, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 3–10 | Cite as

Theor of free choice permission

  • R. E. Jennings


I argue that the conjunctive distribution of permissibility over ‘or’, which is a puzzling feature of free-choice permission is just one instance of a more general class of conjunctive occurrences of the word, and that these conjunctive uses are more directly explicable by the consideration that ‘or’ is a descendant of ‘oper’ than by reference to the disjunctive occurrences which logicalist prejudices may tempt us to regard as semantically more fundamental. I offer an account of how the disjunctive uses of ‘or’ may have come about through an intermediate discourse-adverbial use of ‘or’, drawing a parallel with ‘but’, which, etymologically, is disjunctive rather than conjunctive and whose conjunctive uses seem to represent just such a discourse-adverbial application.


Relative Clause Deontic Logician Unify Account Semantic Transparency Conjunctive Distribution 


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  1. Spender, Dale: 1991,The Diary of Elizabeth Pepys, Grafton, London.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. E. Jennings
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophySimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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