OSSA Day One: Presumptions

David Godden, Old Dominion

"Presumptions in Argument: Epistemic versus Social Approaches"

Godden's paper is a response to Kauffield's 'commitment-based' approaches to presumption.  The commitment model is one where there are socially grounded defeasible presumptions about the right sort of ways for people to behave.  The question is whether these 'ought' claims are a basis for making presumptions about how people will behave.

The main issue of contention was whether the moral expectations about people (e.g., that people ought not drive drunk, or that people ought to do their jobs), when defeated (e.g., when you see that S is visibly drunk and behind the wheel of the car, when you see serious dereliction of duty) disappear.  Godden says yes:  he calls them 'busted bubbles'.

Some questions:

Q1: Are presumptions about duties really predictions?

Q2: Surely the duties don't go away when our predictions are defeated.  Is this a matter of what you expect morally vs expect epistemically?

Q3: Should it be Dr. Livingston, I assume?