Journal of Philosophy 107 (3):115-143 (2010)

Authors
John MacFarlane
University of California, Berkeley
Niko Kolodny
University of California, Berkeley
Abstract
We consider a paradox involving indicative conditionals (‘ifs’) and deontic modals (‘oughts’). After considering and rejecting several standard options for resolv- ing the paradox—including rejecting various premises, positing an ambiguity or hidden contextual sensitivity, and positing a non-obvious logical form—we offer a semantics for deontic modals and indicative conditionals that resolves the paradox by making modus ponens invalid. We argue that this is a result to be welcomed on independent grounds, and we show that rejecting the general validity of modus ponens is compatible with vindicating most ordinary uses of modus ponens in reasoning.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0022-362X
DOI 10.5840/jphil2010107310
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References found in this work BETA

A Counterexample to Modus Ponens.Vann McGee - 1985 - Journal of Philosophy 82 (9):462-471.
Meaning and Speech Acts.R. M. Hare - 1970 - Philosophical Review 79 (1):3-24.
On a Supposed Counterexample to Modus Ponens.Bernard D. Katz - 1999 - Journal of Philosophy 96 (8):404.
Duty and Ignorance of Fact.H. A. Prichard - 1932 - Philosophy 8 (30):226-228.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Normativity of Rationality.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Accuracy, Coherence and Evidence.Branden Fitelson & Kenny Easwaran - 2015 - Oxford Studies in Epistemology 5:61-96.
What is a Reason to Act?Kieran Setiya - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (2):221-235.

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Two Recent Theories of Conditionals.Allan Gibbard - 1981 - In William Harper, Robert C. Stalnaker & Glenn Pearce (eds.), Ifs. Reidel. pp. 211-247.
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