The Meaning of Imperatives

Philosophy Compass 9 (8):540-555 (2014)
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Abstract
This article surveys a range of current views on the semantics of imperatives, presenting them as more or less conservative with respect to the Truth-Conditional Paradigm in semantics. It describes and critiques views at either extreme of this spectrum: accounts on which the meaning of an imperative is a modal truth-condition, as well as various accounts that attempt to explain imperative meaning without making use of truth-conditions. It briefly describes and encourages further work on a family of views lying somewhere in the middle. On such views, an imperative will semantically determine, without having as its meaning, a modal truth-condition, which figures centrally in accounting for various aspects of its meaning.
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Archival date: 2014-08-08
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2014-08-08

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