‘Could have done otherwise’, action sentences and anaphora
By Helen Stewart
What does it mean to say of a certain agent, S, that he or she could have done otherwise? Clearly, it means nothing at all, unless the anaphoric devices within the sentence have been anchored to definite antecedents. In this paper, I shall argue that there may be more ways of effecting this anchoring than is commonly supposed, and hence more questions potentially available to be asked by means of the formulation ‘Could S have done otherwise?’ than is generally assumed to be the case in most of the relevant literature.
Forthcoming in Analysis, July 2006