Deliberative modality under epistemic uncertainty

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

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Author Profiles

Fabrizio Cariani
University of Maryland, College Park
Stefan Kaufmann
University of Connecticut

Citations of this work

Bounded Modality.Matthew Mandelkern - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (1):1-61.
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How to Be an Ethical Expressivist.Alex Silk - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (1):47-81.

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References found in this work

Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Blackwell.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Foundations of Language 13 (1):145-151.
Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 36 (3):602-605.

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