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Deontic Modals and Probability: One Theory to Rule Them All?

In Nate Charlow & Matthew Chrisman (eds.), Deontic Modality. Oxford University Press (forthcoming)

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  1. Probabilistic semantics for epistemic modals: Normality assumptions, conditional epistemic spaces and the strength of must and might.Guillermo Del Pinal - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (4):985-1026.
    The epistemic modal auxiliaries must and might are vehicles for expressing the force with which a proposition follows from some body of evidence or information. Standard approaches model these operators using quantificational modal logic, but probabilistic approaches are becoming increasingly influential. According to a traditional view, must is a maximally strong epistemic operator and might is a bare possibility one. A competing account—popular amongst proponents of a probabilisitic turn—says that, given a body of evidence, must \ entails that \\) is (...)
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  • Hyperintensionality and Normativity.Federico L. G. Faroldi - 2019 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer Verlag.
    Presenting the first comprehensive, in-depth study of hyperintensionality, this book equips readers with the basic tools needed to appreciate some of current and future debates in the philosophy of language, semantics, and metaphysics. After introducing and explaining the major approaches to hyperintensionality found in the literature, the book tackles its systematic connections to normativity and offers some contributions to the current debates. The book offers undergraduate and graduate students an essential introduction to the topic, while also helping professionals in related (...)
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  • Probability Modals and Infinite Domains.Adam Marushak - 2020 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 49 (5):1041-1055.
    Recent years have witnessed a proliferation of attempts to apply the mathematical theory of probability to the semantics of natural language probability talk. These sorts of “probabilistic” semantics are often motivated by their ability to explain intuitions about inferences involving “likely” and “probably”—intuitions that Angelika Kratzer’s canonical semantics fails to accommodate through a semantics based solely on an ordering of worlds and a qualitative ranking of propositions. However, recent work by Wesley Holliday and Thomas Icard has been widely thought to (...)
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  • Metalinguistic Negotiations in Moral Disagreement.Renée Jorgensen Bolinger - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (3):352-380.
    The problem of moral disagreement has been presented as an objection to contextualist semantics for ‘ought’, since it is not clear that contextualism can accommodate or give a convincing gloss of such disagreement. I argue that independently of our semantics, disagreements over ‘ought’ in non-cooperative contexts are best understood as indirect metalinguistic disputes, which is easily accommodated by contextualism. If this is correct, then rather than posing a problem for contextualism, the data from moral disagreements provides some reason to adopt (...)
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  • Practical Commitment in Normative Discourse.Pekka Vayrynen - 2022 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 21 (2).
    Many normative judgments play a practical role in our thought. This paper concerns how their practical role is reflected in language. It is natural to wonder whether the phenomenon is semantic or pragmatic. The standard assumption in moral philosophy is that at least terms which can be used to express “thin” normative concepts – such as 'good', 'right', and 'ought' – are associated with certain practical roles somehow as a matter of meaning. But this view is rarely given explicit defense (...)
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  • Inheritance: Professor Procrastinate and the Logic of Obligation.Kyle Blumberg & John Hawthorne - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Inheritance is the principle that deontic `ought' is closed under entailment. This paper is about a tension that arises in connection with Inheritance. More specifically, it is about two observations that pull in opposite directions. One of them raises questions about the validity of Inheritance, while the other appears to provide strong support for it. We argue that existing approaches to deontic modals fail to provide us with an adequate resolution of this tension. In response, we develop a positive analysis, (...)
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  • 'Ought': OUT OF ORDER.Stephen Finlay - 2016 - In Nate Charlow & Matthew Chrisman (eds.), Deontic Modality. Oxford University Press.
    This paper argues that the innovation of an ordering source parameter in the standard Lewis-Kratzer semantics for modals was a mistake, at least for English auxiliaries like ‘ought’, and that a simpler dyadic semantics (as proposed in my earlier work) provides a superior account of normative uses of modals. I programmatically investigate problems arising from (i) instrumental conditionals, (ii) gradability and “weak necessity”, (iii) information-sensitivity, and (iv) conflicts, and show how the simpler semantics provides intuitive solutions given three basic moves: (...)
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  • Clause-Type, Force, and Normative Judgment in the Semantics of Imperatives.Nate Charlow - 2018 - In Daniel Fogal Daniel Harris & Matt Moss (eds.), New Work on Speech Acts. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 67–98.
    I argue that imperatives express contents that are both cognitively and semantically related to, but nevertheless distinct from, modal propositions. Imperatives, on this analysis, semantically encode features of planning that are modally specified. Uttering an imperative amounts to tokening this feature in discourse, and thereby proffering it for adoption by the audience. This analysis deals smoothly with the problems afflicting Portner's Dynamic Pragmatic account and Kaufmann's Modal account. It also suggests an appealing reorientation of clause-type theorizing, in which the cognitive (...)
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  • Sharing Our Normative Worlds: A Theory of Normative Thinking.Ivan Gonzalez-Cabrera - 2017 - Dissertation, Australian National University
    This thesis focuses on the evolution of human social norm psychology. More precisely, I want to show how the emergence of our distinctive capacity to follow social norms and make social normative judgments is connected to the lineage explanation of our capacity to form shared intentions, and how such capacity is related to a diverse cluster of prototypical moral judgments. I argue that in explaining the evolution of this form of normative cognition we also require an understanding of the developmental (...)
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  • On Stalnaker's "Indicative Conditionals".Fabrizio Cariani - forthcoming - In Louise McNally & Zoltan Szabo (eds.), Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy, Vol 100. Springer.
    This paper is a guide to the main ideas and innovations in Robert Stalnaker's "Indicative Conditionals". The paper is for a volume of essays on twenty-one classics of formal semantics edited by Louise McNally and Zoltàn Gendler Szabò.
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  • Decision-Theoretic Relativity in Deontic Modality.Nate Charlow - 2018 - Linguistics and Philosophy 41 (3):251-287.
    This paper explores the idea that a semantics for ‘ought’ should be neutral between different ways of deciding what an agent ought to do in a situation. While the idea is, I argue, well-motivated, taking it seriously leads to surprising, even paradoxical, problems for theorizing about the meaning of ‘ought’. This paper describes and defends one strategy—a form of Expressivism for the modal ‘ought’—for navigating these problems.
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