Semantics for Deontic Modals

In Ernest Lepore & Una Stojnic (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press (forthcoming)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Over the last fifteen years, linguists and philosophers of language have reexamined the canonical, Kratzerian semantics for modal expressions, with special attention paid to their epistemic and deontic uses. This article is an overview of the literature on deontic modal expressions. Section 1 provides an overview of the canonical semantics, noting some of its main advantages. Section 2 introduces a set of desiderata that have achieved the status of fixed points in the debates about whether the canonical semantics is correct. These include the observations that deontic modal sentences have both deliberative and evaluative readings and both information-sensitive and -insensitive readings. Adequate resolutions of certain puzzles in deontic logic and resolving the Frege-Geach problem for Expressivism have also achieved this status. The third section provides an opinionated overview of some of the main extant rivals to the canonical semantics, including Cariani, Kaufmann, and Kaufmann’s (2013) complex contextualism , Yalcin’s (2012) Expressivism, Willer’s (2014) dynamic semantics, and Starr’s (2016) dynamic Expressivism. Section 4 provides an assessment of each of the views discussed in terms of the desiderata introduced in section 2. Section 5 is an overview of remaining issues that require more attention in the literature.



External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Deontic Modals.Jennifer Carr - 2017 - In Tristram Colin McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. New York: Routledge. pp. 194-210.
Deontic Logic and Natural Language.Fabrizio Cariani - forthcoming - In Dov Gabbay, Ron van der Meyden, John Horty, Xavier Parent & Leandert van der Torre (eds.), The Handbook of Deontic Logic (Vol. II). College Publications.
Deontic Modality.Nate Charlow & Matthew Chrisman (eds.) - 2016 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Deontic Modals and Probability: One Theory to Rule Them All?Fabrizio Cariani - forthcoming - In Nate Charlow & Matthew Chrisman (eds.), Deontic Modality. Oxford University Press.
Decision Theory: Yes! Truth Conditions: No!Nate Charlow - 2016 - In Nate Charlow Matthew Chrisman (ed.), Deontic Modality. Oxford University Press.
The Language of Reasons and 'Ought'.Aaron Bronfman & J. L. Dowell - 2018 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. New York, NY, United States of America: Oxford University Press.
Contrastive Semantics for Deontic Modals.Justin Snedegar - 2013 - In Martijn Blaauw (ed.), Contrastivism in philosophy. New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.
Deontic modals and hyperintensionality.Federico L. G. Faroldi - 2019 - Logic Journal of the IGPL 27 (4):387-410.
The Interpretation Of Vp Complements Of Deontic Modals.Sonja Miletic - 2006 - Facta Universitatis, Series: Linguistics and Literature 4 (1):53-59.
Flexible Contextualism about Deontic Modals: A Puzzle about Information-Sensitivity.J. L. Dowell - 2013 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 56 (2-3):149-178.
For a Dynamic Semantics of Necessity Deontic Modals.Alessandra Marra - 2016 - In Olivier Roy, Allard Tamminga & Malte Willer (eds.), Deontic Logic and Normative Systems. London, UK: College Publications. pp. 124-138.
Deontic Modals.Matthew Chrisman - 2015 - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
An object‐based truthmaker semantics for modals.Friederike Moltmann - 2018 - Philosophical Issues 28 (1):255-288.


Added to PP

183 (#104,216)

6 months
58 (#73,312)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Janice Dowell
Syracuse University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references