The Dennes Room

Event Detail

Thu Dec 11, 2008
4:10–6 PM
Philosophy Colloquium
Fabrizio Cariani (UC Berkeley)
‘Ought’ is not a Box

I consider a problem for the standard theory that analyzes ‘ought’ as a necessity modal (with a contextually supplied deontic flavor): ‘ought’-claims do not satisfy principles of closure under implication, while necessity modals do. I reject the attempt to explain away this asymmetry by appeal to conversational implicatures, and, with it, the standard view itself. However, the arguments in favor of the standard view put severe constraints on alternative proposals. In order to satisfy these constraints, I propose a new picture of the context-dependence of ‘ought’-claims and of the dynamics of context.