Restricting and Embedding Imperatives

In M. Aloni, H. Bastiaanse, T. de Jager & K. Schulz (eds.), Logic, Language, and Meaning: Selected Papers from the 17th Amsterdam Colloquium. Springer (2010)
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Abstract

We use imperatives to refute a naïve analysis of update potentials (force-operators attaching to sentences), arguing for a dynamic analysis of imperative force as restrictable, directed, and embeddable. We propose a dynamic, non-modal analysis of conditional imperatives, as a counterpoint to static, modal analyses. Our analysis retains Kratzer's analysis of if-clauses as restrictors of some operator, but avoids typing it as a generalized quantifier over worlds (against her), instead as a dynamic force operator. Arguments for a restrictor treatment (but against a quantificational treatment) are mustered, and we propose a novel analysis of update on conditional imperatives (and an independently motivated revision of the standard ordering-semantics for root modals that makes use of it). Finally, we argue that imperative force is embeddable under an operation much like dynamic conjunction.

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Nate Charlow
University of Toronto, St. George Campus

Citations of this work

A Preference Semantics for Imperatives.William B. Starr - 2020 - Semantics and Pragmatics 20.
The problem with the Frege–Geach problem.Nate Charlow - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (3):635-665.
Logic and Semantics for Imperatives.Nate Charlow - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (4):617-664.
VI-BayesianExpressivism.Seth Yalcin - 2012 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 112 (2pt2):123-160.

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References found in this work

General semantics.David K. Lewis - 1970 - Synthese 22 (1-2):18--67.
Ifs and Oughts.Niko Kolodny & John MacFarlane - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (3):115-143.
Knowledge and Action.J. Stanley & J. Hawthorne - 2008 - Revista Cultura E Fé 37 (144).
What we know and what to do.Nate Charlow - 2013 - Synthese 190 (12):2291-2323.

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