Truth-assessment Methodology and the Case against the Relativist Case 1 a gainst Contextualism about Deontic Modals

Res Philosophica 94 (3):325-357 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Recent challenges to Kratzer’s canonical contextualist semantics for modal expressions are united by a shared methodological practice: Each requires the assessment of the truth or warrant of a sentence in a scenario. The default evidential status accorded these judgments is a constraining one: It is assumed that, to be plausible, a semantic hypothesis must vindicate the reported judgments. Fully assessing the extent to which these cases do generate data that puts pressure on the canonical semantics, then, requires an understanding of this methodological practice. Here I argue that not all assessments are fit to play this evidential role. To play it, we need reason to think that speakers’ assessments can be reasonably expected to be reliable. Minimally, having such grounds requires that assessments are given against the background of non-defectively characterized points of evaluation. Assessing MacFarlane’s central challenge case to contextualism about deontic modals in light of this constraint shows that his judgments do not have the needed evidential significance. In addition, new experimental data shows that once the needed scenario is characterized non-defectively, none of the resulting range of cases provides data that cannot be accommodated by a Kratzer-style contextualism.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,386

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Contextualism about Deontic Conditionals.Aaron Bronfman & Janice Dowell, J. L. - 2016 - In Nate Charlow & Matthew Chrisman (eds.), Deontic Modality. Oxford: pp. 117-142.
Decision Theory: Yes! Truth Conditions: No!Nate Charlow - 2016 - In Nate Charlow Matthew Chrisman (ed.), Deontic Modality. 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.
Contrastive Semantics for Deontic Modals.Justin Snedegar - 2013 - In Martijn Blaauw (ed.), Contrastivism in philosophy. New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.
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.
The Interpretation Of Vp Complements Of Deontic Modals.Sonja Miletic - 2006 - Facta Universitatis, Series: Linguistics and Literature 4 (1):53-59.
The evidence for relativism.Max Kölbel - 2009 - Synthese 166 (2):375-395.

Analytics

Added to PP
2017-06-27

Downloads
117 (#149,459)

6 months
20 (#125,481)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Janice Dowell
Syracuse University

Citations of this work

Discourse Contextualism.J. L. Dowell - 2018 - Analysis 78 (3):562-566.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Epistemic Modals.Seth Yalcin - 2007 - Mind 116 (464):983-1026.
Ought, Agents, and Actions.Mark Schroeder - 2011 - Philosophical Review 120 (1):1-41.
On Quantifier Domain Restriction.Jason Stanley & Zoltán Gendler Szabó - 2000 - Mind and Language 15 (2-3):219--61.
Ought, Agents, and Actions.Mark Schroeder - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (3):1-41.

View all 23 references / Add more references