Deontic Modals and Probability: One Theory to Rule Them All?

In Nate Charlow & Matthew Chrisman (eds.), Deontic Modality. Oxford University Press (forthcoming)
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Abstract

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 with the compositional semantics of deontic modals. However, I reject theories that provide this probabilistic structure by claiming that the semantics of deontic modals is linked to the Bayesian notion of expectation. I offer a probabilistic premise semantics that explains all the data that create trouble for the rival theories.

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Author's Profile

Fabrizio Cariani
University of Maryland, College Park

Citations of this work

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References found in this work

On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and belief.Jaakko Hintikka - 1962 - Ithaca, N.Y.,: Cornell University Press.
Thinking how to live.Allan Gibbard - 2003 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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