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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 June 2021

‘Ought’: Out of Order

‘Ought’: Out of Order

(p.169) 6 ‘Ought’: Out of Order
Deontic Modality

Stephen Finlay

Oxford University Press

Stephen Finlay argues in this chapter that Angelika Kratzer’s influential introduction of an ordering source parameter into the semantics for natural language modals was a mistake, at least for English normative modals such as ‘ought’. A simpler semantics in a dyadic framework, motivated by the need for a satisfactory treatment of instrumental (or ‘anankastic’) conditionals, also provides the resources for a better accommodation of gradability and ‘weak necessity’, information-sensitivity, and conflicts, with three moves: (i) an end-relational analysis of normative modality, (ii) an analysis of ‘ought’ or ‘weak necessity’ in terms of most, and (iii) an appeal to the same pragmatic resources utilized by Kratzer. The chapter ends with metasemantic observations about what we should want from a semantics for ‘ought’.

Keywords:   deontic modal, Angelika Kratzer, end-relational theory, weak necessity, probability, information sensitivity, anankastic conditional, hypothetical imperative

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