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Melissa Fusco
Columbia University
  1. Deontic Modality and the Semantics of Choice.Melissa Fusco - 2015 - Philosophers' Imprint 15.
    I propose a unified solution to two puzzles: Ross's puzzle and free choice permission. I begin with a pair of cases from the decision theory literature illustrating the phenomenon of act dependence, where what an agent ought to do depends on what she does. The notion of permissibility distilled from these cases forms the basis for my analysis of 'may' and 'ought'. This framework is then combined with a generalization of the classical semantics for disjunction — equivalent to Boolean disjunction (...)
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  2.  28
    Free Choice Effects and Exclusive Disjunction.Melissa Fusco - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-15.
    This paper presents experimental data relevant to understanding the modal free choice effect (Kamp, 1973) when there are more than two disjuncts under the relevant modal operator. The results suggest that speakers' willingness to draw free choice inferences is correlated with whether the embedded disjuncts are *modally separable*, in a sense brought into focus by considering cases within which the relevant propositions fail to be pairwise redundant but are redundant as a set.
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  3.  38
    Naturalizing Deontic Logic: Indeterminacy, Diagonalization, and Self‐Affirmation.Melissa Fusco - 2018 - Philosophical Perspectives 32 (1):165-187.
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    A Two-Dimensional Logic for Diagonalization and the a Priori.Melissa Fusco - 2020 - Synthese 198 (9):8307-8322.
    Two-dimensional semantics, which can represent the distinction between a priority and necessity, has wielded considerable influence in the philosophy of language. In this paper, I axiomatize the dagger operator of Stalnaker’s “Assertion” in the formal context of two-dimensional modal logic. The language contains modalities of actuality, necessity, and a priority, but is also able to represent diagonalization, a conceptually important operation in a variety of contexts, including models of the relative a priori and a posteriori often appealed to Bayesian and (...)
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  5.  43
    Agential Free Choice.Melissa Fusco - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 50 (1):57-87.
    The Free Choice effect—whereby \\) seems to entail both \ and \—has traditionally been characterized as a phenomenon affecting the deontic modal ‘may’. This paper presents an extension of the semantic account of free choice defended by Fusco to the agentive modal ‘can’, the ‘can’ which, intuitively, describes an agent’s powers. On this account, free choice is a nonspecific de re phenomenon that—unlike typical cases—affects disjunction. I begin by sketching a model of inexact ability, which grounds a modal approach to (...)
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  6. Free Choice Permission and the Counterfactuals of Pragmatics.Melissa Fusco - 2014 - Linguistics and Philosophy 37 (4):275-290.
    This paper addresses a little puzzle with a surprisingly long pedigree and a surprisingly large wake: the puzzle of Free Choice Permission. I begin by presenting a popular sketch of a pragmatic solution to the puzzle, due to Kratzer and Shimoyama, which has received a good deal of discussion, endorsement and elaboration in recent work :535–590, 2006; Fox, in: Sauerland and Stateva Presupposition and implicature in compositional semantics, 2007; Geurts, Mind Lang 24:51–79, 2009; von Fintel, Central APA session on Deontic (...)
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  7. Agentive Free Choice.Melissa Fusco - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-31.
    The Free Choice effect---whereby <>(p or q) seems to entail both <>p and <>q---has traditionally been characterized as a phenomenon affecting the deontic modal "may". This paper presents an extension of the semantic account of free choice defended in Fusco (2015) to the agentive modal "can", the "can" which, intuitively, describes an agent's powers. -/- I begin by sketching a model of inexact ability, which grounds a modal approach to agency (Belnap & Perloff 1998; Belnap, Perloff, and Xu 2001) in (...)
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  8.  51
    Probabilistic Knowledge.Melissa Fusco - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (1):139-144.
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    A Two-Dimensional Logic for Two Paradoxes of Deontic Modality.Melissa Fusco & Alexander W. Kocurek - forthcoming - Review of Symbolic Logic:1-32.
    In this paper, we axiomatize the deontic logic in Fusco, which uses a Stalnaker-inspired account of diagonal acceptance and a two-dimensional account of disjunction to treat Ross’s Paradox and the Puzzle of Free Choice Permission. On this account, disjunction-involving validities are a priori rather than necessary. We show how to axiomatize two-dimensional disjunction so that the introduction/elimination rules for boolean disjunction can be viewed as one-dimensional projections of more general two-dimensional rules. These completeness results help make explicit the restrictions Fusco’s (...)
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    Propositions and the Meaning of ‘Ought’.Melissa Fusco - 2018 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (4):463-474.
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