Expressing Permission

Semantics and Linguistic Theory 26:325-349 (2016)
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Abstract

This paper proposes a semantics for free choice permission that explains both the non-classical behavior of modals and disjunction in sentences used to grant permission, and their classical behavior under negation. It also explains why permissions can expire when new information comes in and why free choice arises even when modals scope under disjunction. On the proposed approach, deontic modals update preference orderings, and connectives operate on these updates rather than propositions. The success of this approach stems from its capacity to capture the difference between expressing the preferences that give rise to permissions and conveying propositions about those preferences.

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W. Starr
Cornell University

Citations of this work

A Preference Semantics for Imperatives.William B. Starr - 2020 - Semantics and Pragmatics 20.
Semantic expressivism for epistemic modals.Peter Hawke & Shane Steinert-Threlkeld - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (2):475-511.
Wanting what’s not best.Kyle Blumberg & John Hawthorne - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (4):1275-1296.
Two puzzles about ability can.Malte Willer - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (3):551-586.

View all 17 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):201-202.
A Preference Semantics for Imperatives.William B. Starr - 2020 - Semantics and Pragmatics 20.
Defaults in update semantics.Frank Veltman - 1996 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 25 (3):221 - 261.
Singular terms, truth-value gaps, and free logic.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1966 - Journal of Philosophy 63 (17):481-495.

View all 25 references / Add more references