Natural Language Semantics 18 (3):241-293 (2010)

This paper investigates some aspects of the semantics of deontic should-conditionals. The main objective is to understand which actual world facts make deontic statements true. The starting point for the investigation is a famous puzzle known as Chisholm’s Paradox. It is important because making sense of the data in Chisholm-style examples involves arriving at some conclusion regarding the interaction between what we consider ideal and what is actually true. I give an account of how facts affect the evaluation of should formulated in a way that does not predict that the divergence between ideals and facts leads to contradictions. The proposed semantics for should and should-conditionals allows for factual detachment without giving rise to paradoxes. The proposal has several parts: a situation-based semantics for the modal should, a view of the propositions embedded under should that allows aspect to play a crucial role in anchoring propositions to the context set, and a proposal for if-clauses that distinguishes between epistemic if-clauses and if-clauses in the scope of should, treating the latter as restrictors on the quantificational domain of the modal
Keywords Deontic modality  Chisholm’s Paradox  Conditionals  Aspect
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DOI 10.1007/s11050-010-9055-5
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References found in this work BETA

Counterfactuals.David Kellogg Lewis - 1973 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Blackwell.
Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1974 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 36 (3):602-605.

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Citations of this work BETA

Dynamic Thoughts on Ifs and Oughts.Malte Willer - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14:1-30.
Deontic Logic and Natural Language.Fabrizio Cariani - forthcoming - In Dov Gabbay, Ron van der Meyden, John Horty, Xavier Parent & Leandert van der Torre (eds.), The Handbook of Deontic Logic (Vol. II). College Publications.
Modality, Weights and Inconsistent Premise Sets.Alex Silk - 2017 - Journal of Semantics 34 (4):683-707.
On Necessity and Comparison.Aynat Rubinstein - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (4):512-554.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

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