Logic and Language

Jeroen Groenendijk: Deontic and Epistemic Modals in Suppositional [Inquisitive] Semantics

Speaker: Jeroen Groenendijk
Title: Deontic and Epistemic Modals in Suppositional [Inquisitive] Semantics
Time: 16:00 - 17:30
Location: OMHP, A2.30

Floris Roelofsen and I recently submitted a paper Towards a Suppositional Inquisitive Semantics (InqS), which provides, in particular, a suppositional treatment of implication within inquisitive semantics. (See the inquisitive website http://www.illc.uva.nl/inquisitivesemantics/papers.)

In this talk (reporting joint work with Martin Aher) we will show that InqS gives rise to a treatment of epistemic might in terms of a supposability check, in the spirit of Frank Veltman’s well-known treatment of might in update semantics as a consistency test.
Further we show that (in line with earlier work of Martin Aher) InqS gives rise to an Andersonian treatment of deontic must.

By way of example, the talk focusses on a variation of Jackson’s Dr. Procrastinate puzzle in which epistemic might and deontic must jointly play a key role.

We will not present InqS in its full force, but just a simple reduced version of it that applies only to a fragment of a full propositional language in which no inquisitive sentences occur.(Thus, free choice phenomena will not play a role in this talk.)

So, the aim of the talk is to zoom in on the basic features of our suppositional treatment of implication, and deontic and epistemic modals