In Nate Charlow & Matthew Chrisman (eds.), Deontic Modality. Oxford University Press. pp. 283--323 (2016)

Benj Hellie
University of Toronto at Scarborough
'Post this letter!' does not entail 'Post this letter or drink up my wine!' (the Ross Paradox) because one can be in a state with the content of the former without being in a state with the content of the latter; in turn, because the latter can rationalize drinking up my wine but the former cannot; in turn, because practical rationalization flows toward one's present situation, in contrast with the flow of theoretical rationalization from one's present situation. Formally, this is implemented with a semantics for imperatives involving a partition to set up an issue of significance and a proposition to establish how to settle it. I characterize a series of languages and language-games to implement all this, and appeal to an 'endorsement-theoretic' conception of modals as quantifiers over mental states to explain why 'You must post this letter' does not entail 'You must either post this letter or drink up my wine'.
Keywords Ross Paradox  rationalization  deontic modality  imperative semantics  intentions  partitions  endorsement theory  expressivism  language games
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Epistemic Modals.Seth Yalcin - 2007 - Mind 116 (464):983-1026.
The Possibility of Practical Reason.David Velleman - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.

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Citations of this work BETA

Praxeology, Imperatives, and Shifts of View.Benj Hellie - 2018 - In Rowland Stout (ed.), Process, action, and experience. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 185--209.

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