Dynamic Thoughts on Ifs and Oughts

Philosophers' Imprint 14:1-30 (2014)
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Abstract

A dynamic semantics for iffy oughts offers an attractive alternative to the folklore that Chisholm's paradox enforces an unhappy choice between the intuitive inference rules of factual and deontic detachment. The first part of the story told here shows how a dynamic theory about ifs and oughts gives rise to a nonmonotonic perspective on deontic discourse and reasoning that elegantly removes the air of paradox from Chisholm's puzzle without sacrificing any of the two detachment principles. The second part of the story showcases two bonus applications of the framework suggested here: it offers a response to Forrester's gentle murder paradox and avoids Kolodny and MacFarlane's miners paradox about deontic reasoning under epistemic uncertainty. A comparison between the dynamic semantic proposal made in this paper and a more conservative approach combining a static semantics with a dynamic pragmatics is provided

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Malte Willer
University of Chicago

Citations of this work

Publishing without belief.Alexandra Plakias - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):638-646.
Dynamic Expressivism about Deontic Modality.William B. Starr - 2016 - In Nate Charlow & Matthew Chrisman (eds.), Deontic Modality. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 355-394.
Might Moral Epistemologists Be Asking The Wrong Questions?Caleb Perl - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3):556-585.
Indicative Conditionals and Graded Information.Ivano Ciardelli - 2020 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 49 (3):509-549.
Chancy Modus Ponens.Sven Neth - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):632-638.

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Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Philosophy of Science 42 (3):341-344.

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