Obligation as counterfactual reasoning
Korean and Japanese modal expressions inform about the composition of deontic modality which is not evident from languages that express modal concepts via an auxiliary. They are expressed in terms of a conditional and an evaluative predicate ‘good’. I propose that obligation does not set up the domain of quantification in which the prejacent is evaluated. Instead, it makes deontic judgments as to what would be the case if the prejacent were true or false, respectively. I show that the proposed semantics offers a principled account of Zvolenszky’s puzzle (Zvolenszky 2002) and Ross’s paradox (Ross 1944).