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A Remark on Iffy Oughts

Journal of Philosophy 109 (7):449-461 (2012)

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  1. An Acquittal for Epistemicism.Hesam Mohamadi - 2018 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 31 (4):905-928.
    Scott Soames argues that consideration of the practice of legal judgement gives us good reason to favor the partial-definition/context-sensitive theory of vagueness against epistemicism. Despite the fact that the value of power-delegation through vagueness is evidenced in practice, Soames says, epistemicism cannot account for it theoretically, while the partial-definition/context-sensitive theory is capable of it. In this paper, I examine the two possible arguments against epistemicism that can be extracted from Soames’s account: (i) an argument based on unknown obligations, and (ii) (...)
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  • Deontic Modals and Hyperintensionality.Federico L. G. Faroldi - 2019 - Logic Journal of the IGPL 27 (4):387-410.
    In this paper I argue that deontic modals are hyperintensional, i.e. logically equivalent contents cannot be substituted in their scope. I give two arguments, one deductive and the other abductive. First, I show that the contrary thesis leads to falsity; second, I argue that a hyperintensional theory of deontic modals fares better than its rivals in terms of elegance, theoretical simplicity and explanatory power. I then propose a philosophical analysis of this thesis and outline some consequences. In Section 1 I (...)
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  • Logic Informed.Justin Bledin - 2014 - Mind 123 (490):277-316.
    Do logically valid arguments necessarily preserve truth? Certain inferences involving informational modal operators and indicative conditionals suggest that truth preservation and good deductive argument come apart. Given this split, I recommend an alternative to the standard truth preservation view of logic on which validity and good deductive argument coincide: logic is a descriptive science that is fundamentally concerned not with the preservation of truth, but with the preservation of structural features of information. Along the way, I defend modus ponens for (...)
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  • Dynamic Thoughts on Ifs and Oughts.Malte Willer - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14:1-30.
    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 (...)
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  • Clause-Type, Force, and Normative Judgment in the Semantics of Imperatives.Nate Charlow - forthcoming - In Daniel Fogal Daniel Harris & Matt Moss (eds.), New Work on Speech Acts. Oxford University Press.
    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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  • An Update on Epistemic Modals.Malte Willer - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (6):835–849.
    Epistemic modals are a prominent topic in the literature on natural language semantics, with wide-ranging implications for issues in philosophy of language and philosophical logic. Considerations about the role that epistemic "might" and "must" play in discourse and reasoning have led to the development of several important alternatives to classical possible worlds semantics for natural language modal expressions. This is an opinionated overview of what I take to be some of the most exciting issues and developments in the field.
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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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  • Modus Ponens and the Logic of Dominance Reasoning.Nate Charlow - manuscript
    If modus ponens is valid (in the usual sense of that notion), then you should take up smoking.
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  • Fatalism and the Logic of Unconditionals.Justin Bledin - forthcoming - Noûs.
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  • Three Notions of Dynamicness in Language.Daniel Rothschild & Seth Yalcin - 2016 - Linguistics and Philosophy 39 (4):333-355.
    We distinguish three ways that a theory of linguistic meaning and communication might be considered dynamic in character. We provide some examples of systems which are dynamic in some of these senses but not others. We suggest that separating these notions can help to clarify what is at issue in particular debates about dynamic versus static approaches within natural language semantics and pragmatics.
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  • Indicative Conditionals and Dynamic Epistemic Logic.Wesley H. Holliday & Thomas Icard - 2017 - Proceedings of the Sixteenth Conference on Theoretical Aspects of Rationality and Knowledge (TARK 2017), Liverpool, UK, 24-26 July 2017.
    Recent ideas about epistemic modals and indicative conditionals in formal semantics have significant overlap with ideas in modal logic and dynamic epistemic logic. The purpose of this paper is to show how greater interaction between formal semantics and dynamic epistemic logic in this area can be of mutual benefit. In one direction, we show how concepts and tools from modal logic and dynamic epistemic logic can be used to give a simple, complete axiomatization of Yalcin's [16] semantic consequence relation for (...)
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  • VI-BayesianExpressivism.Seth Yalcin - 2012 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 112 (2pt2):123-160.
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  • Epistemicism, Paradox, and Conditional Obligation.Ivan Hu - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (8):2123-2139.
    Stewart Shapiro has objected to the epistemicist theory of vagueness on grounds that it gives counterintuitive predictions about cases involving conditional obligation. This paper details a response on the epistemicist’s behalf. I first argue that Shapiro’s own presentation of the objection is unsuccessful as an argument against epistemicism. I then reconstruct and offer two alternative arguments inspired by Shapiro’s considerations, and argue that these fail too, given the information-sensitive nature of conditional obligations.
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  • A Proof‐Theoretic Account of the Miners Paradox.Ansten Klev - 2016 - Theoria 82 (4):351-369.
    By maintaining that a conditional sentence can be taken to express the validity of a rule of inference, we offer a solution to the Miners Paradox that leaves both modus ponens and disjunction elimination intact. The solution draws on Sundholm's recently proposed account of Fitch's Paradox.
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  • Conditionals and Propositions in Semantics.Daniel Rothschild - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (6):781-791.
    IntroductionThe project of giving an account of meaning in natural languages goes largely by assigning truth-conditional content to sentences. I will call the view that sentences have truth-conditional content propositionalism as it is common to identify the truth-conditional content of a sentence with the proposition it expresses. This content plays an important role in our explanations of the speech-acts, attitude ascriptions, and the meaning of sentences when they appear as parts of longer sentences. Much work in philosophy of language and (...)
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  • Attitudes, Deontics and Semantic Neutrality.Fabrizio Cariani - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (4):491-511.
    It has been recently suggested that a semantic theory for deontic modals should be neutral between a very large range of normative and evaluative theories. This article aims to clarify this talk of neutrality, in particular its scope and motivation. My thesis is that neutrality is best understood as an empirical thesis about a fragment of natural language that includes deontic modals – not as a new, sui generis methodological constraint on natural language semantics.
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  • Modus Ponens Under the Restrictor View.Moritz Schulz - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (6):1001-1028.
    There is a renewed debate about modus ponens. Strikingly, the recent counterexamples in Cantwell, Dreier and MacFarlane and Kolodny are generated by restricted readings of the ‘if’-clause. Moreover, it can be argued on general grounds that the restrictor view of conditionals developed in Kratzer and Lewis leads to counterexamples to modus ponens. This paper provides a careful analysis of modus ponens within the framework of the restrictor view. Despite appearances to the contrary, there is a robust sense in which modus (...)
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  • Evidence Sensitivity in Weak Necessity Deontic Modals.Alex Silk - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (4):691-723.
    Kolodny and MacFarlane have made a pioneering contribution to our understanding of how the interpretation of deontic modals can be sensitive to evidence and information. But integrating the discussion of information-sensitivity into the standard Kratzerian framework for modals suggests ways of capturing the relevant data without treating deontic modals as “informational modals” in their sense. I show that though one such way of capturing the data within the standard semantics fails, an alternative does not. Nevertheless I argue that we have (...)
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