Simplifying with Free Choice

Topoi 37 (3):379-392 (2018)

Authors
Malte Willer
University of Chicago
Abstract
This paper offers a unified semantic explanation of two observations that prove to be problematic for classical analyses of modals, conditionals, and disjunctions: the fact that disjunctions scoping under possibility modals give rise to the free choice effect and the fact that counterfactuals license simplification of disjunctive antecedents. It shows that the data are well explained by a dynamic semantic analysis of modals and conditionals that uses ideas from the inquisitive semantic tradition in its treatment of disjunction. The analysis explains why embedding a disjunctive possibility under negation reverts disjunction to its classical behavior, is general enough to predict less studied simplification patterns, and also makes progress toward a unified perspective on the distinction between informative, inquisitive, and attentive content.
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DOI 10.1007/s11245-016-9437-5
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References found in this work BETA

Counterfactuals.D. Lewis - 1973 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 27 (4):403-405.
Defaults in Update Semantics.Frank Veltman - 1996 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 25 (3):221 - 261.
Dynamics of Epistemic Modality.Malte Willer - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (1):45-92.
Alternatives and Truthmakers in Conditional Semantics.Paolo Santorio - 2018 - Journal of Philosophy 115 (10):513-549.
A Uniform Theory of Conditionals.William B. Starr - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (6):1019-1064.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Counterfactual Direct Argument.Simon Goldstein - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-40.
The Free Choice Permission as a Default Rule.Daniela Glavaničová - 2018 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 25 (4):495-516.

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