Decision Theory: Yes! Truth Conditions: No!

In Nate Charlow & Matthew Chrisman (eds.), Deontic Modality. New York, NY: Oxford University Press (2016)
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Abstract

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 deontic modal is true. Rather it represents the conditions under which it is accepted by a semantically competent agent. This in turn motivates a reorientation of the whole of semantic theorizing, away from the truth-conditional paradigm, toward a form of Expressivism.

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Author's Profile

Nate Charlow
University of Toronto, St. George Campus

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References found in this work

A Preference Semantics for Imperatives.William B. Starr - 2020 - Semantics and Pragmatics 20.
Logic and Semantics for Imperatives.Nate Charlow - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (4):617-664.
What we know and what to do.Nate Charlow - 2013 - Synthese 190 (12):2291-2323.

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