The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Linguistics-Philosophy Reading Group 09/18 - on Ninan; Kelly Gaus and Thomas Byrne

Speaker: Kelly Gaus and Thomas Byrne
Title: Discussion on (Ninan 2015) Two Puzzles about Deontic Necessity
Date and time: Monday September 18, 1-2pm
Location: 7th Floor Seminar room

The deontic modal must has two surprising properties: an assertion of must p does not permit a denial of p, and must does not take past tense complements. I first consider an explanation of these phenomena that stays within Angelika Kratzer’s semantic framework for modals, and then offer some reasons for rejecting that explanation. I then propose an alternative account, according to which simple must sentences have the force of an imperative.