ought’. If my hypothesis is tenable, then the (...)
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  • Deliberation, Reasons, and Alternatives.Justin Snedegar - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (3):682-702.
    A plausible constraint on normative reasons to act is that it must make sense to use them as premises in deliberation. I argue that a central sort of deliberation – what Bratman calls partial planning – is question-directed: it is over, and aims to resolve, deliberative questions. Whether it makes sense to use some consideration as a premise in deliberation in a case of partial planning can vary with the deliberative question at issue. I argue that the best explanation for (...)
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  • Modality, Scale Structure, and Scalar Reasoning.Daniel Lassiter - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (4):461-490.
    Epistemic and deontic comparatives differ in how they interact with disjunction. I argue that this difference provides a compelling empirical argument against the semantics of Kratzer, which predicts that all modal comparatives should interact with disjunction in the same way. Interestingly, an identical distinction is found in the semantics of non-modal adjectives: additive adjectives like ‘heavy’ behave logically like epistemic comparatives, and intermediate adjectives like ‘hot’ behave like deontic comparatives. I characterize this distinction formally and argue that the divergence between (...)
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  • Deontological Evidentialism, Wide-Scope, and Privileged Values.Luis Oliveira - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (2):485-506.
    Deontological evidentialism is the claim that we ought to form and maintain our beliefs in accordance with our evidence. In this paper, I criticize two arguments in its defense. I begin by discussing Berit Broogard’s use of the distinction between narrow-scope and wide-scope requirements against W.K. Clifford’s moral defense of. I then use this very distinction against a defense of inspired by Stephen Grimm’s more recent claims about the moral source of epistemic normativity. I use this distinction once again to (...)
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  • Detachment and Deontic Language in Law.Robert Mullins - 2018 - Law and Philosophy 37 (4):351-384.
    Some legal philosophers regard the use of deontic language to describe the law as philosophically significant. Joseph Raz argues that it gives rise to ‘the problem of normativity of law’. He develops an account of what he calls ‘detached’ legal statements to resolve the problem. Unfortunately, Raz’s account is difficult to reconcile with the orthodox semantics of deontic language. The article offers a revised account of the distinction between committed and detached legal statements. It argues that deontic statements carry a (...)
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  • Practical Commitment in Normative Discourse.Pekka Väyrynen - forthcoming - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy.
    Many normative judgments play a practical role in our thought. This paper concerns how their practical role is reflected in language. It is natural to wonder whether the phenomenon is semantic or pragmatic. The standard assumption in moral philosophy is that at least terms which can be used to express “thin” normative concepts – such as 'good', 'right', and 'ought' – are associated with certain practical roles somehow as a matter of meaning. But this view is rarely given explicit defense (...)
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  • Social Ontology and Social Normativity.Brian Donohue - 2020 - Dissertation, University at Buffalo
    Many recent accounts of the ontology of groups, institutions, and practices have touched upon the normative or deontic dimensions of social reality (e.g., social obligations, claims, permissions, prohibitions, authority, and immunity), as distinct from any specifically moral values or obligations. For the most part, however, the ontology of such socio-deontic phenomena has not received the attention it deserves. In what sense might a social obligation or a claim exist? What is the ontological status of such an obligation (e.g., is it (...)
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  • Enkratic Rationality Is Instrumental Rationality.Wooram Lee - 2020 - Philosophical Perspectives 34 (1):164-183.
    It is widely agreed that there is a rational requirement, “Enkrasia”, which requires that you intend what you believe you ought to do. This paper argues that Enkrasia is not an independent requirement of practical rationality: it is a special case of the requirement to be instrumentally rational. I argue for this view of Enkrasia through an analysis of an all‐things‐considered belief about what you ought to do. Believing, all‐thing‐considered, that you ought to φ implies being settled on a set (...)
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  • Ought, Agents and Ambiguity That Matters.Joanna Klimczyk - 2017 - Studia Semiotyczne 31 (2):113-138.
    According to a well-homed view in linguistic semantics, deontic logic and logic of agency, some ‘ought’ sentences, like ‘Kate ought to write the report’, are ambiguous between the socalled agentive sense as when Kate is the agent of writing the report, and the non-agentive, or evaluative sense as when, in the light of some norm or things being ideal, the proposition that Kate writes the report would come out true. Within this approach to the semantics of ‘ought’, the ambiguity in (...)
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  • Deontic Modals and Probability: One Theory to Rule Them All?Fabrizio Cariani - forthcoming - In Nate Charlow & Matthew Chrisman (eds.), Deontic Modality. Oxford University Press.
    This paper motivates and develops a novel semantic framework for deontic modals. The framework is designed to shed light on two things: the relationship between deontic modals and substantive theories of practical rationality and the interaction of deontic modals with conditionals, epistemic modals and probability operators. I argue that, in order to model inferential connections between deontic modals and probability operators, we need more structure than is provided by classical intensional theories. In particular, we need probabilistic structure that interacts directly (...)
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  • Contrastivism About Reasons and Ought.Justin Snedegar - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (6):379-388.
    Contrastivism about some concept says that the concept is relativized to sets of alternatives. Relative to some alternatives, the concept may apply, but relative to others, it may not. This article explores contrastivism about the central normative concepts of reasons and ought. Contrastivism about reasons says that a consideration may be a reason for an action A rather than one alternative, B, but may not be a reason for A rather than some other alternative, C. Likewise, contrastivism about ought says (...)
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