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Deontic Modality$
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Nate Charlow and Matthew Chrisman

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198717928

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198717928.001.0001

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Rationalization and the Ross Paradox

Rationalization and the Ross Paradox

(p.283) 10 Rationalization and the Ross Paradox
Deontic Modality

Benj Hellie

Oxford University Press

In this chapter Benj Hellie argues that by allowing intensional phenomena across the board (including modals and entailment) to quantify over mental states, we solve the Ross Paradox. By assuming that the aim of intention is to contribute instrumentally to a broader goal, this paper explains how the”procedural” content of intention both confers significance on an issue and resolves to settle it a certain way. In the material mode, it is argued, this is what generates the “Ross Paradox”: Post this letter! does not entail Post this letter or drink up my wine!; nor does You must post this letter entail You must post this letter or drink up my wine. Assuming that imperatives display intentions, and share their procedural contents, it is argued here that the obligative word must operates syntactically on imperatives and semantically on procedures.

Keywords:   Ross Paradox, rationalization, intelligibility, intention

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