Deliberative modality under epistemic uncertainty

Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (3):225-259 (2013)

Authors
Fabrizio Cariani
Northwestern University
Stefan Kaufmann
University of Connecticut
Abstract
We discuss the semantic significance of a puzzle concerning ‘ought’ and conditionals recently discussed by Kolodny and MacFarlane. We argue that the puzzle is problematic for the standard Kratzer-style analysis of modality. In Kratzer’s semantics, modals are evaluated relative to a pair of conversational backgrounds. We show that there is no sensible way of assigning values to these conversational backgrounds so as to derive all of the intuitions in Kolodny and MacFarlane’s case. We show that the appropriate verdicts can be derived by extending Kratzer’s framework to feature a third conversational background and claiming that the relevant reading of ‘ought’ is sensitive to this parameter
Keywords Modality  Deliberative modality  Kratzer semantics  Premise semantics  Decision theory
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DOI 10.1007/s10988-013-9134-4
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References found in this work BETA

Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Blackwell.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Reasoning About Knowledge.Ronald Fagin (ed.) - 1995 - MIT Press.
Epistemic Modals.Seth Yalcin - 2007 - Mind 116 (464):983-1026.
Ifs and Oughts.Niko Kolodny & John MacFarlane - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (3):115-143.

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Citations of this work BETA

Bounded Modality.Matthew Mandelkern - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (1):1-61.
Conditional Preferences and Practical Conditionals.Nate Charlow - 2013 - Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (6):463-511.
Evidence Sensitivity in Weak Necessity Deontic Modals.Alex Silk - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (4):691-723.
Modus Ponens Under the Restrictor View.Moritz Schulz - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (6):1001-1028.

View all 16 citations / Add more citations

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